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Management (MGH)
Joanna Heathcote

LEC 8 GROUPS AND TEAMS Group-consist 2 or more ppl interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal Interaction is the most basic aspect Interdependence- group members rely to some degree on each other Group membership is important: Groups exert influence on us Groups provide a context in which we are able to exert influence on others Pros: Shares responsibilities, Share ideas Cons: Time consuming, few members control group activities, ambiguity, compromise Formal Work Groups-groups that are established by organizations to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals -manager and employees who report to the manager Informal Groups-groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of organizational members -sanctioned by the organization -either help or hurt an organization, depending on their norms for behavior Group development -complex social devices -require a fair amount of negotiation and trial-and-error before individual members begin to function as a true group Typical stages of group development New groups that have never met before 1) Forming -group members try to orient themselves by “testing the waters” -situation is often ambiguous, and members are aware of their dependency on each other 2) Storming -conflict often happen at this stage -confrontation and criticism occur as members determine whether they will go along w/ the way the group is developing -sorting out roles and responsibilities is often at issue 3) Norming -members resolve the issues that provoked the storming, and they develop social consensus -compromise is often necessary -norms are agreed on and the group becomes more cohesive -info and opinions flow freely 4) Performing -the group devotes its energies toward task accomplishment -achievement, creativity, and mutual assistance are prominent themes at this stage 5) Adjourning -rites and rituals that affirm the group’s previous successful development are common -members often exhibit emotional support for each other Punctuated Equilibrium Model-describes how groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitions Equilibrium=Stability Stretches of group stability punctuated by: a) A critical first meeting b) A Midpoint change in group activity c) A rush to task completion Phase 1 First meetingmidpoint in group’s existence First meeting is critical in setting the agenda for what will happen in the remainder of the phase Group makes little visible progress toward the goal Midpoint Transition -occurs at almost exactly the halfway point in time toward the group’s deadline -transition marks a change in group’s approach -how group manages it’s critical for the group to show progress -this transition crystallizes the group’s activities for Phase 2 Phase 2 Decision and approaches adopted at the midpoint get played out in Phase 2 Concludes with a final meeting that reveals a burst of activity and a concern for how outsiders will evaluate the product Advice: st  Prepare carefully for 1 meeting  As long as ppl are working is fine  Manage midpoint transition carefully  Adequate resources are available to actually execute Phase 2  Resist deadline changes Group structure and consequences Group Structure-characteristics of the stable social organization of a group “put together” Structural Characteristics -size and member diversity -group norms, roles, status, cohesiveness Group Size -smallest: 2 ppl (manager and employee) -general: (task forces and committees) 3 to 20 members Large Groupless Satisfaction -less chance to develop friendship -conflict and dissension -many ppl are inhibited about participating in larger groups -individual members identify less easily with the success and accomplishments of the group The relationship b/w group size and performance depends on the task the group needs to accomplish and on how we define good performance ADDITIVE TASKS DISJUNCTIVE TASKS CONJUNCTIVE TASKS Additive Tasks -tasks in which group performance is dependent on the sum of the performance of individual group members -potential performance of the group increases with group size Disjunctive Tasks -tasks in which group performance is dependent on the performance of the best group member -potential performance of groups doing disjunctive tasks increases with group size Conjunctive Tasks -tasks in which group performance is limited by the performance of the poorest group member -both the potential and actual performance of conjunctive tasks would decrease as group size increase For additive and disjunctive tasks, larger groups might perform better up to a point but at increasing costs to the efficiency of individual members Performance on purely conjunctive tasks should decrease as group size increases Diversity of Group Membership Diverse groups have a more difficult time communicating effectively and becoming cohesive Diverse groups might take longer to do their forming, storming, and norming Once they do develop, more and less diverse groups are equally cohesive and productive -Sometimes perform better when the task requires cognitive, creativity-demanding tasks, and problem- solving -in general, any negative effects of “surface diversity” in age, gender, or race seem to wear off over time -“deep diversity” in attitudes toward work or how to accomplish a goal can badly damage cohesiveness Group norms Social norms are collective expectations that members of social units have regarding the behavior of each other -they are codes of conduct that specify the standards against which we evaluate the appropriateness of behavior -most normative influence is unconscious -we are only aware of it in special circumstances 1. Dress norms 2. Reward allocation norms (equity, equality, reciprocity, social responsibility) 3. Performance norms Roles-position in a group that have a set of expected behaviors attached to them -“packages” of norms that apply to particular group members ASSIGNED ROLES EMERGENT ROLES Roles Ambiguity-exists when the goals of one’s job or the methods of performing it are unclear  Organizational factors  The role sender  The focal person The most frequent outcomes are job stress, dissatisfaction, reduced organizational commitment, lower performance, and intentions to quit Managers can reduce role ambiguity by providing clear performance expectations and performance feedback Role conflict- exist when an individual is faced with incompatible role expectations 1. Intrasender role conflict 2. Intersender role conflict 3. Interrole conflict 4. Person-role conflict The most consistent consequences of role conflict are job dissatisfaction, stress reactions, lowered organizational commitment, and turnover intentions Prevent by:  Avoiding self-contradictory messages  Conferring with other role senders  Being sensitive to multiple role demands  Fitting the right person to the right role Status- in the rank, social position, or prestige accorded to group members -it represents the group’s evaluation of a member -what is evaluated depends on the status system in question -all organizations have both formal and informal status systems Formal status systems -represents management’s attempt to publicly identify those ppl who have higher status than others Status symbols are tangible indicators of status (ex. Titles, pay packages, work schedules) Formal organization status is based on seniority in one’s group and one’s assigned role in the organization-one’s job Differentiate status:  Serve as powerful magnets to induce members to aspire to higher organizational posi
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