BUAD309 Lecture 4: Test #4

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Business Administration
Mary C Kernan

Foundations of Group Behavior Lecture #1: Group Formation & Development Groups: Defining Characteristics • Two or more people interacting and independent, who come together to achieve particular objectives o Two or more people in social interaction group has stable structure o Members share common goals o Member perceive themselves as being part of the group Varieties of Groups in Organizations • Formal – workers established by the organization who have designated work assignments and tasks o Command Groups – ex; org. chart, reporting relationship o Task Groups – can be permanent or temporary… ex; committees, task forces, cross-functional • Informal – natural social formations that appear in the work environment o Interest Groups – ex; recycling committee o Friendship Groups- ex; lunch group Social Identity Theory • Helps to explain why groups are important to us • One way we perceive ourselves in various groups • Identify with groups based on: o Status – prefer higher opposed to lower o Similarity – prefer groups we share values/characteristics with o Distinctiveness – identities become more salient when distinct o Uncertainty reduction- group memberships helps us to understand who we are and how we fit in to the world • Negative outcome of identification: o In group favoritism – see member of our in group as better than other people and people not in our group as all the same ▪ Can lead to neg. stereotyping Stage Model of Group Development • 5 stages that groups move through o Forming – members join and begin the process of defining the group’s purpose, structure, and leadership o Storming – intragroup conflict occurs as individuals resist control by the group and disagree over leadership o Norming – close relationships develop as the group becomes cohesive and established its norms for acceptable behavior o Performing – a fully functional group structure allows the group to focus on performing the task at hand o Adjourning – the group prepares to disband and is no longer concerned with high levels of performance Group Development: Punctuated Equilibrium • Groups work characterized by long periods of inertia followed by concentrated burst of activity determined by member awareness of time deadlines. • Two sequences divided into phase 1 and phase 2 o Phase 1: an initial meeting takes place and sets group direction; characterized largely by inertia o Transition occurs o Phase 2: characterized by accelerated activity and equilibrium/inertia o Completion Lecture #2; Group Properties: Roles, Norms, Status Group Properties • Characteristics of groups that help determine group member behavior and the performance of the group • Actually 6 properties o Norms, Diversity, Status, Size, Cohesiveness, and Roles Roles • a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit • Role Perception: group member/ employee view of how he/she is supposed to act in a given situation • Role Expectation; how others believe a person should act in a given situation • Psychological Contract; unwritten agreement b/t employer and employee that sets out mutual expectations o Perceived violations of the employee lead to neg. outcomes such as lower productivity and greater intentions to quit • Role Conflict; a situation in which an individual is confronted with divergent role expectation for the various roles that they occupy o Work/family conflict o Supervisor/work group conflict o Leads to stress Norms • Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group’s members • Can be explicit (written down in employee handbook) or implicit (unwritten and not talked about, but will eventually become aware) • Types: o Performance – how hard to work; strategies to perform task/job o Appearance – dress codes o Social Arrangement- seat arrangements in a meeting, who to seek out for advice, have lunch with o Allocation of Resources; *equity, equality, need • Conformity o We desire to be accepted by group, making us more likely to behave in line with norms established by the group o Stronger pressure to conform with norms of groups we feel are important ▪ Reference groups; important groups to which individuals belong or hope to belong and with those whose norms individuals are likely to conform • How are norms enforced? o Attempts by group members to change violator behavior ▪ Persuasive actions by compliant group members ▪ Isolation, silent treatment ▪ Hawthorne studies; sarcasm, name-calling ridicule, physical aggression ▪ Most cases: more subtle • Deviant Workplace Behavior o Voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and, in doing so, also threatens wellbeing of organization and its members ▪ Progression- leaving early, slacking, wasting resources ▪ Property- sabotage, lying, stealing from organization ▪ Political- gossiping, blaming others ▪ Personal aggression- sexual harassment, verbal abuse, stealing from coworkers o Consequences for Organization ▪ Increased employee turnover & work stress o Consequences for Groups/Teams ▪ Downward spiral; deviant behaviors lead to collective neg. moods, which lead to poor coordination and group performance Status • A socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others • Status Characteristics Theory suggests that status derives from one of three sources: o Power that a person wields over others o Person’s ability to contribute to group goals o An individual’s personal characteristics • Effects on; o Norms ▪ High status individuals have more freedom to deviate from norms and tend to be less conforming o Group Interaction ▪ High status people are often more assertive in group settings ▪ May be detrimental if inhibits competent, lower status members o Status Inequity ▪ important for group members to perceive status hierarchy as equitable ▪ perceived inequity creates disequilibrium and can lead to resentment, lower individual performance, greater desire to leave group Lecture #3: Group Properties: Size, Cohesiveness, And Diversity Group Properties • Norms, Diversity, Status, Size, Cohesiveness, and Roles Group Size • Does size effect the overall behavior o Yes, but it depends on what the group’s effect is • Small groups o Complete tasks faster than larger groups o Make more effective use of facts • Large Groups (12 or more) o Are good for diverse input o More effective at fact-finding • Social Loafing o Tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually o Proposed Causes; ▪ Equity Concerns; reduce inputs in response seeing others putting forth little effort ▪ Diffusion of responsibility (free riders) o Influence of Culture ▪ Social loafing more frequent in individualistic culture (US) than collectivist (China) culture • Collectivists performed better in group setting than alone o Suggestions for minimizing social loafing ▪ Setting group goals (common purpose, shared outcome) ▪ Increase intergroup competition ▪ Use peer evaluation- identify individual contributions ▪ If we use group rewards, base rewards on individual contributions ▪ Work on front end; select right group members (preference for group work) Cohesiveness • Degree to which members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the groups • Relationship between cohesiveness and group performance depends on group’s performance related norms • Increasing cohesiveness o Make the group smaller o Encourage agreement with group goals o Increase time members spend together o Increase group status and admission difficulty o Stimulate competition with other groups o Give rewards to the group, not individuals o Physically isolate the group Diversity • Extent to which group members are similar to (homogeneous), or different from (heterogeneous), one another • In short term, diversity often increases group conflict, affecting morale and dropout rates (higher turnover) • Diversity may lead to higher performance over time if appropriate leadership and support exists to deal with initial conflicts • Faultlines: perceived division that split groups into two or more subgroups based on individual differences such as sex, race, age, work experience, and education o Occur within what is supposed to be a single, unified group o -6 person team; 3 in early 20’s and possess strong tech backgrounds; 3 other in early 40’s and trained as finance MBA’s ▪ Likely that faultlines will develop around shared characteristics o Consequences ▪ Generally impair groups functioning and performance (neg.) • Competition between subgroups • Higher conflict levels • Less creativity • Lower overall group satisfaction ▪ Positive effects if: • Force collaboration among subgroups • Focus efforts on overall goal that transcends faultline boundaries Lecture #4: Group Decision Making Group Decision Making • Advantages: o Generates more complete info and knowledge o Generates more diverse alternatives due to increased diversity of viewpoints o Increases acceptance of a solution • Disadvantages: o Time consuming o Minority domination o Pressures to conform o Ambiguous responsibility may surface • Effectiveness criteria o Accuracy- group generally more accurate than average individual in group, but less accurate than judgements of the most accurate individual o Speed- individuals are superior o Creativity- groups tend to be more effective o Degree of acceptance of final solution- group decisions tend to be better accepted • Group decision making is almost always less efficient. Does greater effectiveness outweigh losses in efficiency? Potential Errors • Groupthink o Group pressures for conformity deter the group from critically appraising unusual, minority, or unpopular views o Norms for consensus override the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action o When is it more likely to occur? ▪ When group wants to protect positive image and perceives threat to that image ▪ High level of initial confidence about “correctness” of their likely decision(s) o Ways to minimize ▪ Small rather than large groups ▪ Leaders must take active role in encouraging dissent ▪ Appoint a “devil’s advocate” • Groupshift (Group Polarization) o A change between a group’s decision and an individual decision that a member within the group would make o Shift can be toward either conservatism or greater risk, but is generally toward the more extreme version of the group’s original position o Group discussion tends to exaggerate initial position of group members o Eventful group decision may be more extreme than initial position of individual group members Comparison of Techniques • Interacting groups o Face to face meetings with great deal of verbal and non-verbal communication o Unstructured discussions o Often censor themselves and pressure individual members toward conformity of opinion • Brainstorming o Can overcome pressures for conformity o In a brainstorming session: ▪ Group leader states the problem ▪ Members then “free-wheel” as many alternatives as they can ▪ No criticism is allowed ▪ One idea stimulates others, and group members are encouraged to think creatively o Separating idea generation from evaluation • Nominal o Also separates idea generation from evaluation o Group members are all physically present, but members operate independently when generating ideas (silently) o Main advantage is that it permits the group to meet formally, but does not restrict independent thinking, as does the interacting group and brainstorming to some extent Work Teams Lecture #1 Types of Teams Why Have Teams Become Popular? • Better use of employee talent • Increases flexibility and responsive to changes than traditional departments or permanent groups • Effective way to democratize organization and increase employee motivation Groups vs. Teams • Work Groups o Goal – share information o Synergy – neutral (sometimes negative) o Accountability – individual o Skills – random and varied • Work Teams o Goal – collective performance o Synergy – positive o Accountability – individual and mutual o Skills – complementary Types of Teams • Problem Solving o Groups to 5 to 12 employees from the same department who meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment • Self-Managed o Groups of 10 to 15 people who take on responsibilities of their former supervisors; planning and scheduling, task assignments, member evaluation, solving problems, evaluating member and team performance • Cross-Functional o Employees from about the same hierarchical level, but from different work areas, who come together to accomplish a task ▪ Task forces, committees, product development teams o Useful for allowing employees from diverse areas to exchange/share info, solve problems, develop new ideas, coordinate complex problems • Virtual Teams o Teams that use computer technology to tie together physically dispersed members in order to achieve a common goal o Limited social context o Ability to overcome time and space constraints • Multi-team System o a collection of two or more interdependent teams that share a superordinate goal; a team of teams o creating larger teams to handle increased complexity leads to coordination problems o Solution: create multi-team system ▪ Ex: emergency response team (police, firefighters, EMTs, emergency room surgeon, and recovery teams Lecture #2: Creating Effective Teams Team Effectiveness Model • Team Context o Adequate resources o Leadership and structure o Climate of trust o Performance evaluations and rewards ▪ Hybrid reward system • Team Composition o How should teams be staffed? ▪ Abilities of members • Simple vs. complex tasks/problems • Leader ability ▪ Personality • Big 5 ▪ Allocating roles ▪ Diversity • Positive effects depend on situation o Right type of leadership o Cultural diversity ▪ Size of teams • 5 to 9 ▪ Member preferences • Team Processes o Common Plan and Purpose ▪ Reflexivity: reflecting on and adjusting master plan when necessary o Specific goals o Team efficacy ▪ Small successes ▪ Training o Mental Models: team member’s knowledge and beliefs about how the work gets done by the team. ▪ Organized mental representations of the key elements within a team’s environment, shared by members o Conflict Levels ▪ Relationship – almost always dysfunctional, tension, animosity towards others ▪ Task Conflict – moderate o Social Loafing – effective teams undermine this tendency Turning Individuals Into Team Players • Selecting employees who can fulfill their team roles • Training employees to become team players • Reworking the reward system to encourage cooperative efforts while continuing to recognize individual contributions Teams Are Not Always the Answer • When not to use teams… o Ask: ▪ Can the work be done better by one person? ▪ Does the work create a common goal or purpose? ▪ Are the members of the group interdependent? Communication and Conflict Lecture #1: The Communication Process Communication is Essential • Communication – the transfer and understanding of meaning o Impersonal Communication- between two or more people o Organizational Communication- all patterns, networks, and systems of communication in an organization Functions of Communication • Control….informal type • Motivation • Emotional expression • Information Communication Process • Sender has a thought and needs to be encoded • Transmitted through a channel to the receiver who must decode it in order to understand • Best way to know if the thought is understood is to have two way communication from sender to receiver where the receiver gives feedback to the sender • Can be problems in any step such as noise • Without understanding there is no communication Effective and Efficient Communication • Effective Communication –occurs when the intended meaning of the sender is identical to the interpreted meaning of the receiver • Efficient Communication –occurs at a minimum resource cost • Potential trade-offs between effectiveness and efficiency must be recognized Modes of Communication • Written –works best for messages that: o Are simple and easy to convey o Require extensive dissemination quickly o Convey formal policy or authoritative directives ▪ Ex. Memos/letters, traditional mail, fax, employee publications, bulletin boards, PowerPoint, email, computer conferencing, social media, text messaging, instant messaging, and blogs • Oral –works best for messages that: o Are complex or difficult to convey where immediate feedback is needed o Attempt to create supportive, even inspirational, climate ▪ Ex. Face to face, telephone, group meetings, formal presentations, voice mail, audio and videotapes, hotlines, teleconferences, and videoconferences • Nonverbal –transmitted without words o Sounds o Silence o Body language o Verbal intonation o Facial expressions o Clothing and physical surroundings o Physical distance Lecture #2: Organizational Communication Organizational Communication • Formal Communication –follows the official chain of command or is part of the communication required to do one’s job • Informal Communication –not defined by the organization’s structural hierarchy o Permits employees to satisfy social interaction needs o Can improve an organization’s performance by creating faster and more effective channels of communication Organizational Communication Flows • Downward –flows from managers to employees to inform, direct, coordinate, and evaluate employees • Upward –flows from employees up to managers to keep them aware of employee needs and how things can be improved to create a climate of trust and respect • Lateral (Horizontal) –take place among employees on the same l
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