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date: 25 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes how our evolutionary history as group-living and culture-using animals might have shaped our general expectations about how we should be treated when acting as members of a group. These expectations, rooted in millions of years of group-living, when cohesion and group performance were critical to survival, probably shaped the way employees evaluate the culture of their organizations today—evaluations that impact on their motivation, engagement, and performance. The authors’ argument suggests that industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology has emphasized the study of individual differences in performance to the neglect of differences in group or team performance. This has blinded the field to the problem of organizational effectiveness, which is the ultimate criterion for evaluating the contributions of individuals, especially leaders. An analysis of collective performance underscores the central role of culture as a means for reconciling the inevitable conflicts between individual and group interests.

Keywords: climate, engagement, evolutionary theory, leadership, organizational culture, socioanalytic theory

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