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Week 10 Notes

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COMM 151
Christopher Miners

Week 10 Notes – Chapter 7 What is aGroup?  Group: two or more people interacting independently to achieve a common goal  Formal Work Groups: groups formally established to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals o Task Force: temporary group to solve a particular problem o Committee: permanent group to handle assignments outside normal scope of work  Informal Groups: naturally emerging groups in an organization (common interests) Group Development Typical Stages of Group Development  Forming: ambiguous situation, “testing waters”  Storming: conflicts arise as group is sorting out roles  Norming: social consensus, compromise, storming issues are resolved  Performing: achievement creativity, mutual assistance go towards goal accomplishment  Adjourning: end of group, celebrations occur! Punctuated Equilibrium  Punctuated Equilibrium Model: group development model that describes how groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitions  Phase 1: gathering information and making agendas  Midpoint Transition: occurs halfway to deadline, transitional change in group’s approach  Phase 2: discussions and approaches at midpoint determine success of phase 2 o Manage problems, pay attention to info from phase 1 o Reset deadline changes Group Structure and its Consequences Group Size  Normally between 3-20 members  People generally happier in smaller groups, more connection and involvement, accomplishment  Additive Task: performance dependent on the sum of performance of individual members  Disjunctive Task: group performance dependent on brightest individual in group  Process Losses: performance difficulties resulting from coordinating and motivating large groups  Conjunctive Task: group performance limited by poorest performer Diversity of Group Membership  Diverse groups have more trouble in the initial organizational stages with cohesion  Diverse groups often perform better when creativity is a component Group Norms  Norms: collective expectations of behaviour people have of each other  Norms develop to give us a sense of predictability and psychological security  Less deviation expected from more important norms  Dress norms  Reward allocation norms based on equity, equality, reciprocity, or social responsibility  Performance norms Roles  Roles: positions in groups with set expectations attached to them o Assigned roles – formal division of labour o Emergent roles – informal, dependent on social context  Role Ambiguity: lack of clarity of job goals/methods o Organizational Factors: some roles inherently ambiguous o The Role Sender: unclear expectations o Focal Person: may not understand expectations fully  Role Conflict: when faced with incompatible role expectations o Intrasender Role Conflict: single ender provides incompatible role expectations to role occupant o Intersender Role Conflict: two or more role senders provide occupant with incompatible expectations o Interrole Conflict: several roles held by occupant involve incompatible expectations o Person-Role Conflict: role demands are incompatible with personality/skills of occupant  Role ambiguity promotes stress, dissatisfaction, reduced commitment, lowered performance, and quitting Status  Status: rank, social position, or prestige according to group members  Status Symbols: includes seniority and job role, and comes with increasing perks  Status differentiation is motivational (aspirations) and it reinforces authority  Informal status symbols also occur, related to performance, gender, race  Higher status people (including informal) tend to communicate more and be heard more, even though they may not be most qualified  Many organizations now levelling staus barriers, as they restrict the flow of communication Group Cohesiveness  Group Cohesiveness: degree to which a group is attractive to its members Factors Influencing Cohesiveness  Threat and Competition: group members feel the need to bond together to face a challenge, however when there is a certain doom cohesiveness will not help and isn’t particularly encouraged  Success: upon winning, a group becomes more attractive to its members, the opposite can often be said for losing  Diversity: may or may not have an effect depending on the situation  Size: difficulties coordinating often divides into subgroups (contrary to whole group cohesiveness)  Toughness and Initiation: those who survived rigorous testing bond together Consequences of Cohesiveness  Groups with high cohesion have less turnover and better communication  Well equipped to handle info, rewards, punishments to individual members, and activities to induce cohesiveness increase (including necessary isolation of members who refuse to conform)  Cohesion is linked with goal accomplishment, and long as the group accepts organizational goals Social Loafing  Social Loafing: withholding physical or intellectual effort when performing a group task o Free Rider Effect: taking ad
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