Chapter 7- Groups & Teamwork
What is a group?
- Group: Two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a
o Important for two reasons; they exert a tremendous influence on us.
(Acquiring beliefs and values) and they allow us to exert influence on others.
- Formal Group: Established by organizations to facilitate the achievement of
o Channel individual effort in an appropriate direction
o Most common = Manager and Employee
o Other types:
Task Forces: Temporary groups to achieve particular goals
Committees: Permanent Groups, handling recurrent assignments
outside the usual work group structures.
- Informal Group: Groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests
of organization members.
o Not sanctioned by the organization. Can either help or hurt organization.
- Typical Stages for Group Development.
o Each stage has a series of challenges to mast in order to achieve the next
Group members orient themselves “testing the waters”
Situation is often ambiguous and members aware of their
dependency on each other.
Conflict Emerges. Confrontation and criticism occur as members
determine whether to go along with group.
Sorting out roles/ responsibilities.
Problems likely to happen earlier than in later stages
Resolve issues/ Norms agreed to/ Group cohesion
Energy devoted to task accomplishment. Achievement, creativity and
Rites and ritutals that affirm successful development(Parties)
Often exhibit emotional support for each other
o Not All groups go through these stages, mainly groups that have never met
- Punctuated equilibrium model: A model of group development that describes
how groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint
o Phase 1: Begins with first meeting and continues to the midpoint of groups
Crucial in setting the agenda Precedents develop and dominate first half of the groups life
Gathers info & holds meeting; makes little progress towards the goal.
o Midpoint Transition: Occurs at almost exactly the halfway point in time
toward their deadline.
Change in approach; need to move forward is apparent, may seek
May consolidate previous info or mark a new approach. Crystallizes
the activities for phase 2
o Phase 2: Ends with final meeting and reveals a bust of activity and concern
for how outsiders will evaluate the product.
- Advice the model offers;
o Prepare carefully the first meeting- stress motivation & achievement
o Do not look for radical progress in phase 1
o Manage midpoint transition carefully- recognize a change must occur
o Resist deadline changes.
Group Structure & Its Consequences
- Group structure refers to the characteristics of the stable social organizations of a
group. The way its “Put Together”
- Group Size
o Large groups usually report less satisfaction. Different viewpoints promote
conflict and dissension. Reduce time for verbal participation and inhibits
people to indentify their effect on success.
o Additive Tasks: Predict potential performance by adding the performances
of indv members together.
Potential performance increases with size
o Disjunctive Tasks: Potential performance depends on best member.
Potential performance increases with size
o Process Losses: Group performance difficulties stemming from the
problems of motivating and coordinating large groups
Actual performance = Potential P – Process losses
o Conjunctive Tasks: Tasks in which group performance is limited by the
performance of the poorest group member.
Potential/actual performance decrease with group size.
o More diverse have more difficult time communicating effectively and
becoming cohesive. Forming, norming and storming take longer.
o “surface diversity” (age, gender) will wear off with time.
o “Deep diversity” can badly damage cohesiveness
- Group Norms
o Norms: Collective expectations, that members of social units have regarding
the behavior of each other.
Provide regularity and predictability.
Regulate behaviors important to their supporters.
Developed through indv attitudes as a function of a related belief or
value. (Collectively held expectations)
Much compliance occurs because the norm corresponds to privately
Save time and prevent social confustion. o Typical norms
Dress norms: Clothing people wear to work
Reward allocation norms
Equity, Equality, Reciprocity, Social responsibility.
o Roles: Positions in a group that have a set of expected behaviors attached to
Designated/ Assigned = President
Emergent = Class Clown
o Role Ambiguity: Lack of clarity of job goals or methods.
Organizational factors lead to role sender to develop role
expectations and “send” role to focal people. The focal people receive
the roles and the tries to fulfill it.
o Role Conflict: A condition of being faced with incompatible role
Intrasender role conflict: A single role sender provides
incompatible role expectations to a role occupant.
Intersender role conflict: Two or more role senders provide a role
occupant with incompatible expectations.
Interrole Conflict: Several roles held by a role occupant involve
Person-role conflict: Role demands call for behavior that is
incompatible with the personality or skills of a role occupant.
o Status: The rank, social position or prestige accorded to group members.
Formal statuses, managers publicly identify people’s higher status.
Titles, relationships, pay, schedules
Based on seniority or JOB
o Induces people to aspire to higher positions.
Informal Statuses, Not well advertised.
“Fast trackers” “Model Father”
Has paradoxical affect, people like to communicate with others at
their status or higher.
Stalls communication and is mainly done by those with