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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 _ Groups and Teamwork.docx

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David Scallen

Chapter 7 – Groups and Teamwork What is a Group? • Two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal o Any interaction to achieve a common goal where there is some reliance on each other to achieve goal • Important because groups exert pressure on us (method to acquiring values) and how we influence others • Formal work groups: groups that are established by orgs to facilitate achievement of org goals o Hierarchy of most organizations is a series of formal groups (executives  directors  manager  supervisor  workers) • Task groups/project teams: temporary groups that meet to achieve a particular goal • Committee: permanent groups that handle recurrent assignments outside work group structure • Informal groups: groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of org members Group Development • Forming – group is formed and members try to orient themselves  situation is often ambiguous  “What are we doing, what is our purpose, how are the other members” • Storming – sorting out roles and responsibilities, group develops  conflicts often emerge o What’s my role here? Who is in charge and who does what? • Norming – group becomes more cohesive as compromises are reached  come up with expectations and procedures (norms of behaviour) o What is expected of me? Can we agree on roles/work as a team? • Performing – perform at optimal level of group  use energy to accomplish tasks • Adjourning – breaking up of group if a temporary group  have some party/ceremony and emotional support for each other o If hit a setback, the group can go to the previous stage or back to forming Punctuated Equilibrium • Amodel of group development that describes how groups with deadlines are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transition  how/when they really work? • Phase 1 – first meeting until midpoint  little progress is made, more of an exploratory stage  first meeting sets agenda for remainder + what questions to ask/what to do? • Midpoint transition – almost at halfway mark to deadlines – transition to a higher functioning team, where tasks are solidified and everyone knows what they must do o Evaluate ideas from phase 1, come up with strategy for phase 2 and start acting • Phrase 2 – decisions/approaches from midpoint gets put in action  hyper drive where most of actual task accomplishment is done (higher group performance) Group Structure and Its Consequences Size • Satisfaction - The larger the group, the less satisfied people are with group membership  larger groups mean more viewpoints = more conflicts, less time for participation for each member, less identification with success of group + more opportunities for friendship but unable to act • Performance - For additive tasks (group performance depends on sum of performance of individual group members), the potential performance of the group increases with group size  for problem solving, larger groups are better…for tasks-based groups, smaller the better o For disjunctive tasks (group performance is dependent on the performance of the best member), the performance of the group increases with group size  more likely o For conjunctive tasks (group performance is limited by poorest group member), larger size means lower potential performance (more likely to have a bad member) o But larger group = process losses  performance difficulties stemming from the problems of having a larger group (coordination)  actual = potential – process losses  Potential performance/process losses increase with large size, actual performance increases up to a certain point but then decreases after that but average performance of group members decrease as size gets bigger • Up to a certain point, large groups perform better but individual members are less efficient Diversity of Group Membership • Diverse groups tend to take longer in forming/storming/norming but can perform equally as cohesive/productive (can even be better with more creativity/wider ideas) Group Norms • Acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by the members o Pros: set expectations Cons: kills creativity, can have bad norms • Norms cover: Performance (work ethic, work quality), appearance (dress code), social arrangement (how team members interact) and allocation of resources (pay, duties) o Importance: facilitates group’s survival, makes behaviour predictable, minimizes embarrassment and expresses group personality/values/identity • Norm development – either through an explicit statement made by a group member, critical events in group’s history, primacy (initial patterns of behaviour) or from past situations o Followed because they correspond to privately held attitudes + avoid confusion • Ex. Dress norms, reward allocation norms (equity, equality, reciprocity, social responsibility), performance norms) Roles • Positions in a group that have expected attached behaviors – packages of norms for that specific individual  norms apply to all group members for similar behaviour but also have some individual element o Have assigned roles (formally prescribed) and emergent roles (develop naturally to meet socio-emotional needs) • Role Expectations: expectations of others about a role  how they think you should act • Role ambiguity: lack of clarity of job goals or methods – exists when the goals/method of a job are unclear  confusion about how performance is evaluated/achieved and duties o Role senders develop expectations and send it to focal people who receives it and tries to fulfill it – can have ambiguity due to: org factors (function in org), role sender (unclear expectation/ineffectively send) or focal person o Leads to job stress, less satisfaction/commitment/performance • Role conflict: a condition of being faced with incompatible role expectations o Intrasender role conflict: single role sender provides incompatible expectations o Intersender: two or more role senders provide role person with incompatible expectations (ex. first-line manager has to keep workers in line while being friendly) o Interrole conflict: several roles held by a role occupant w/incomp expec o Person-role conflict: role calls for behaviour that is incomp w/personality & skills • Role Overload/Underload: too high or low expectations of a person in a role Status • The rank, social position or prestige of group members  group’s evaluation of a member • Formal Status Systems – publicly identify people with higher status based on status symbols, such as pay, schedule, physical environment  seniority or role • Informal Status Systems – lack symbols/support, based on job performance, gender, race • Status important because it serves as a way to inspire people to reach higher + authority • Consequences of Status Difference – people may be scared to talk to people with much higher roles, people pay attention/respect status = high status = more influence • Reducing barriers – want to have a culture of cooperation across ranks – get rid of status symbols  Ex. no reserved parking, fancy offices, more e-mail communication Group Cohesiveness • Degree to which a group is attractive to its members – affects member wanting to stay • Factors Influencing Cohesiveness: o Threat and competition – external threat to survival = increases – feel need to improve communication/coordination so they can better cope with situation  Describe group in favourable = capable of doing  Under extreme or unbalanced competition = no impact o Success – with accomplishments, cohesiveness increases; failures decrease o Member Diversity – usually less cohesive (can still succeed if in agreement) o Size – larger groups = harder to become and stay cohesive; ha
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