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Effects Of Perceived Skill Dissimilarity And Task Interdependence On Helping In Work Teams

Gerben S. Van der Vegt, Evert Van de Vliert

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This study examined the effects of perceived skill dissimilarity and task interdependence on individual team members’ helping behavior in a panel study of senior business students enrolled in a management game. The students were randomly assigned to 20 teams and functioned as a firm’s top management group during a full-time 3-week period. Questionnaire data were collected after the 1st and 2nd week. Consistent with self-categorization theory, the analyses showed perceived skill dissimilarity to decrease both self-reported and peer-rated helping behavior under conditions of low task interdependence and to increase an individual’s helping behavior under conditions of high task interdependence.