Chapter 7: Groups and Teamwork
! Group: Two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal.
! Group memberships are very important because they exert tremendous influence on us
and they provide a context in which we are able to exert influence on others.
! Formal work groups: Groups that are established by organizations to facilitate the
achievement of organizational goals. Managers and his/her subordinate are the most
common work group. Other types include task forces and committees. Task forces are
temporary groups that meet to achieve particular goals or to solve particular problems.
Committees are usually permanent groups that handle recurrent assignments outside
the usual work group structures.
! Informal groups: Groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests
of organizational members.
! Typical Stages of Group Development
! Forming: Group members try to orient themselves by “testing the waters”.
Purpose, members personality, why/what are we doing here? The situation is often
ambiguous, and members are aware of their dependency on each other.
! Storming: At this second stage, conflict often emerges. Confrontation and
criticism occur as members determine whether they will go along with the way the
group is developing. Sorting out roles and responsibilities is often the issue here.
Problems are more likely to happen earlier, rather than later, in group development.
! Norming: At this stage, members resolve the issues that provoked the storming,
and they develop social consensus. Compromise is often necessary. Interdependence is
recognized, norms are agreed to, and the group becomes more cohesive. Information
and opinions flow freely.
! Performing: With its social structure sorted out, the group devotes its energies
toward task accomplishment. Achievement, creativity, and mutual assistance are
prominent themes of this stage.
! Adjourning: Groups disperse during this stage. Some has a specific life span
and some disband due to corporate layoffs. Rites and rituals that affirm the group’s
successful development are common. Members often exhibit emotional support for
each other. Members often exhibit emotional support for each other.
! Not all groups go through these stages of development. Well-acquainted task forces
and committees can bypass these stages when they have a new problem to work out.
Also, some organizational settings are so structured that storming and norming are
unnecessary for even strangers to join together in a team. Eg. Airline cabin crews.
! Punctuated Equilibrium Model: A model of group development that describes how
groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint
transitions and a rush to task completion.
! Phase 1: Begins with first meeting and continues until midpoint of group
existence. Crucial for setting the agenda for what will happen in the remainder of