Groups form and disband for many reasons. In existing groups, new members join (with varying lengths of time elapsing before the group accepts them), some members leave, some are disciplined (either formally by the organisation or informally by the group), some are expelled and, sometimes, past members re-join. Normally, we might ask why a particular group was formed and why an individual wanted, or was selected, to join it and what the selection or joining criteria were.

Here, we are concerned with the small groups or teams upon which most organisations rely. As such, a group (including its purpose and joining criteria) that may be of interest to an in-house accident investigation or investigator is ‘known’ and already in existence; notwithstanding that its membership may occasionally, even regularly, change or undergo some form of disruption. But, what effect can change or disruption have on……

  • one or more individual members of the group;
  • the group as a whole;
  • the performance of one or more individuals;
  • the performance of the group as a whole?

To explore these questions, we will first consider Fig. T1. below and…..

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