Chapter 7- Groups and Teamwork
What Is a Group?
A group consists of two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common
May be formal or informal
Why is group membership important?
o Groups exert influence on us.
o Groups provide a context in which we are able to exert influence on others.
Groups require a fair amount of negotiation and trial-and-error before individual members
begin to function as a true group.
What affects Group Processes and Effectiveness?
Stages – 2 models
Group Structure and Its Consequences
Group structure refers to the characteristics of the stable social organization of a group, the
way a group is “put together.”
The most basic structural characteristics along which groups vary are size and member
Other structural characteristics are group norms, roles, status, and cohesiveness.
Group Size, Satisfaction, Performance
Larger groups – less satisfaction with group membership
o Fewer chances to work on and develop friendships
o May increase conflict and dissension.
o Many are inhibited about participating.
o More difficult to identify with the success and accomplishments of the group.
The type of task and how performance is defined influences the relationship between group size
Group Size and Process Losses Problems of:
o motivating and coordinating larger groups.
o communication and decision making.
For additive and disjunctive tasks, larger groups might perform better up a point but at
increasing costs to the efficiency of individual members.
Performance on purely conjunctive tasks should decrease as group size increases.
Diversity of Group Membership
Communication and cohesiveness
Forming, storming, and norming
Once developed, can be equally cohesive and productive.
Sometimes perform better when the task requires cognitive, creativity-demanding tasks,
Negative effects of “surface diversity” in age, gender, or race seem to wear off over time.
“Deep diversity” in attitudes toward work or how to accomplish a goal can damage
Collective expectations that members of social units have regarding the behaviour of each
They are codes of conduct that specify the standards against which we evaluate the
appropriateness of behaviour.
Most normative influence is unconscious.