Prof. Julie McCarthy

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Management (MGH)
Julie Mc Carthy

Chapter 7 Groups and Teamwork 1. What is a Group? Group : Two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal. ----The interaction need not be face to face, and it need not be verbal. ----Interdependence: group members rely to each other to accomplish goals. ----All groups have one or more goals. Group memberships: group exerts influence on us (social mechanism); we are able to exert influence on others. Formal work groups: Groups that are established by organizations to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. ----Most common formal group: a manager and the employees who report to the manager. (Hierarchy) ----Task forces: temporary groups that meet to achieve particular goals ----Committees: permanent groups that handle recurrent assignments outside the usual work group structure. Informal groups: Groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of organizational members. 2. Group Development: Typical stages of group development: ----Forming: The situation is ambiguous, members are aware of their dependency on each other. ----Storming: Problems happen earlier, then sorting out roles and responsibilities. ----Norming: Develop social consensus, compromising. Interdependence and norms are recognized. ----Performing: The group devotes its energies toward task accomplishment. ----Adjourning: Members exhibit emotional support for each other. Punctuated equilibrium model: A model of group development that describes how groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitions. Phase1: begins with the first meeting and continue until the midpoint in the groups existence. ----The first meeting is critical in setting the agenda. Assumptions, approaches, and precedents that members develop in the first meeting end up dominating the first half of the groups life. Midpoint Transition: it occurs exactly the halfway point in time toward the groups deadline. The transition marks a change in the groups approach, and how the group manages it is critical for the group to show progress. The group may seek outside advice. Phase2: decisions and approaches adopted at the midpoint get played out in Phase 2. It concludes with a final meeting that reveals a burst of activity and a concern for how outsiders will evaluate the product. Advices: ----Prepare carefully for the first meeting. Stress motivation and excitement. ----As long as people are working, do not look for radical progress during Phase 1. ----Manage the midpoint transition carefully. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas that people generated in Phase 1. Recognize a strategy to be used in Phase 2. ----Ensure adequate resources are available to execute the Phase 2 plan. ----Resist deadline changes. These could damage the midpoint transition.
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