Special Questions for midterm:
How to prepare for an interview
• What is a group?
– Two or more people interacting independently(eventually interdependence) to achieve
a common goal
• Formal versus Informal
– Formal groups are established organizations to facilitate the achievement of org’l goals
(they are intentionally designed)
– Informal groups emerge naturally in response to common interests of the org’l
members (groups that emerge naturally, join a team through free will)
– eg. work on project vs. play on softball team
• Why form groups?
- means versus ends and personal characteristics
Groups could be an important means to reach a desired outcome. (unions, hood watch)
Group interactions could be desirable outcomes, the group interactions could be the reward
You join a group since you are attracted people that are similar or join groups of people that
are different to learn from them.
Typical Stages of Group Development (first model read book)
• Groups develop through a series of stages over time
• Each stage presents the members with a series of challenges they must master in order to
achieve the next stage
• Not all groups go through these stages
STAGES: motion of prepentcy
• Storming (2): Conflict often emerges; sorting out roles and responsibilities is often at issue
Battling due to differences in goals, priorities, how to structure, roles, rules, norms, methods
• Adjourning (5): Group disperses after achieving goals • Forming (1): What are we doing here?, what are others like?, what is our purpose?
You are getting acquainted.
• Performing (4): The group devotes its energies toward task accomplishment
• Norming (3): Norms are agreed on and the group becomes more cohesive
Roles are formed and some sense of how to work through the task. You have non-disruptive
Punctuated Equilibrium Model(second model book)
• How groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitions
• Phase 1: first meeting to midpoint of existence (precedence is set)
• Midpoint Transition: need to move forward is apparent. (doesn’t have to be midpoint, usually
pressure happens (sense of urgency))
• Phase 2: decisions and approaches are played out
• What do these two models tell organizations about managing groups?
– First meeting ( or forming and norming stage) is critical
– Do not look for radical progress during the beginning stages
– Be sure that adequate resources are available
Group Structure & Size(2 qeustions)
• What is the ultimate group size?
– Depends on the task (bigger is not always better)
- Additive Task
– Group performance is dependent on the sum of the performance of individual group
members (ex building house by adding efforts of all the people)(performance increases
as more people)
• Disjunctive Task
– Group performance is dependent on the performance of the best group
member(research team looking for a single error in a computer code, only the very
bright can solve it) • Conjunctive Task
– Group performance is limited by the performance of the poorest (weakest) group
member( assembly line can fall apart) the more you hire the more chance of a week link
Group structure and size:
• As groups become larger, they suffer fro