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An Empirical Study of Group Stewardship and Learning: Implications for Work Group Effectiveness
Groesbeck, Richard Lee
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This research studies the effects of group stewardship and group learning on permanent work groups performing the core work and service processes in their organizations. Stewardship has been proposed as a potentially significant form of intrinsic motivation that causes people to act collectively in the best interests of their organization's stakeholders. However, stewardship has not been operationalized nor have its antecedents and consequences been empirically tested in prior field research. After defining group stewardship, the construct is shown to be distinct from related concepts such as psychological ownership and identification with the organization. While previous research has studied the concepts of individual and organizational learning, the concept of group learning is just emerging in the group effectiveness literature. Group learning is shown to be a multidimensional concept including integration of external perspectives, within-group collaboration, and practical application through experimentation. Within and between analysis (WABA) is utilized to determine which task, group and organizational constructs relate to the development of group stewardship at the individual, group and organizational levels of analysis. Four constructs, the need for analysis in doing the group's work, group potency, affective trust, and identification with the organization, are shown to be especially significant in developing group stewardship. Additionally, each of these four factors is shown to support different aspects of group learning. Finally, group stewardship is shown to be highly correlated with the presence of group learning, proactive behaviors, group performance, and employee job satisfaction.
- Doctoral Dissertations 
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