Global competition and its resultant product proliferation have left a multitude of organizations scrambling to deal with their oft‐chaotic environment. Many organizations have responded to the changing nature of international business by developing new cooperative forms (joint ventures, self‐managed work teams, virtual corporations, etc.). The success of these relatively new organizational forms depends on clear communication between co‐workers. However, business practitioners and theoreticians have insufficiently researched the question “How do we group people to improve communication and performance?” This study seeks to fill that void by analyzing therelationship between individual cognitive flexibility, cooperative context, and communication competence. Results show that groups comprising individuals with similar cognitive processes outperform diverse thinking groups. Additionally, collaborative exercises appear to be an important precursor to the establishment of perceptions of communication competence. Recommendations for managers include front loading activities with collaborative exercises and evaluating cognitive flexibility prior to assigning individuals to groups.
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