Chapter 7 – Groups and Teamwork
What is a group?
A group consists of two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal.
Formal work groups-
o Groups that organizations establish to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals.
o Groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of organizational
Some groups go through a series of development stages (Exhibit 7.1,page 219)
2. Storming-Conflict, confrontation and criticism occur
3. Norming- members resolve the issues that provoked storming and develop social
4. Performing- with its social structure sorted out, the group devotes its energies toward
5. Adjourning- (Party time) rites and rituals that affirm the group’s pervious successful
development are common.
Punctuated equilibrium model stress;
1. Phase 1
a. a first meeting- assumptions, approaches and precedents members develop in the first
meeting dominate till the first half of the groups life is over.
b. a period of little apparent progress
2. Midpoint Transition
a. Occurs exactly the halfway point in time
b. Marks a change in the group’s approach
c. Crystallizes the groups activities for phase 2
3. Phase 2
a. Concludes with a final meeting that reveals a burst of activity and a concern of how
outsiders will evaluate the product.
b. Look at exhibit 7.2, page 220.
Group Structure and Its Consequences
As groups get bigger, they provide less opportunity for members’ satisfaction. o When tasks are additive or disjunctive, larger groups should perform better then smaller
groups if the group can avoid process losses, due to poor communication and
Additive Groups –Performance depends on the addition of individual effort
Disjunctive- performance depends on that of the best member.
Process losses-performance difficulties that stem from the problems of
motivating and coordinating larger groups.
o When tasks are conjunctive, performance decreases as the group gets bigger,
Conjunctive Groups- performance is limited by the weakest member
o Diverse groups will generally develop at a slower pace and be less cohesive than
While the effects of surface-level demographic diversity can wear off over time,
deep diversity differences regarding attitudes are more difficult to overcome.
Norms are expectations that group members have about each other’s behavior.
They provide consistency to behavior and develop as a function of shared attitudes.
In organizations, both formal and informal norms often develop to control dress, reward
allocation, and performance.
o Dress norms- social norms that dictate the kind of clothing people wear to work.
o Reward allocation norms- 4 ways check page 224
o Performance norms- the appropriate level of performance.
Roles are positions in a group that have a set of expected behaviors associated with them.
o Role ambiguity refers to a lack of clarity of job goals or methods.
o Certain elements that can lead to ambiguity (Exhibit 7.4, page 226);
Organizational factors- some roles seem inherently ambiguous because of their
function in the organization
Role Sender- weak orientation session, vague performance reviews or
inconsistent feedback and discipline may send ambiguous role messages to
Focal person- Ambiguity tends to decrease as length of time in the job role
o Role conflict exists when an individual is faced with incompatible role expectations, and
it can take four forms;
Intrasender- occurs when a single role sender provides incompatible role
expectations to the role of a occupant
Intersender- If two or more role senders differ in their expectation for a role