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Collective climates: a test of their socio-psychological significance

By M. Patterson, R. Payne and M. West


This paper contributes to the debate in the literature on organizational climate concerning the conceptual and empirical meaning of aggregation of the perceptions of individuals. Use of the mean has been criticised because it cloaks the wide variations in perceptions that surround it. A recent move to demonstrate the existence of groups of people who do see climate in a similar way has used clustering techniques to identify such "collectives". Payne (1990) questioned the validity of this approach on the grounds that such collectives may not represent meaningful socio-psychological groups. The present paper is based on the view that meaningful collectives are most likely to emerge when people work together on common tasks and in relatively confined physical spaces. Despite finding an organization where such conditions exist the clustering technique largely fails to identify meaningful social collectives. The implications of these findings are discussed

Topics: HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 1992
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Provided by: LSE Research Online
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