Psychology 3694F-001

Teams and Work Groups in Organizations

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


This course examines and assesses psychological research on workgroups/teams. Particular attention is paid to issues associated with team composition, team processes, individual vs. group performance, and the organizational context in which teams operate. Methodological/statistical issues associated with workgroup/team research are given considerable emphasis.

Antirequisites: The former Psychology 365F if taken in 1998 or between 2002 and 2005; the former Psychology 365G if taken in 2000 or 2007

Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.

Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E or both Psychology 2800E and 2810

3 seminar hours, 0.5 course

Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


Instructor: Dr. Natalie Allen         

Office and Phone Number: Room 8412, Social Science Centre

Office Hours: By appointment


Teaching Assistant:                                     

Time and Location of Classes: Monday 9:30 am  – 12:20 pm Room 2036, Social Science Centre

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


Package of custom readings for Psychology 3694F available from Western Bookstore.

All other reading materials on OWL.


This course is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to gain a solid knowledge of psychological issues associated workgroup and team composition, , processes, and outcomes.  The student will also become familiar with statistical and methodological issues that are of relevance to the empirical study of teams.  

Please note.   Students are responsible for reading the assigned material prior to class.



By the end of this course, the successful student will have demonstrated that s/he can:

  1.  In clear and accessible “lay person” writing, prepare a document that summarizes the hypothesis, procedures, and main findings reported  in a published empirical psychological research study that examines some phenomenon associated with team composition/design, team processes, and/or team outcomes
  2. Correctly identify, proficiently explain. and/or describe, under test conditions:
  1. a) key methodological, statistical, and substantive principles underlying how empirically-oriented psychological researchers assess the constructs they study
  2. b) key concepts and findings from the body of research covered in the course.
  3.  In an essay, accurately describe theory and research findings gleaned from the psychological study of a particular teamwork phenomenon (or hypothesis) and, in so doing, compare the results and design of multiple studies and summarize in both scientific and lay language what has been learned from this body of research
  4. As part of a small student project group: (a) participate in the planning and delivery of a clear, oral presentation describing a particular psychological phenomenon drawn from psychological research on teams, and, (b) answer questions regarding the presentation that are the posed by the class and instructor during and /or following the presentation.



NOTE:  Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations (, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%.

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail

Course Test                               35 %

Class Participation                     10 %                      

Research Translation                 12.5 %           

Team Project & Presentation     20 %

Research Essay Proposal          2.5%      

Research Essay                         20 %


 Research Translation             October 2 

 Research Essay Proposal       October 30

 Course Examination              November 13

 Team Project Presentations    December 4

 Research Essay Due              Friday, December 8


September 11 & 18       Introduction to Course / Overview of Team Research


Readings                                  Williams & Allen (2008)

                                                 Allen & Hecht (2004a)                       

                                                West, Brodbeck, & Richter (2004)

                                                Allen & Hecht (2004b)

                                                Richter et al (2011)                                            

                                                Hackman (1998)                        


September 25                         Levels, Emergence, & Other Pesky Issues


Readings                                  Klein & Kozlowski (2000)

                                                Allen & O’Neill (2015)

                                                 Hecht, Allen, Klammer & Kelly (2002)


October 2                     Team Contexts & Forms


                                       Driskell, Salas, & Driskell (2017)

                                        Hughes et al. (2016)  


                                        Discussion of project teams, virtual teams & “extreme” teams                                                   

                                                    Essay Discussions & Team Project Work


October 16                     Team Composition & Selection Issues


Readings                                  Allen & West (2005)

                                                Barrick, Stewart, Neubert & Mount (1998)

                                                Harrison, Price, & Bell (1998) 

                                                Bell, Villado, Lukasik, Belau, & Briggs (2011)



October 23                        Team Design Issues       (Goal-setting / Trust)

                                                 Haslam, Wegge, & Postmes (2009)  

                                                  Kleingeld, van Mierlo, & Arends (2011)                                                

                                                   Dirks (2000)

                                                  Breuer, Huffmeier, & Hertel (2016)


October 30                        Team Process Issues      (Cohesion / Conflict) 


Readings                                    Barrick, Stewart, Neubert & Mount (1998)   (revisited)   

                                                     Castano, Watts, & Tekleab (2013)         

                                                     Fahr, Lee, & Farh (2010)

                                                     O’Neill, Allen, & Hastings (2013)  


November 6                              Leading & Rewarding Teams


Readings                                  Boies, Lvina, & Martens  (2010)

                                                 Wang, Waldman, & Zhang, (2014        

                                                Pearsall, Christian & Ellis (2010)

                                                 Garbers & Konradt,  (2014)                                                                                            


November 13                Course Test        


November 20                 Research Essay Updates / Team Project Work 


November 27                 Research Essay Updates / Team Project Presentations


December 4                  Team Project Presentations



Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.