2060-Chapter 13.docx

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Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2275A/B
Henry Meredith

Chapter 13: Group Behavior, Teams and Conflicts Group Dynamics  No agreed-upon definition of a group  General definition: two or more people who perceive themselves as a group and interact in some way  Other definitions: group must involve some degree of structure and permanency  Gordon: for a collection of people to be called a group, (4) criteria must be met: o The members of the group must see themselves as a unit  One person does not constitute a group  2 people is a dyad, three people is a triad and 4-20 people is a small group o The group must provide rewards to its members  Provide some form of reward  Library desk example o Anything that happens to one member of the group affects every other member  Corresponding effects: an event that affects one member of a group will affect the other group members  Something significant happens to one person and does not affect any of the other people gathered with her, then the collection of people cannot be considered a group  Bank teller example o The members of the group must share a common goal  Common goal: an aim or purpose shared by members of a group  Group has the ability to change employee performance  There are many factors affecting group performance  Application will only be effective in changing performance only if the collection of individual is actually a group Reasons for Joining Groups  Assignment o The most common reason o Assigned to a department, committee, training class, etc  Physical proximity o One strong reason that a person might join a particular group—especially if the group is informal o People tend to form groups with people who either live or work nearby o The “bomber wing” provides an interesting example of how physical proximity can create an unlikely group  Affiliation o A leadership style in which the individual leads by caring about others and that is most effective in a climate of anxiety o Affiliation involves our need to be with other people o One reason people join groups: to be near and to talk to other people o Need for affiliation is very strong o If people are not allowed the opportunity for affiliation, they make attempts to secure at least minimal contact o When even minimal contact is not possible, morale and perhaps even the will to live are lessened o People are not equal in their desire or need to affiliate with others o People with high need for affiliation perform better in groups than alone o Consider the need for affiliation and the negative consequences of isolation  Identification o The need to associate ourselves with the image projected by other people, groups, or objects  Emotional support o AA, weight watchers, etc. provide emotional support for their members o Ads demonstrate the importance of this need  Assistant or help  Common interests  Common goal o Pursuit of a common goal o Share common interests Factors Affecting Group Performance  Group cohesiveness o The extent to which members of a group like and trust one another, are committed to accomplishing a team goal, and share a feeling of group pride o The more cohesive the group the greater  Productivity and efficiency  Decision quality  Member satisfaction  Member interaction  Employee courtesy o Cohesiveness can also lower group performance—especially in a work setting  When employees become too cohesive, they often lose sight of organizational goals  Employees in cohesive work groups will conform to a norm of lower production even though they are capable of higher performance  Group homogeneity o Homogeneous Groups: Groups whose members share the same characteristics o Heterogeneous Groups: Groups whose members share few similarities o Can be demographically similar but very different in personality, attitudes, values and competencies o Which composition is more effective is in debate o Slightly heterogeneous groups: groups in which a few group members have different characteristics from the rest of the group  Slightly better performance than homogenous or heterogeneous o Meta-analysis: homogeneous groups result in higher member satisfaction, higher levels of communication and interaction, and lower turnover o Found that employees who were statistical minority in a restaurant in terms of race, sex or age were more likely to leave the organization than were employees who were in the statistical majority  Stability of membership o The extent to which the membership of a group remains consistent over time o The greater the stability of the group, the greater the cohesiveness o Groups in which members remain for long periods of time are more cohesive and perform better than groups with high turnover o Group whose members have previously worked together perform better than groups whose members are not familiar with one another o The Greek organization have more stable memberships than the other organizations  Isolation o The degree of physical distance of a group from other groups o Physical isolation tends to increase a group’s cohesiveness o Group that is isolated or located away from other groups tend to be highly cohesive o Low turnover  Outside pressure o The amount of psychological pressure placed on a group by people who are not members of the group o Pressured by outside forces—higher cohesiveness o Explained by the phenomenon of psychological reactance  When we believe that someone is trying to intentionally influence us to take some particular action, we often react by doing the opposite  Group size o The number of members in a group o Groups are most cohesive and perform best when group size is small o Large groups have lower productivity, less coordination, lower morale and less active, less cohesive and more critical than smaller groups o Groups perform best and have greatest member satisfaction when they consist of five members o Although small groups usually increase cohesiveness, high performance is seen with only certain types of tasks  Additive tasks: tasks for which the group’s performance is equal to the sum of the performances of each individual group member  Conjunctive tasks: tasks for which the group’s performance is dependent on the performance of the least effective group member  Success on a conjunctive task is limited by the least effective member, smaller groups are usually best  Disjunctive tasks: task for which the performance of a group is based on the performance of its most talented member  With additive tasks, larger groups are probably better at disjunctive tasks than are smaller groups o Social impact theory: states that the addition of a group members has the greatest effect on group behavior when the size of the group is small o Groups working through a computer behave differently from groups working face to face o When computers are used, large groups appear to perform best and have the most satisfied members o When group work via a computer, members whose opinion is in the minority are more likely to express o
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