OB Midterm 2 Notes.docx

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B

Chapter 7 Groups and TeamworkLO1 Define groups and distinguish between formal and informal groupsGroup two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goalInteraction is the most basic aspect of a groupoIt suggests who is in the group and who is notThe interaction doesnt need to be verbal or facetofaceInterdependence simply means that group members rely to some degree on each other to accomplish goalsAll groups have one or more goalsGroup memberships are important for 2 reasonsoGroups exert a tremendous influence on us they are the social mechanisms by which we acquire many beliefs values attitudes and behavioursoGroups provide a context in which we are able to exert influence on othersFormal work groups groups that are established by organizations to facilitate the achievement of organizational goalsIntentionally designed to channel individual effort in an appropriate directionMost common formal group is a manager and employees that report to the manager Other examples task forcesproject teams temporary usually committees usually permanentInformal groups groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of organizational members oSeldom sanctioned by the organization and their membership often cuts across formal groupsoCan either help or hurt and organization depending on their norms for behaviourLO2 Discuss group developmentAbove typical stages of group developmentLeaders and trainers have observed that many groups develop through a series of stages over time Each stage presents the members with a series of challenges they must master to achieve the next stageNot all groups go through these stages just many new groups1Forming group members try to orient themselves by testing the watersWhat are others likeWhat are we doing hereWhat is our purposeThe situation is often ambiguous and members are aware of their dependency on one another12Storming conflict often emerges hereConfrontation and criticism occur as members determine whether they will go along with the way the group is developingSorting out roles and responsibilities is often at issueProblems are more likely to happen earlier than later3Norming members resolve the issues that provoked the storming and develop a social consensusCompromise often necessaryInterdependence is recognized norms are agreed to and the group becomes more cohesiveInformation and opinions flow freely4Performing with the social structure sorted out the group devotes its energies toward task accomplishmentAchievement creativity and mutual assistance are prominent themes5Adjourning rites and rituals that affirm the groups previous successful development are common such as ceremonies and parties Members often exhibit emotional support for each otherGood stage for monitoring and troubleshooting how groups are developingPunctuated Equilibrium a model of group development that describes how groups are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitionsEquilibrium means stability and the research revealed apparent stretches of group stability punctuated by a critical first meeting a midpoint change in group activity and a rush to task completionPunctuated equilibrium applies to groups with deadlines Connie Gersick1Phase 1Begins with the first meeting and continues until the midpoint in the groups existence Very first meeting is critical in setting the agenda for what will happen in the remainder of this phaseThe group makes little visible progress toward the goalMidpoint transitionoOccurs almost at the halfway point in time toward the groups deadlineoMarks a change in the groups approach and how the group manages the change is critical for the group to show progress oGroup may seek outside adviceoMay consolidate previously acquired info or even mark a completely new approach but it crystallizes the groups activites for Phase 2 just as the first meeting did for Phase 12Phase 2For better or worse decisions and approaches adopted at the midpoint get played out in Phase 2Concludes with a final meeting that reveals a burst of activity and a concern for how outsiders will evaluate the product2LO3 Explain how group size and member diversity influence what occurs in groupsThe smallest possible groups contains two peopleIt is possible to engage in much theoretical nitpicking about just what constitutes an upper limit on group sizeMost groups have between 3 and 20 membersSize and SatisfactionIn theory the more the merrierMembers of larger groups rather consistently report less satisfaction with group membership than those who finds themselves in smaller groups Opportunities for friendship increase the chance to work on and develop these opportunities might decrease owing to the sheer time and energy requiredLarger groups might prompt conflict and dissension which work against member satisfactionAs group size increases the time available for verbal participation by each member decreasesMany people are inhibited about participating in larger groupsIndividual members on larger groups identify less easily with the success and accomplishments of the groupSize and PerformanceSome tasks are additive tasks tasks in which group performance is dependent on the sum of the performance of individual group membersoEx Building a houseoWith additive tasks the potential performance of the group increases with group sizeSome tasks are disjunctive tasks tasks in which group performance is dependent on the performance of the best group memberoEx A research team looking for a single error in a computer programoThe performance of a team might hinge on its containing at least one bright attentive logicalminded individualoThe potential performance of groups doing disjunctive tasks also increases with group size because the probability that the group includes a superior performance is greater Potential performance as groups performing tasks get bigger they tend to suffer from process lossesProcess losses group performance difficulties stemming from the problems of motivating and coordinating larger groupsActual performancepotential performanceprocess losses3
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