Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, volume 12, 1993.


This article examines potential parallels between using teams in the workplace and in the classroom and is based on the assumption that educators may be able to learn a great deal from industry's successes using high-performing teams. This article (1) outlines the key attributes of groups affecting their ability to engage in productive work, (2) identifies management practices that have consistently resulted in high performance teams in the workplace, (3) compares these practices with the prescriptions of three widely used but different instructional approaches to group-based learning: incorporating a group assignment as a supplement to a predominantly lecture-based course, Cooperative Learning and Team Learning, and (4) discusses the implications for using small group-based instructional strategies in higher education.