Chapter 7 lecture notes

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Published on 1 Jun 2011
Management (MGH)
of 2
x Why care about groups/teams?
o organizations have been flattening
o because of that, organizations are putting people into groups/teams more often
o there are many reasons for that:
teams can reach decisions and customers quickly
reduces the need for hierarchy and managers—increases efficiency, communication, and so on
provides autonomy/responsibility to employees—leads to job satisfaction and to empowerment
Group Dynamics
x study of how groups are formed
x how group members relate to each other within the group
x how group members relate to other groups
x how group members relate to the organization as a whole
a) social interaction Æ verbal/non-verbal; members have to influence on each other
b) stability Æ collection of members that are usually the same
c) common goals Æ members share common interests and objectives
d) recognized as a group Æ members distinguishable in some way from non-members
Formal Groups
a) command group Æ can give orders to others in an organization (VPs, managers, senior managers)
b) task group (task force) Æ individuals with specific interests or expertise
Informal Groups
a) interest group Æ voluntary membership; develops naturally; based on common interests
b) friendship group Æ people who like to socialize together; usually after work; these types of groups can make
organizations work better because these people know each other well enough already
Elements of Group Dynamics
1) Roles (parts played by each member)
x typical behaviours of each member
x role expectations Æ the expected behaviours of each member
x role differentiation Æ specialized roles emerge as the group develops
x common roles:
o self-oriented Æ the person who does what is best for them without caring about the other members
o free rider Æ the person who sits back and lets the rest of the group do everything
o leader Æ the person who organizes the group
o socio-emotional Æ the person who wants to be supportive and nurturing in the group; the social member
o peacemaker Æ the person who tries to keep the conflicts from happening
o devil’s advocate Æ the person who always says the opposite; the person who brings in another perspective
2) Norms
x unwritten, underlying beliefs that guide behaviour in an organization
x prescriptive norms Æ dictate behaviours that should be performed
x proscriptive norms Æ dictate behaviours that should not be performed
x norm development
o over time Æ precedents; it has become a habit; no other reason
o professional standards of conduct (e.g., board meeting—certain rituals)
o explicit statements from others
o critical events in group history/culture
3) Status
x relative social position/rank given to groups/group members by others
x examples include family background, wealth, amount of money earned, education, etc
x formal status Æ differentiates degrees of formal authority
x informal status Æ examples include being older, tech expertise, expertise on a general topic
4) Group Cohesiveness
x strength of a group members desire to remain a part of the group
x determinants of cohesiveness:
a. severity of initiation Æ the higher the price paid to enter the group, the stronger a person wants to hold on to it
b. external threat Æ people join together against an external threat
c. group size Æ cohesiveness is stronger in smaller groups
d. history of success Æ employees tend to be more loyal and committed to organizations that are successful
e. common interests
Social Loafing
x the tendency for group members to exert less individual effort on tasks as the size increases
x each people completes less because they think that others will pick up the slack
x it is the free rider effect
x in individualistic cultures, there is more social loafing than in a collectivistic culture
x some ways to reduce social loafing:
1. peer or team evaluations
2. assign tasks that are interesting
3. reward individuals for contributing to the team performance
4. make each performer identifiable—work has to lend itself to this kind of concept
x members have complementary skills
x committed to a common purpose
x team members hold themselves mutually accountable for the end result
Stages of Team Development
Forming Æ Storming Æ Norming Æ Performing Æ Adjourning
x forming Æ learning about each other; getting to know each other; forming expectations
x storming Æ interpersonal conflict; jockeying for position in the team; competition for team roles
x norming Æ roles are established; consensus forms around the issue; common expectations develop
x performing Æ task accomplishment; getting the job done, putting the report together
x adjourning Æ socio-emotional focus
Why Teams Fail
1) lack of resources
2) reluctance to relinquish control by bosses
3) lack of common vision by the team members
4) failure to co-operate with other teams, particularly when organization is working cross-functionally or cross-culturally
Team Composition
x select right team members
o high competencies for teamwork
o high emotional intelligence Æ more cooperative, sensitive to others
o people value group goals more than individual goal—strong collectivist orientation
Developing Successful Teams
1) provide training (e.g., team-building training)
2) compensate team performance—bonus system or compensation that supports team performance, such as gain sharing
3) select team members based on skills