Management and Organizational Studies 2275A/B Study Guide - Conflict Management, Hazing, Agreeableness

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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
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 groupespecially 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
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
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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 performanceespecially 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
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
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