Hans Werner Bierhoff Universität Bochum, Günter F. Müller Universität Landau

This study examined the question how feelings mediate cooperative support in temporary work units, i.e. project groups. Tests and questionnaires were administered on three occasions during projects. Data were gathered from 150 undergraduate students who worked together in 39 project groups. Required tasks were to plan, conduct, analyze, and report an empirical study within a period of 3 to 4 months. The groups were led by members of the educational staff who monitored the progress of task accomplishment. It was established that cooperative support within the groups was strongly influenced by positive mood and group atmosphere, thus confirming the conceptual framework of organizational spontaneity. Implications for research and application are discussed.