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Chapter 13: Work Groups and Teams
What is a group?
Multiple members (2+, perceive themselves as a group)
Group rewards
Corresponding effects
Common goals
Why do people join groups?
Psychological needs (affiliation, identification)
Survival needs (emotional support, assistance or help)
Commonality (common interests, common goals)
Situational reason (physical proximity)
Factors affecting group performance
Group cohesiveness
o Group homogeneity
Homogeneous/heterogeneous/slightly heterogeneous
o Stability of membership
o Isolation
o Outside pressure
o Group size
Smaller is best for cohesiveness
Performance depends on task type
Additive tasks
o Ex. Typing pool, relay race, bowling team, car washing
Conjunctive tasks
o Assembly line, hiking
Disjunctive tasks
o Problem solving, brain storming, gold tournament
o Group status
Communication structure
o Chain
o Centralized
o Circle
o Open
Group roles
o Task oriented
Offering new ideas
Coordinating activities
o Social oriented
Encouraging cohesiveness
Encouraging participation
o Individual
Blocking group activities
Calling attention to oneself
Presence of others
o Social facilitation and inhibition
Mere presence of others
Comparison of performance
Evaluating apprehension
o Social loafing
Effort won’t be noticed
Free-rider theory
Sucker-effect theory
Type of task
Individual dominance
o By the group leader
o By a group member
o Occurs when the group:
Is cohesive
Insulated from outsiders
Believes it is infallible
Morally superior
Under pressure to conform
Had a leader who promotes a favorite solution
Has gatekeepers who keep information from members
Group vs. individual performance
o Interacting groups
Have higher quality decisions
Are more risky
o Individuals (nominal groups)
Are more creative
Make a decision more quickly
What is a team
o Identification
o Interdependence
o Power differentiation
o Social distance
o Conflict management tactics
o Negotiation process
Types of teams
o Work teams
o Parallel teams
o Project teams
o Management teams
How teams develop: Tuckman (1965) Theory
o Forming
Team members get to know one another
Everyone is on their good behavior
Group clarifies its mission
o Storming
Disagreement and frustration set in
o Norming
Group members work at easing tension
Acceptance of team leader
o Performing
Goals get accomplished
How teams develop: punctuated equilibrium theory (Gersick, 1988)
o Teams do not go through set stages
o Basic method of formation
Develop direction and strategy during first meeting
Follow this direction for a period of time
Revise their strategy about half way through the life of the team
Why teams don’t always work
o Team is not a team
o Excessive meeting requirements
o Lack of empowerment
o Lack of skill
o Distrust to the team process
o Unclear objectives
Group Conflict
o Psychological and behavioral reaction to a perception that another person is
Keeping you from reaching a goal
Taking away your right to behave a certain way
Violating the expectancies of a relationship
o The process in which one party perceives that its interests are being opposed or
negatively affected by another party
o Types of conflict
Consequences of dysfunctional conflicts
o Decreased productivity
o Low morale
o Absenteeism
o Stress
o Turnover
o Law suits
o Violence
Types of conflict
o Interpersonal
o Individualgroup
o Groupgroup
o Inter-generational conflict
More common today since employees across age groups work together
more than ever before
Take adapting to the different needs and work styles of younger employees
to minimize conflict is an approach
Causes of conflict
o Task interdependence
o Competition for resources
o Jurisdictional ambiguity
o Communication barriers
o Personality
Antecedents of conflict
o Incompatible personalities/value system
o Overlapping/unclear job boundaries
o Competition for limited resources
o Interdepartment/intergroup competition
o Inadequate communication
o Interdependent tasks
o Organizational complexity
o Unreasonable or unclear policies, standards or rules
o Unreasonable deadlines or extreme time pressure
o Collective decision making
o Decision making by consensus
o Unmet expectations