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Chapter 7

MGHB02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Punctuated Equilibrium

Management (MGH)
Course Code
Samantha Montes

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Chapter Seven-Social Behaviour and Organizational Processes
What is a Group?
Group- two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal
suggest who is in and who isnt in the group
need not to meet face to face or verbal communication ie. Telecommute
group members rely on each other to accomplish goals all groups have 1 or more goals
Importance of group membership
oGroup tremendous influence on us
social mechanism by which we acquire many beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours
provide a context in which we are able to exert influence on others
Formal work groups-group that organizations establish to facilitate the achievement of organizational goals
oIntentionally designed to channel individual effort in an appropriate direction
oMost common formal groups: a manager and employees who report to manager ie. Production
manager, supervisor (who report to manager)
oHierarchy of most organizations is a series of formal interlocked work groups
oTask forces-temporary groups that meet to achieve particular goals or to solve particular problems
ie suggesting productivity improvements
oCommittees- permanent groups that handle recurrent assignments outside the usual work group
Informal groups- groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of organizational
oSeldom sanctioned by organization, members often cuts across formal groups
oCan either help or hurt organization, depending on their norms of behaviour
Group Development
Typical Stages of Group Development

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like hierarchy, in which each stage must be mastered to achieve next stage
a good tool for monitoring and troubleshooting how groups are developing, but not ALL groups go through
these stages
applies to NEW groups that have never met before
some organizational setting are so structured that stroming and norming are unncessary
orient themselves by testing the waters
what are we doing, what are others like, our purpose
Conflict often emerges
Confrontations and criticism occur
Roles and responsibilities are issued
Issues between members resolved and develop social consensus
Compromise is often necessary
Interdependence is recognized, norms are agreed, group becomes more cohesive
Information and opinions flow freely
Group devotes its energies towards task accomplishment
Achievement, creativity, and mutual assistance are prominent themes of this stage
Most teams have a definite life span and disperse after achieving goal, or from layoffs or downsizing
Ceremonies and parties to celebrate success, members exhibit emotional support for each other

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Punctuated Equilibrium
Punctuated equilibrium model-model of group development that describes how groups w/ deadlines are
affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transactions
oEquilibrium- means stability, research revealed apparent stretches of group stability punctuated by a
critical first meeting, midpoint change in group activity and rush to task completion
1.Phase 1
Begins w/ the first meeting and continues until midpoint in groups existence
First meeting is critical in setting agenda for what will happen in remainder of phase
Assumptions, approaches and precedents members develop in 1st meeting will dominate 1st half of
groups life
Group makes little visible progress towards goal
2.Midpoint transition
Occurs at almost halfway point towards deadline
Marks a change in groups approach, and how group manages it is critical for group to show progress
Need to move forward is apparent
Group may seek outside advice
May consolidate preciously acquired info or mark a completely new approach
3.Phase 2
Decisions and approaches adopted at midpoint get played out
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