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SMALLGriffin Mason, GROUP / GROUP RESEARCH TASK/ SATISFACTION June 2002

GROUP TASK SATISFACTION Applying the Construct of Job Satisfaction to Groups


CLAIRE M. MASON MARK A. GRIFFIN
Queensland University of Technology

This article reviews evidence for considering job satisfaction at the group level of analysis. Group-level job satisfaction is functionally independent of individual-level job satisfaction. This construct is labeled group task satisfaction and is defined as the groups shared attitude toward its task and the associated work environment. The authors propose that group task satisfaction develops out of within-group homogeneity in individual job satisfaction, which in turn is a product of the shared work conditions, social influence processes, attractionselection-attrition effects, and emotional contagion effects associated with work groups. They predict that through group interaction, the within-group homogeneity in job satisfaction will come to be perceived as a characteristic of the group. Once identified as a group characteristic, group task satisfaction will be subject to processes such as polarization and prototyping, with the result that group task satisfaction should function independently of the mean level of job satisfaction within the group. The authors predict that group task satisfaction will be related to the mean level of individual job satisfaction within the group, the quality of the groups processes, and the performance of the group, thus serving as an important indicator of team viability.

This article represents a theoretical investigation of job satisfaction as a group-level construct. The job satisfaction construct has been thoroughly researched at the individual level. In contrast, only a small number of studies have investigated job satisfaction at the group level and organizational level, and in these studies, grouplevel and organizational-level job satisfaction have been
AUTHORS NOTE: Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Claire M. Mason, Australian Centre in Strategic Management, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Queensland, 4001, Australia; telephone: +61 7-3864-1238; fax: +61 7-3864-1766; e-mail: cm.mason@qut.edu.au.
SMALL GROUP RESEARCH, Vol. 33 No. 3, June 2002 271-312 2002 Sage Publications

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operationalized by aggregating measures of individual job satisfaction (e.g., Hecht & Riley, 1985; Ostroff, 1992; Ryan, Schmit, & Johnson, 1996). No studies have been reported that investigate group-level job satisfaction independently of individual job satisfaction. The aim of this article is to illustrate why job satisfaction should be investigated as a functionally independent group-level variable.

BACKGROUND

Work groups and teams are prevalent in the contemporary workplace (Beyerlein, Johnson, & Beyerlein, 1995; Devine, Clayton, Philips, Dunford, & Melner, 1999; Lawler, Mohrman, & Ledford, 1992). In a survey of 128 organizations in the United States, Devine et al. (1999) found that nearly 50% of organizations used work groups. Work groups have been seen as providing a means of generating higher employee involvement and satisfaction, while at the same time delivering improved performance for the organization (Banker, Field, Schroeder, & Singha, 1996; Cannon-Bowers, Oser, & Flanagan, 1992; Dunphy & Bryant, 1996). Given these aims and the prevalence of teams within the workplace, it is important to understand the full range of effects associated with groups. Traditionally, when researching group processes in organizations, organizational psychologists have tended to concentrate on a restricted range of variables, such as group size, group cohesion, group structure, and group heterogeneity (of composition). However, more recent research has begun to uncover a wider range of effects associated with groups. Comparison of individuals working alone with individuals working in groups has identified group effects on productivity, decision making, turnover, and absenteeism (Cordery, Mueller, & Smith, 1991; Freeman, 1996; Myers & Lamm, 1976; Wall, Kemp, Jackson, & Clegg, 1986). In addition, groups have been found to have effects on the behavior and affective states of their members (Hackman, 1987). Individuals belonging to the same group have been found to display normative behaviors (Coch & French, 1948), affect (George, 1990), job attitudes

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(Pfeffer, 1980), and absenteeism levels (Gellatly, 1995). Consequently, researchers have begun exploring a range of new group constructs based on individual-level variables, such as group potency (Guzzo, Yost, Campbell, & Shea, 1993), collective efficacy (Lindsley, Brass, & Thomas, 1995; Zaccaro, Blair, Peterson, & Zazanis, 1995), group affective tone (George, 1990; George & Brief, 1992), and group beliefs (Bar-Tal, 1990). This research has created a broader understanding of the range of effects associated with groups.

WHY STUDY JOB SATISFACTION AT THE GROUP LEVEL?

The research cited above has demonstrated that it can be worthwhile to investigate individual-level variables at the group level of analysis, but it is still necessary to explain why job satisfaction in particular is worth investigating as a group attribute. Individual job satisfaction has been a focus of research effort within the field of organizational psychology for several decades (e.g., Brayfield & Rothe, 1951; Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959), and a wide range of outcomes have been linked with the job satisfaction construct. Specifically, individual job satisfaction has been found to be positively related to individual performance (e.g., Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; Petty, McGee, & Cavender, 1984), organizational commitment (e.g., Bateman & Strasser, 1984; Curry, Wakefield, Price, & Mueller, 1986), and organizational citizenship behavior (e.g., Bateman & Organ, 1983; Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983), and negatively related to stress (ODriscoll & Beehr, 2000), anxiety (Jex & Gudanowski, 1992), absenteeism (e.g., ChadwickJones, Nicholson, & Brown, 1982; Steers & Rhodes, 1978), and turnover (Carson & Spector, 1987; Judge, 1993). Despite the vast literature in this area, job satisfaction has been consistently treated as an individual-level variable, even though there are both theoretical reasons and empirical evidence to suggest that individuals working in groups should develop a shared attitude toward its work and work environment. Assuming the job satisfaction construct

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does exhibit group-level properties, the group-level variable may explain unique group-level variance in some of the outcome variables that are traditionally associated with the job satisfaction construct. Although it is inappropriate to assume that relationships at one level of analysis will automatically carry over to the group level of analysis, research that has demonstrated a relationship between the mean level of individual job satisfaction within the group and group performance (Vroom, 1964), absenteeism (Hunt, Goodman, & Quintela, 1998; Kerr, Koppelmeier, & Sullivan, 1951; Mann & Baumgartel, 1952), and citizenship behavior (see Karambayya, 1989, cited in Podsakoff, Ahearne, & MacKenzie, 1997) suggests that at least some of the relationships exhibited by individual job satisfaction will carry over to the group level. Furthermore, by assessing the group-level job satisfaction construct directly (rather than using the mean level of individual job satisfaction as a proxy), we may observe stronger relationships at the group level than have been reported previously. In addition, although individual job satisfaction has often been investigated as a predictor of other variables, individual job satisfaction represents an outcome of interest in its own right. If groups do develop a shared level of job satisfaction, this group-level construct is likely to have an effect on the level of individual job satisfaction experienced by group members. Group members should find it more rewarding to work in a group characterized by a positive attitude toward its work than to work in a group that has a negative attitude toward its work and the work environment. There are therefore two bases on which the study of group-level job satisfaction is justified. First, group-level job satisfaction may explain group-level variance in outcome variables traditionally associated with the job satisfaction construct. Second, group-level job satisfaction is likely to have an effect on the individual job satisfaction of group members. What, then, are the reasons for predicting that job satisfaction will function as a group-level construct? Although group-level constructs can take several different forms (Chan, 1998), the key criterion for the identification of a group-level construct is usually that

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there should be within-group homogeneity with regard to the construct in question. Below, we identify four factors that should contribute to within-group homogeneity in job satisfaction.
THE SHARED WORK ENVIRONMENT

The fact that individuals working in groups tend to share similar work conditions and events provides the first reason for expecting job satisfaction to exhibit within-group homogeneity (Ryan et al., 1996). Experiences in the work environment, such as poor management or inadequate working conditions, tend to be shared by all members of the group, and these experiences have been found to affect job attitudes (e.g., Newman, 1975; Pritchard & Karasick, 1973; Rousseau, 1978). Therefore, the commonality of the work environment experienced by group members should contribute to the development of similar job attitudes.
SOCIAL INFORMATION

Social information processes occurring within groups should also contribute to homogeneity of job attitudes (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978). The complexity of the work environment and pressure to conform to the norms and standards of the workplace should give salience to social information provided by coworkers. Coworkers provide information about their own evaluation of the workplace, draw attention to particular features of the work environment, provide interpretations of events in the workplace, and discuss their own work-related needs and values (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978). Such social information affects individuals perceptions of the environment and, ultimately, their attitudes toward that environment. Individuals who work in a group are exposed to similar social information, and consequently, they should develop similar job attitudes. The social information processing model has been tested and supported in several studies (Bateman, Griffin, & Rubenstein, 1987; OConnor & Barrett, 1980; Schnake, 1991; Weiss & Shaw, 1979; White, Mitchell, & Bell, 1977).

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ATTRACTION, SELECTION, AND ATTRITION PROCESSES

Furthermore, homogeneity in job attitudes is predicted by Schneiders (1987) Attraction, Selection, Attrition (ASA) framework. Although individual needs, values, and dispositions influence job satisfaction, Schneider argued that the extent of individual variability within an organization will be restricted as a result of ASA processes. Schneiders framework is traditionally used to predict organizational-level homogeneity, but George (1990) showed that the ASA framework can also be applied to groups. George argued that the assignment of employees to work groups tends to be affected by personality factors. In addition, employees tend to be attracted to work groups consisting of others with similar personalities to their own, and such preferences may also be taken into account when assigning employees to groups. Finally, employees should also be more likely to remain in a group where they fit in, and more likely to seek a transfer when they do not get along with group members. The result will be a trend toward homogeneity in group members. Given that individual personality characteristics have been shown to be related to job satisfaction (Brief, Burke, George, Robinson, & Webster, 1988; Cropanzano, James, & Konovsky, 1993; Judge, Bono, & Locke, 2000; Staw, Bell, & Clausen, 1986; Staw & Ross, 1985), homogeneity of individual characteristics within the group should result in homogeneity of job attitudes within groups.
EMOTIONAL CONTAGION

An additional factor that is expected to contribute to withingroup homogeneity in job satisfaction is emotional contagion. Emotional contagion refers to the process whereby people automatically mimic other peoples expressive displays and, as a result, end up experiencing similar emotions to the person whom they were mimicking (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994). Ashforth and Humphrey (1995) argued that organizational subunits are especially vulnerable to emotional contagion because of the interdependency, proximity, and shared social identity that is associated with

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working in groups. Two studies have investigated convergence of mood and affect within organizational work groups. The first study, conducted by George (1990), found that groups of salespeople in a department store exhibited high agreement in their reported job affect. The second study, conducted by Totterdell, Kellett, Teuchmann, and Briner (1998), found that a team members mood at a given point in time was able to be predicted from the mean of other team members moods, even after controlling for negative events experienced by the team. Therefore, the association between an individuals mood and the mood of the rest of his or her team did not simply reflect the effect of shared negative events. Although emotional contagion effects are usually associated with convergence in mood, they can also be expected to have an indirect effect on attitudes, because job affect and job satisfaction are usually highly correlated (e.g., Fisher, 2000; Kraiger, Billings, & Isen, 1989). Therefore, the existence of emotional contagion is another factor that should lead to homogeneity of job satisfaction within groups. To summarize, it is expected that there will be greater homogeneity within groups than between groups in terms of the work environment, social information, personality traits, and emotions. Each of these factors is known to affect job satisfaction. Therefore, they should engender within-group homogeneity in job satisfaction.
EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE

These theoretical arguments are supported by empirical studies that demonstrate that individuals job attitudes tend to display homogeneity within groups. Homogeneity is an important criterion for identifying aggregate-level constructs. If group members do not share similar attitudes toward their work, there is no basis for arguing that the combination of membersattitudes represents a specific attribute of the group (James, 1982). Three studies provide evidence of homogeneity in job satisfaction. First, Herman and Hulin (1972) found that by grouping employees according to their hierarchical level, functional division, or departmental task specializa-

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tion, a significant proportion of the variance in individuals evaluations of working conditions and satisfaction levels could be predicted. Similarly, Herman, Dunham, and Hulin (1975) found that department, job level, shift, apprentice program, and tenure predicted a significant proportion of the variance in the individual satisfaction facets measured by the Job Descriptive Index. Finally, Pfeffer (1980) found that subunit membership predicted perceptions of task characteristics, individual needs, and job attitudes, even after controlling for tenure and supervisory level. Further support for within-group homogeneity in job satisfaction is provided by network research, which has demonstrated that job-related attitudes reflect patterns of interaction in the workplace (Burkhardt, 1994; Hartman & Johnson, 1989; Meyer, 1994; Rice & Aydin, 1991). For example, network links have been shown to predict similarities in task and role perceptions (Hartman & Johnson, 1989; Meyer, 1994). Because members of the same work group are likely to interact frequently, these findings suggest that members of the same work group will tend to have similar job attitudes.

HOW WILL JOB SATISFACTION FUNCTION AS A GROUP-LEVEL CONSTRUCT?

A group-level construct may take several forms (Chan, 1998), depending on the nature of the functional relationship that is hypothesized to exist between the individual-level construct and the group-level construct. In its most basic form, the existence of within-group homogeneity is sufficient to identify a group-level construct. However, the group-level job satisfaction construct is expected to fit the referent-shift consensus model identified in Chans typology. According to this model, the higher level attribute derives from the original individual-level construct, but once developed, it should be conceptually distinct and independent from the individual-level construct. Because job satisfaction represents a psychological construct, it appears to be intrinsically tied to the individual. It is therefore worth explaining how an attitudinal variable could become inde-

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pendent of the individuals from which it derives. Morgeson and Hofmann (1999) described how group-level variables can emerge out of interactional processes initiating at the individual level:
Mutual dependence (or interdependence) between individuals creates a context for their interaction. This interaction, in turn, occasions a jointly produced behavior pattern, which lies between the individuals involved. Collective action, thus, has a structure that inheres in the double interact rather than within either of the individuals involved. As interaction occurs within larger groups of individuals, a structure of collective action emerges that transcends the individuals who constitute the collective. (p. 252)

Interaction between group members is likely to be critical to the development of group-level job satisfaction. Through interaction, group members will become aware of the homogeneity in individual job satisfaction, thus eventually perceiving the shared level of job satisfaction as a characteristic of the group. However, whereas group-level job satisfaction should derive from homogeneity in individual job satisfaction, the groups level of satisfaction may come to differ from the mean level of individual job satisfaction within the group, due to the effect of naturally occurring group processes (Lindsley et al., 1995). One such process is group polarization (Myers & Lamm, 1976). Group polarization research has found that after discussion, group members attitudes become more extreme than they were prior to the discussion. In the context of group-level job satisfaction, this means that when members of the group discuss their work and work experiences, their attitudes may become more positive or more negative. Because discussions such as these would represent an important source of information about the attitudes of the group, this may result in the perception that the group as a whole is characterized by relatively positive or negative attitudes toward the task or the work environment. As a result, group attitudes may come to differ from the mean attitude of individuals within the group. This example illustrates one process through which a group-level construct based on psychological processes may come to be perceived and function independently of the associated individual-level construct.

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Self-categorization theory (Turner, 1987) provides another framework for explaining how group attitudes may differ from the attitudes of the individuals that constitute the group. According to self-categorization theory, individuals categorize themselves in terms of either a personal identity or a social identity. The categorization that is chosen will be influenced by the situational context (Hogg & Terry, 2000). When individuals are asked to report on their own attitude toward the groups work, personal identity should be more salient and individuals responses may display heterogeneity. However, when individuals are asked to report on the groups level of satisfaction toward its work, social identity will become more salient and the individuals response will be based on his or her perception of the groups attitude toward its work and the work environment. Self-categorization research has revealed that perceptions of the group are based on prototypes that serve to distinguish the in-group from the out-group by maximizing intergroup differences and minimizing in-group differences (Tajfel & Wilkes, 1963). The prototypical attitude for the group may be more extreme than the mean attitude of individuals within the group, if this serves to differentiate the in-group from the out-group (Hogg, Turner, & Davidson, 1990). Therefore, the process of self-categorization and the motivation to differentiate the in-group from the out-group can create a difference between the mean level of individual job satisfaction (based on personal identity) and the group-level job satisfaction (which should reflect the group prototype). The distinction between individual-level job satisfaction and group-level job satisfaction can be further clarified by reviewing likely sources of homogeneity, independence, and heterogeneity for the two constructs. Thus far, this article has concentrated on illustrating why we should observe group-level variance in individual job satisfaction. However, individual characteristics such as age (Goh, Koh, & Low, 1991; Joshi, 1998; Singh & Singh, 1980; Weaver, 1980), education level (Singh & Singh, 1980; Weaver, 1980), negative affectivity (Cropanzano et al., 1993; Necowitz & Roznowski, 1994; Staw et al., 1986), and work experience (Joshi, 1998) all contribute to individual-level variability in job satisfaction. These factors should lead to some degree of heterogeneity of

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job attitudes within groups. As a result, individual job satisfaction should exhibit within-group variance as well as within-group homogeneity. In contrast, group-level job satisfaction should not exhibit any individual-level variability. As a group-level construct, group-level job satisfaction should be perfectly homogenous within groups. When measured through individual perceptions, there is likely to be variability in perceptions of group-level job satisfaction, due to the fact that judgments of group attitudes are subjective and therefore vulnerable to individual perceptual biases. Whereas withingroup variability in individual job satisfaction reflects substantive factors, within-group variability in group-level job satisfaction should reflect measurement error alone. Although a group-level variable should exhibit within-group homogeneity, it should also exhibit between-group variance. That is, groups operating within the same organization should exhibit varying levels of job satisfaction. If this were not the case, job satisfaction would need to be treated as an organizational-level construct rather than as a group-level construct. Demonstrating the existence of between-group variance in group-level job satisfaction is vital to establishing the validity of job satisfaction as a grouplevel construct. There are several reasons for arguing that job satisfaction should be treated as a group-level construct rather than as an organizationallevel construct. First, the theoretical processes that are assumed to underlie the development of a shared level of job satisfaction are mainly group-level processes. Most of the evidence regarding social influence effects and emotional contagion effects has been derived from studies of groups (e.g., Bateman et al., 1987; Forgas, 1990; George, 1990; Schnake & Dumler, 1985; Totterdell et al., 1998). Researchers have focused on small groups because these effects are assumed to occur through social interaction occurring within small groups (Bettenhausen, 1991) in an individuals immediate work environment (R. W. Griffin, 1983). Second, shared working conditions should also contribute to group-level homogeneity rather than organizational-level homogeneity. Most of the work conditions that contribute to job satisfaction vary at the group

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level rather than the organizational level. For instance, coworkers, supervision, availability of resources, autonomy, and the work itself will be consistent for all members of the group but are unlikely to be consistent for all groups within an organization. Finally, ASA processes are likely to contribute to both organizationaland group-level homogeneity. ASA processes were originally identified at the organizational level (Schneider, 1987), but George (1990) made arguments for predicting that these processes will also operate at the group level. Overall, the processes contributing to homogeneity in job attitudes are expected to have a stronger effect at the group level than at the organizational level. Therefore, group-level job satisfaction should exhibit both within-group homogeneity and between-group variance.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE COMPOSITIONAL MODEL FOR GROUP-LEVEL JOB SATISFACTION

The compositional model for group-level job satisfaction has implications for the operationalization of the construct. In some instances, group- and organizational-level variables have been measured by aggregating their individual-level counterparts (e.g., George, 1990; Ostroff, 1992). Given that group-level job satisfaction is hypothesized to differ from the mean level of individual job satisfaction within the group, it would not be appropriate to operationalize group-level job satisfaction by aggregating individual job satisfaction. Group-level job satisfaction should be operationalized directly so that effects unique to the group-level construct can be observed. To measure group-level job satisfaction directly, survey items should be framed with a group referent. That is, instead of asking group members to rate their own level of satisfaction, the question should ask group members to rate the groups level of satisfaction. For instance, group members could be asked to rate their level of agreement with the statement My group is satisfied with its task. If ratings of the groups satisfaction are obtained from each group member, it is necessary to check that group members ratings demonstrate within-group agreement and between-

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group variance before aggregating them to the group level. Alternatively, a consensus method can be employed, whereby the group discusses and consensually arrives at a rating of the groups level of satisfaction. In addition, if the group- and individual-level job satisfaction constructs are perceptually distinguishable, then the empirical relationship between these two variables should be investigated. Group-level job satisfaction and individual job satisfaction should have a reciprocal relationship. In the aggregate, the level of individual job satisfaction within the group should influence group-level job satisfaction. However, once developed, the shared attitude within the group is likely to exert an effect on the attitudes of individuals within the group. Pressures for conformity within the group are likely to bring individual attitudes in line with group attitudes (Georgopoulos, 1965; Jewell & Reitz, 1981). In addition, individuals should find it more satisfying to work in a group with a positive attitude than in a group with a negative attitude, and therefore high levels of group-level job satisfaction should result in higher levels of individual job satisfaction. The reciprocal relationship operates such that the individual reacts to the perceived situation, at the same time acting in such a way as to create and maintain that situation (M. A. Griffin, 1997).

DEFINING GROUP-LEVEL JOB SATISFACTION

Having specified the form that the group-level job satisfaction construct is expected to take, it is appropriate to develop a definition of the construct. Lockes (1976) classic review of the job satisfaction literature was used to identify the defining characteristics of the job satisfaction construct. In this review, Locke defined job satisfaction as a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of ones job or job experiences (p. 1300). Three important elements are contained within this definition. First, the reference to job satisfaction as an emotional state implies that there is an affective component to the job satisfaction construct. Second, the reference to an appraisal process implies that there is a cognitive

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or evaluative component to the job satisfaction construct. Finally, Locke restricted the focus of the construct to the job and job experiences, thus differentiating the domain of job satisfaction from other forms of satisfaction (e.g., quality of life). The three elements of Lockes definition (i.e., affective, cognitive, and job-focused) are contained in many different definitions of individual job satisfaction (e.g., Cook, Hepworth, Wall, & Warr, 1981; Cranny, Smith, & Stone, 1992; Dawis & Lofquist, 1984) and should be reflected in the group-level job satisfaction construct. There is, however, one additional component to the definition of group-level job satisfaction. A group-level variable must, by definition, apply to all members of the group. Therefore, it is necessary to specify that group-level job satisfaction represents an attitude that is shared by all members of the group. This characteristic differentiates group-level job satisfaction from individual-level job satisfaction, which is unique to the individual. Given that the group-level job satisfaction construct represents a shared attitude, its focus is likely to be on aspects of the groups work and work environment that are shared by all group members. Although group members share responsibility for carrying out the groups task, the jobs performed by each group member may vary. In some instances, group members may have responsibilities that fall outside of the scope of the shared group task, which represent part of their job. Therefore, although the groups task is common to the group, individualsjobs may vary and therefore are less likely to be subject to shared attitudes. Because the task represents the element that is common to the group, it is likely to be the focus of the group-level construct. On the basis of this differentiation between group-level job satisfaction and individual-level job satisfaction, the group-level job satisfaction construct was labeled group task satisfaction. Group task satisfaction is defined as the groups shared attitude toward its task and the associated work environment. This definition reflects the three elements of the definition of individual job satisfaction. That is, having been defined as an attitude, group-level job satisfaction should incorporate an emotional reaction and a

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cognitive appraisal (Bagozzi & Burnkrant, 1979; Katz & Stotland, 1959; Zajonc & Markus, 1982), just as individual-level job satisfaction does. The job focus of the job satisfaction construct is reflected in the fact that the groups task and work environment is the subject of the group-level construct. The change of focus, from job to task, does not materially alter the nature of the construct but rather reflects the fact that there is sometimes a shift in the nature of a construct as it is manifested at different levels of analysis (Rousseau, 1985). Throughout this review we will use the terms grouplevel job satisfaction and group task satisfaction interchangeably because we view group task satisfaction as the group-level counterpart to individual job satisfaction.
WHAT IS THE CONTENT DOMAIN OF THE CONSTRUCT?

We have defined group task satisfaction as the groups shared attitude toward its task and its work environment. This definition is broad and potentially incorporates the full range of stimuli that fall within the scope of the groups task and work environment. To specify the content domain of the group task satisfaction construct, it is necessary to identify the features of the groups task and work environment that are most likely to be represented in the groups attitude toward its task and work environment. Three areas of research were reviewed, with the goal of identifying potential facets of the group-level job satisfaction construct. Studies that explored the facet structure of individual job satisfaction provided the first source of data for this review, because it seemed likely that some of the facets associated with individual job satisfaction would also be represented by group task satisfaction. Second, group climate research was reviewed to identify dimensions of the work environment that are described similarly by members of work units. This research was included in the review because similar perceptions of the work environment are likely to underlie shared attitudes toward the work environment. Finally, because many of the facets of individual job satisfaction could potentially be described as predictors of individual job satisfaction

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(e.g., promotional opportunities, leadership, and coworkers), potential facets of group task satisfaction were identified from research investigating predictors of team effectiveness. This review was used to identify facets and variables that appeared across these three areas of research. Only facets and variables that represented aspects of the work environment that were likely to be common to all group members were considered, because shared attitudes are most likely to develop in relation to shared aspects of the work environment. The facets and variables were also evaluated in terms of how proximal they were to the groups experience of work. On this basis, six themes were identified from the review as potential facets of group task satisfaction: satisfaction with the work itself, satisfaction with the groups internal work environment (group processes), satisfaction with supervision or leadership, satisfaction with external agents and the wider organization, satisfaction with rewards, and satisfaction with the physical work environment. It is necessary to recognize that although members of traditional work groups share the same task, internal work environment, supervision, organizational membership, intrinsic rewards, and physical work environment, in other types of teams this might not be the case. For example, in cross-functional teams, members represent different departments or functions and may spend most of their time at work in different work areas (Wellins, Byham, & Dixon, 1994). These group members might experience quite different physical work environments in their day-to-day work, and the physical work environment shared by the group (when the group meets) may have little effect on the groups task satisfaction because of the relatively small amount of time spent in that environment. As another example, in virtual teams, it is rare for group members to meet in person. In these instances, the physical work environment is not shared by the group and the group should not develop a shared attitude toward the physical work environment. Therefore, the facets identified above may not apply to all types of work groups. At this stage, it is not necessary to make definitive statements about the dimensional structure of the group task satisfaction con-

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struct. The purpose of this review was to identify features of the groups task and work environment that were likely to represent a focus of the group-level job satisfaction construct, with the goal of delineating the content domain of the construct.

DIFFERENTIATING GROUP TASK SATISFACTION FROM RELATED GROUP CONSTRUCTS

Having developed a definition for the construct of group task satisfaction, the issue of discriminant validity can be considered. It is necessary to be able to demonstrate that group task satisfaction can be differentiated from the recognized group constructs in this research area. Morale, group cohesion, group potency, group climate, and group affective tone were identified as group-level constructs that were fairly similar to the job satisfaction construct and that might therefore be considered to adequately represent the group-level job satisfaction construct. To illustrate the differentiation between group task satisfaction and these group constructs, each construct was evaluated in relation to the defining characteristics of group task satisfaction identified above.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION VERSUS MORALE

The first reason for rejecting morale as the group-level counterpart to individual job satisfaction is because it is not clear whether morale represents a group- or an individual-level construct. For instance, Leighton (1943) viewed morale as a group characteristic, defining it as the capacity of any group of people to pull together consistently for a common purpose. However, Ingraham and Manning (1981) defined morale as a psychological state of mind, characterized by a sense of well-being based on confidence in self and in primary groups (p. 6), thus clearly treating the construct as an individual characteristic. Several other researchers also defined morale as an individual-level attribute (e.g., Guba, 1958; Woods, 1944), and in a recent review, Manning (1991) concluded that because the majority of researchers support the conceptualization

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of morale as an individual attribute, it should be regarded in this way. The fact that morale is often treated as an individual-level construct is one reason why this construct would not provide a good representation of the group-level job satisfaction variable. The construct of group task satisfaction has been proposed so that grouplevel job satisfaction can be assessed directly rather than through individual job satisfaction. It is therefore critical that group task satisfaction can be clearly identified as a group-level construct. Furthermore, although morale may incorporate the affective component associated with job satisfaction, it is not an attitudinal variable, and it does not appear to focus specifically on the groups task or the work environment. Motowidlo et al. (1976) reviewed the literature and concluded that most definitions of morale make reference to the concepts of satisfaction, motivation, and group membership. Rousseau (1985) compared individual job satisfaction and morale and differentiated between them, arguing that although both constructs have an affective component, only morale implies the existence of group cohesion and identification. Locke (1976) argued that morale tends to be future oriented and is dependent on a sense of common purpose and goals, whereas job satisfaction tends to be based on an individuals appraisal of his or her job situation in the past and present. Therefore, in addition to the fact that morale is not clearly defined as a group-level construct, the construct has a different focus than the construct of job satisfaction.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION VERSUS GROUP COHESION

Cohesion has been defined as a dynamic process that is reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or for the satisfaction of member affective needs (Carron, Brawley, & Widmeyer, 1998, p. 213). Although cohesion is usually treated as a group attribute, it has traditionally lacked the work focus that is central to the construct of job satisfaction. More recently, however, researchers have begun to distinguish between social (or interpersonal) cohesion and task cohesion (Carron, Widmeyer, & Brawley,

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1985; Widmeyer, Brawley, & Carron, 1985; Zaccaro, Craig, & Quin, 1991; Zaccaro & Lowe, 1988). The construct of task cohesion embodies the task focus associated with the construct of group task satisfaction, but as currently defined, task cohesion is specifically concerned with the groups shared commitment to achieving the groups goals and objectives (Carron et al., 1985; Zaccaro & Lowe, 1988). It therefore lacks the emotional and evaluative element that is an important component of the job satisfaction construct. The relationship between group task satisfaction and task cohesion may therefore be similar to the relationship between organizational commitment and individual job satisfaction (Bateman & Strasser, 1984; Curry et al., 1986; Farkas & Tetrick, 1989; Lance, 1991; Williams & Hazer, 1986). That is, the groups commitment to achieving its task (represented by task cohesion) could either reflect the groups attitude toward the task or serve to engender a more positive attitude toward the groups task. However, the construct of group task satisfaction does not appear to be redundant with either the construct of group or task cohesion.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION VERSUS GROUP POTENCY

Group potency and collective efficacy are both concerned with the perceived effectiveness of the group. Potency is the collective belief in a group that it can be effective (Guzzo et al., 1993), whereas collective efficacy represents the groups (or organizations) collective belief that it can successfully perform a specific task (Lindsley et al., 1995, p. 648). Like task cohesion, group potency and collective efficacy embody the work focus that is central to the construct of job satisfaction. However, group potency and collective efficacy are defined as beliefs rather than attitudes, and therefore they do not capture the affective component of the job satisfaction construct. In addition, group potency and collective efficacy focus specifically on the groups effectiveness rather than on the nature of the groups task and work environment. Consequently, measures of group potency and collective efficacy evaluate the group rather than the task or the work environment. For this reason, it is possible for a

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group to experience a high level of potency or efficacy while simultaneously evaluating the task or the work environment negatively (or vice versa). The independence of group task satisfaction and group potency is supported by recent research that has found that group potency and aggregated individual job satisfaction were only weakly correlated (r = .29, p < .05) (Kirkman & Rosen, 1999). Group task satisfaction can therefore be differentiated from both group potency and collective efficacy.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION VERSUS GROUP CLIMATE

Individual job satisfaction and organizational climate have always been closely linked. Measures of organizational climate and job satisfaction have been found to show significant content overlap and moderate to strong correlations (Johannesson, 1973; LaFollette & Sims, 1975; Pritchard & Karasick, 1973). In addition, the concept of climate has been applied to groups as well as to organizations (Howe, 1977; Powell & Butterfield, 1978; Schneider, 1975). Given the content overlap between climate measures and job satisfaction measures, and the fact that climate can be treated as a group attribute, the climate construct might adequately represent job satisfaction at the group level. However, to date, investigations of group climate have focused on dimensions such as support, respect for rules, innovation, cooperation, openness, friendliness, and warmth (James & Sells, 1981; Piero, Gonzalez-Roma, & Ramos, 1992; Totterdell et al., 1998). These dimensions represent qualities of the group rather than qualities of the groups task or work environment. In addition, the climate and satisfaction constructs can be differentiated because the former is a descriptive variable and the latter is an attitudinal variable. Research has shown that this distinction is substantive respondents can differ in their level of satisfaction even though they describe the climate similarly (Lyon & Ivancevich, 1974; Schneider & Snyder, 1975). Therefore, group-level job satisfaction and group-level climate can be differentiated both by their focus (the environment within the group vs. the groups work environment) and their nature (descriptive vs. attitudinal).

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GROUP TASK SATISFACTION VERSUS GROUP AFFECTIVE TONE

The concept of group affective tone was introduced by George (1990), who defined it as consistent or homogenous affective reactions within a group (p. 108). A closely related construct is group mood (Bartel & Saavedra, 2000), which represents the shared mood of work groups. Group affective tone and group mood differ from the concept of group task satisfaction in two respects. First, group affective tone and group mood are affective constructs, and as such, they do not incorporate the evaluative or cognitive component of the job satisfaction construct. Second, whereas group task satisfaction is concerned with the groups attitude toward its work and work environment, group affective tone and group mood do not have a specific focus. George (1990) and Bartel and Saavedra (2000) measured group affective tone and group mood, respectively, in work groups in an organizational setting. However, these constructs do not seem to be limited to the work environment, and even within the work environment, a groups affective tone or mood may not derive from the groups task or work environment. Therefore, whereas the group task satisfaction construct is specifically task-focused, group affective tone and group mood are not limited to affect that derives from a groups task or work environment. The above review demonstrates that group task satisfaction can be differentiated from existing recognized group-level constructs. The distinguishing characteristics of group task satisfaction and the other four group constructs are summarized in Table 1.

RELATIONSHIPS INVOLVING GROUP TASK SATISFACTION

The theoretical development of the group task satisfaction construct has progressed to the point where it is possible to develop some hypotheses about the pattern of relationships the construct should exhibit. To provide a structure for this discussion, the relationships associated with group task satisfaction are grouped according to the type of variable involvedindividual-level,

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TABLE 1: Conceptual Distinctions Between Constructs Level Construct Individual Group Organization Distinguishing Features Attitudinal with affective and cognitive components; focused on job/task and work environment Organizational Affective; based on sense morale of well-being and common purpose Affective; reflects group processes Belief; focused on capability to perform task Organizational Descriptive; focused on climate work environment Affective; may derive from events outside of the work environment

Job Individual job Group task satisfaction satisfaction satisfaction

Morale

Individual morale Attraction to the group

Group morale Group cohesion

Cohesion Efficacy

Self-efficacy Group potency/ collective efficacy Psychological Group climate climate Job affect Group affective tone

Climate Affect

organizational-level, or group-level. As group task satisfaction is expected to have its strongest relationships with other group-level variables, the group-level variables are broken down into subcategories, specifically, group processes, group attributes, task characteristics, and group outcomes. Relationships between group task satisfaction and these group-level variables are discussed first.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION AND GROUP PROCESSES

Numerous researchers have identified a relationship between the level of job satisfaction within a group and the quality of group processes (Campion, Papper, & Medsker, 1996; Gladstein, 1984; Hagen & Burch, 1985; Keyton, 1991; V. D. Wall, Galanes, & Love, 1987; Witteman, 1991). The relationship between group processes and job satisfaction is likely to be equally strong, if not stronger, when group-level job satisfaction is measured directly, because the quality of the groups processes will affect the groups experience

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of carrying out its task. In addition, the internal environment of the group was identified as a potential facet of group task satisfaction. For this reason, group processes may be as important as the task itself in determining the level of group task satisfaction. Whereas group processes are likely to affect group task satisfaction, group task satisfaction should also affect group processes. Hackman (1976) argued that shared commitment to the groups task would improve group processes because individuals are committed to facilitating the groups task activities. A high level of group task satisfaction indicates that the group as a whole has a relatively positive attitude toward the work and the work environment. Under these conditions, group members should be motivated to engage in more cooperative behaviors and foster better teamwork. However, when attitudes toward the work and the work environment are negative, the dissatisfaction within the group may lead to conflict between group members. Therefore, the relationship between group task satisfaction and group processes should be reciprocal and strong.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION AND GROUP ATTRIBUTES

Several other group attributes should be related to group task satisfaction. Group affective tone, group cohesion, group potency, and group climate were identified as being conceptually similar to the group task satisfaction construct. It follows that these variables are likely to be closely related to group task satisfaction. For instance, group task satisfaction and group affective tone should be closely related because the affect characteristically experienced in a situation (group affective tone) is likely to both influence and be influenced by the attitude toward that situation (group task satisfaction). Group climate should contribute to group task satisfaction because the climate of the group forms part of the groups internal work environment. Group potency should also contribute to group task satisfaction because if the group does not feel capable of carrying out the task successfully, it is unlikely to have a positive attitude toward the task. Similarly, if a group does not have a sense of unity or togetherness (i.e., if the group has low cohesion), the group is

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less likely to have a positive attitude toward a task that requires group members to work together. In general, it is likely that any group-level variables that are known to have a relationship with individual job satisfaction will also have a relationship with group task satisfaction. This proposition is based on the assumption that the group-level job satisfaction construct will usually have a more direct relationship with other group constructs than the individual-level job satisfaction construct. Some of the group-level constructs that have previously been linked with individual job satisfaction are group size (Campion, Medsker, & Higgs, 1993; Mullen, Symons, Hu, & Salas, 1989), group heterogeneity (Schoenecker, Martell, & Michlitsch, 1996), leadership style (Weiner, 1998), group status (Ellemers, Knippenberg, & Wilke, 1990), and team empowerment (Kirkman & Rosen, 1999). Each of these group-level variables should also be related to group task satisfaction.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION AND TASK CHARACTERISTICS

Just as job characteristics have been shown to affect individual job satisfaction, task characteristics are likely to affect group task satisfaction. Some task characteristics have been identified as intrinsically more satisfying than other task characteristics. For instance, Hackman (1987) argued that a group task offering challenge and variety, with significant outcomes, should be more motivating than a task involving routine preprogrammed work with no opportunity for feedback. In support of this view, Campion et al. (1993) found that ratings of participation, task variety, and task significance were significantly related to group memberssatisfaction, although task identity and self-management were not. In addition, T. D. Wall et al. (1986) and Cordery et al. (1991) have conducted field studies that have shown that redesigning group tasks can result in increased job satisfaction. On the basis of this research, task characteristics are expected to have an effect on the level of group task satisfaction. In general, well-defined tasks with skill variety, autonomy, and meaningful and observable outcomes should be associated with higher group

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task satisfaction than tasks without these characteristics. It is hypothesized that task characteristics will also have an indirect effect on group task satisfaction due to the fact that task characteristics have been shown to affect group processes (Collins & Guetzkow, 1964; Hackman & Morris, 1975; Sorenson, 1971) and group performance (Collins & Guetzkow, 1964; Hackman, 1968; Weinstein & Holzbach, 1973). Therefore, the total effect of task characteristics on group task satisfaction is likely to be strong.
POTENTIAL OUTCOMES OF GROUP TASK SATISFACTION

Many important outcomes have been linked with the job satisfaction construct, including performance (e.g., Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; Petty et al., 1984), absenteeism (e.g., ChadwickJones et al., 1982; Steers & Rhodes, 1978), organizational commitment (e.g., Bateman & Strasser, 1984; Curry et al., 1986), turnover (Carson & Spector, 1987; Judge, 1993), stress (e.g., Judge, Boudreau, & Bretz, 1994), and organizational citizenship behavior (e.g., Bateman & Organ, 1983; Smith et al., 1983). At least some of these relationships should carry over to the group level, particularly where these outcome variables have been found to exhibit grouplevel variance. Performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and absenteeism have all been treated as group-level constructs in previous research (Hill, 1982; Markham & McKee, 1995; Podsakoff et al., 1997), so these variables seem most likely to be related to group task satisfaction. Group performance. The individual-level relationship between satisfaction and performance has been the subject of a great deal of research. Researchers have argued both that satisfaction will affect performance and that performance will affect satisfaction. For example, a more satisfied employee may be willing to expend greater effort and therefore be more productive. Alternatively, performance may engender feelings of satisfaction by generating intrinsic and extrinsic rewards (Lawler & Porter, 1967). Despite the intuitive appeal of these arguments, the empirical evidence indicates that the relationship between satisfaction and performance is

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fairly weak. Meta-analyses and reviews suggest that the correlation between satisfaction and performance lies somewhere between .14 and .41 (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; Petty et al., 1984; Vroom, 1964). The arguments that have been given for expecting a relationship between satisfaction and performance at the individual level apply equally well at the group level. For example, groups that perform well tend to receive reinforcement (either in terms of status and praise or material rewards) and should therefore experience higher group task satisfaction. On the other hand, satisfaction may lead to performance because groups with a positive attitude toward their task should be more willing to expend effort and should therefore achieve a higher level of performance. However, at the group level, additional factors come into play that may strengthen the relationship between satisfaction and performance. Studies comparing the performance of groups versus noninteracting individuals have shown that in some instances, group performance exceeds the level that would be predicted on the basis of group members abilities and skills, and in other instances, group performance falls below this level (Hill, 1982; Salazar, 1995). The difference between group performance and aggregated individual performance has been attributed to phenomena such as social facilitation (Zajonc, 1965), social loafing (Latane, Williams, & Harkins, 1979), groupthink (Janis, 1971), and group norms (Bettenhausen & Murnighan, 1991). More generally, the difference can be attributed to the role of group processes in determining group performance. Group performance is dependent on the ability of the group to manage and coordinate group member inputs successfully, that is, on the quality of the groups processes (Collins & Guetzkow, 1964; Sorenson, 1971; Steiner, 1972). A high level of group task satisfaction should motivate group members to subsume their individual needs and desires to group goals and needs, thus reducing group conflict and promoting cooperation and teamwork. Therefore, the relationship between satisfaction and performance should be stronger at the group level than at the individual level due to the mediating effect of group processes.

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Organizational citizenship behavior. Organizational citizenship behaviors (Organ, 1988) represent another aspect of performance that may be related to group task satisfaction. Organizational citizenship behaviors are less constrained by situational factors and individual abilities than task performance (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Organ, 1988), so there is greater potential for attitudinal factors to determine the level of organizational citizenship behavior. This theory has been supported by studies that have reliably found a significant relationship between individual job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Moorman, 1993; Shotland & Traver, 1996; Smith et al., 1983; Williams & Andersen, 1991). The group is likely to be a particularly important determinant of organizational citizenship behaviors. Many of the organizational citizenship behaviors identified by researchers are directed toward coworkers, and most coworker relationships occur within the primary work group (George & Bettenhausen, 1990). As organizational citizenship behavior has been shown to be determined by social exchange perceptions (Bateman & Organ, 1983), groups are likely to develop normative levels of organizational citizenship behavior. In addition, empirical studies support the existence of group-level effects on citizenship behavior (George, 1990, 1995; Podsakoff et al., 1997; see also Karambayya, 1989, cited in Podsakoff et al., 1997). For example, Podsakoff et al. (1997) have found that group membership accounts for approximately 58% of the variance in organizational citizenship behavior. There are therefore theoretical and empirical grounds for predicting that group task satisfaction will be related to the level of organizational citizenship behavior within a group. Absenteeism. Another important outcome variable that has been frequently linked with the job satisfaction construct is absenteeism. In the main, investigations of the relationship between absenteeism and job satisfaction at the individual-level have produced only weak and inconsistent findings (Chadwick-Jones et al., 1982; Hackett & Guion, 1985; Nicholson, Brown, & Chadwick-Jones,

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1976). However, more recently, researchers have discovered that departments, occupational groups, and even nations display characteristic absenteeism profiles (Chadwick-Jones et al., 1982; Markham & McKee, 1995; Steers & Rhodes, 1978). These patterns in absenteeism behavior suggest that absenteeism is, at least in part, socially determinedthe product of absenteeism norms or absenteeism cultures (Chadwick-Jones et al., 1982). Absenteeism norms are thought to regulate individual absenteeism by providing guidelines as to the appropriate level of absenteeism and rules for determining when absenteeism is justified (Chadwick-Jones et al., 1982; Johns, 1994). These rules may be relatively tolerant or intolerant of voluntary absenteeism. Consequently, it is important to identify the factor or factors that determine whether absenteeism norms will be directed toward inhibiting or encouraging absenteeism within the group. Group task satisfaction may be one such factor. The rationale for predicting a relationship between group task satisfaction and absenteeism norms is based on the same premise as the hypothesized relationship between group task satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior. That is, groups with a positive attitude toward their task and their work environments should be more likely to develop norms that support positive task behaviors whether these behaviors involve helping out fellow workers and the organization or avoiding unnecessary absenteeism. This proposition is supported by empirical research that has shown a significant negative relationship between the mean level of job satisfaction within the group and the mean level of absenteeism within the group (Hunt et al., 1998; Kerr et al., 1951; Mann & Baumgartel, 1952). These findings support the existence of a relationship between group task satisfaction and group absenteeism norms, as the average level of individual job satisfaction within a group is likely to be closely related to the level of group task satisfaction. In summary, it is proposed that group task satisfaction should be correlated with group performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and absenteeism norms. These variables have been explored as outcomes of individual job satisfaction. However, because all of these variables exhibit group-level variance, they are equally (if not more) likely to be related to group task satisfaction.

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Furthermore, if group task satisfaction is related to group performance, citizenship behavior, absenteeism, and group processes, then this construct should serve as an indicator of team viability. Many models of team effectiveness identify the long-term viability of the team, or the capacity of the team to work together in the future, as a component of team effectiveness (Cohen, Ledford, & Preitzer, 1996; Cummings, 1978; Hackman & Morris, 1975; Hackman & Walton, 1986; Sundstrom, De Meuse, & Futrell, 1990). In the past, researchers have used group member satisfaction to represent the viability component of team effectiveness (e.g., Campion et al., 1993, 1996; Cohen et al., 1996; Gladstein, 1984), but as it is directly linked to the group, group task satisfaction should provide a better measure of team viability.
GROUP TASK SATISFACTION AND INDIVIDUAL ATTRIBUTES

When we look at individual-level variables, three types of variables can be identified that are likely to have a relationship with group task satisfaction. First, variables that affect the groups ability to perform its task should have an effect on group task satisfaction. These variables include both task-specific skills and interpersonal skills. Previous research has shown that task-specific skills contribute to the level of group potency (Guzzo et al., 1993), whereas interpersonal skills affect the quality of group processes (Hackman, 1987). However, both types of variables should affect the groups task satisfaction because they should help determine whether the groups experience of performing the task is a positive or a negative one. If group members do not have the requisite knowledge or ability to perform the task, the group should develop a more negative attitude toward its task. Similarly, if group members lack the interpersonal skills required to manage their group processes, the group will experience inefficiency and conflict and should ultimately develop a more negative attitude toward the groups task. Stevens and Campion (1994, 1999) have derived and validated a selection test that assesses a range of knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required by individuals if they are to function effectively in teams. These include knowledge, skills, and ability

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for conflict resolution; collaborative problem solving; communication; goal setting and performance management; and planning and task coordination. Each of these variables should be positively related to group task satisfaction. The second type of individual-level variable that should be investigated in relation to group task satisfaction is personality variables. In particular, negative affectivity and preference for group work (versus working alone) should affect group task satisfaction. Negative affectivity represents an individuals propensity to experience negative emotions across a wide range of situations (Watson & Clark, 1984) and has been found to be a very strong predictor of individual job satisfaction (Brief, Butcher, & Roberson, 1995; Cropanzano et al., 1993; Necowitz & Roznowski, 1994; Staw et al., 1986). It was therefore predicted that the average level of negative affectivity within the group would influence the groups task satisfaction, such that high negative affectivity would tend to be associated with low group task satisfaction. Employees who prefer to work in groups should be more satisfied and effective in groups than employees who prefer to work alone (Campion et al., 1993; Hackman & Oldham, 1980; Shaw, Duffy, & Stark, 2000). Campion et al. (1993) and Shaw et al. (2000) have reported a positive relationship between group member preference for teamwork and group member satisfaction. It seems likely that this finding will generalize such that, in the aggregate, group members preference for teamwork will affect the groups task satisfaction. Many other personality characteristics are likely to be related to group task satisfaction, at least in the aggregate. For example, Barrick, Stewart, Neubert, and Mounts (1998) research has shown that the mean level of cognitive ability, extraversion, and emotional stability within the team predicted the viability of the team or the likelihood that the team would stay together in the future. Given that group task satisfaction should be affected by the quality of the groups processes, these personality characteristics are likely to have an effect on the groups task satisfaction. Other potentially important personality variables include positive affectivity (Staw & Ross, 1985), collectivistic versus individualistic orientation

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(Earley, 1993), the tendency to evaluate oneself positively (Judge et al., 2000), locus of control (Spector & OConnell, 1994), agreeableness (Neuman & Wright, 1999), and conscientiousness (Neuman & Wright, 1999). The third type of individual-level variable that should be related to group task satisfaction is work-related attitudes. The most important variable in this category is individual job satisfaction. As stated earlier, group task satisfaction and individual job satisfaction are expected to have a strong reciprocal relationship. However, other job-related attitudes that have been shown to be related to individual job satisfaction, such as organizational commitment (Farkas & Tetrick, 1989; Lance, 1991; Williams & Hazer, 1986) and psychological empowerment (Spreitzer, Kizilos, & Nason, 1997), may also have a relationship with group task satisfaction.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS AND GROUP TASK SATISFACTION

Organizational characteristics are also likely to have an effect on group task satisfaction. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty involved in collecting data from a large number of organizations, most research investigating organizational characteristics has tended to look at the association between individuals perceptions of the organization and various outcome variables (Payne, Fineman, & Wall, 1976). Although this research has demonstrated a relationship between perceived organizational characteristics and individual job satisfaction (Batlis, 1980; Johnson & McIntye, 1998; LaFollette & Sims, 1975; Muchinksy, 1977; Porter & Lawler, 1965), the relationship may simply reflect the effect of job satisfaction on perceptions of the environment. However, in the absence of other information, this research does suggest some potentially important organizational attributes that should be relevant to group task satisfaction. These include the organizations reward structure (James & Sells, 1981; Pokorney, 1998), the opportunities for growth and advancement (James & Sells, 1981), the style of organizational leadership (Skogstad & Einarsen, 1999), the hierarchical structure of the organization (Por-

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ter & Lawler, 1965) and, more generally, the organizational climate (Friedlander & Margulies, 1969; Gunter & Furnham, 1996). It was hypothesized that perceptions of these organizational characteristics would be related to perceptions of group task satisfaction. However, given the limited research in this area, it was not possible to make specific predictions about the nature of the relationship between group task satisfaction and these organizational characteristics. These relationships may reflect the effect of organizational characteristics on group task satisfaction, the effect of group task satisfaction on perceptions of the organization, or the effect of a third variable such as individual job satisfaction.

DIRECTIONS FOR RESEARCH

The idea that individuals working in groups will develop a shared attitude toward the groups task has important practical implications. It suggests that to bring about sustainable change in individual job attitudes, it may be necessary to target interventions at the group. Furthermore, if individuals job attitudes are indeed affected by the groups task satisfaction, the individuals level of job satisfaction should be affected by changing group membership. When individuals move from one group to another, there should be some shift in the individuals job attitudes to bring them in line with the attitudes of the new group. If this proposition is correct, managers would need to be aware of the implications of assigning a satisfied individual to work in a group that is known to have a negative attitude toward its work. One way of investigating this question would be to track change in individuals job attitudes associated with change in group membership. If group task satisfaction has an effect on individual job satisfaction, a dissatisfied employee should become more satisfied when he or she moves into a group with a high level of task satisfaction. Conversely, a satisfied employee should become less satisfied when he or she joins a group that has a lower level of group task satisfaction than his or her previous group. Another direction for this research would be to investigate whether certain individual characteristics (such as field independence)

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buffer group members from the effect of negative group task satisfaction, and whether other individual characteristics (such as need for affiliation) make individuals more sensitive to the effects of group task satisfaction (Stone, 1992). However, the first priority for empirical research is to determine whether job satisfaction can be meaningfully treated as a grouplevel construct, that is, whether group members ratings of group task satisfaction exhibit within-group agreement, between-group variance, and a theoretically consistent pattern of relationships with other variables. Hopefully, this review will stimulate empirical research that measures group-level job satisfaction directly rather than employing aggregated individual job satisfaction as a surrogate measure of group task satisfaction. It is through investigating new group-level constructs like group task satisfaction that we have the potential to explain additional variance in outcomes and to develop a better understanding of individuals experience of working in groups.

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Claire M. Mason recently submitted her doctorate at the University of Queensland and is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Her primary research interest is in the study of group-level attitudes and emotions. Mark A. Griffin is a principal research fellow in the School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He received his Ph.D. in industrial/ organizational psychology from Pennsylvania State University. His primary research interest concerns the link between workplace characteristics and individual well-being and performance. His research addresses the methodological and practical implications of questions such as the effect of organizational climate on individual affect and the effect of individual performance on workplace safety outcomes.