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Chapter 7

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Ping Zhang

BU288 Chapter 7 Groups and Teamwork Week 4 What is a Group? -Group two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal -Interaction is the most basic aspect of a group it suggests who is in the group and who is not -The interaction of group members need not be face to face, and it need not be verbal -Interdependence simply means that group members rely to some degree on each other to accomplish goals -All groups have one or more goals that their members seek to achieve -Group memberships are very important for two reasons: Groups exert a tremendous influence on us, they are the social mechanisms by which we acquire many beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviours -Groups 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 -The most common formal group consists of a manager and the employees who report to that manager -Other types of formal work groups include task forces and committees -Task forces are temporary groups that meet to achieve a 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 Group Development -Simple groups even 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 Forming -Group members try to orient themselves by testing the waters Storming -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 at issue here problems are more likely to happen earlier, rather than later in group development Norming -Members resolve the issues that provoked the storming, and they develop social consensus -Compromise is often necessary Performing -With the social structure sorted out, the group devotes its energies toward task accomplishment -Achievement, creativity, and mutual assistance are prominent themes of this stage Adjourning -Some groups have a definite lifespan and disperse after goals are achieved BU288 Chapter 7 Groups and Teamwork Week 4 -Rites and rituals that affirm the groups previous successful development are common members often exhibit emotional support or each other -The stages model monitors and troubleshoots how groups are developing -Not all groups go through these stages -This process applies to new groups who have not met before Punctuated Equilibrium -When groups have a specific deadline by which to complete some problem-solving task, we can often observe a very different development sequence from the described above -Punctuated equilibrium model a model of group development that describes how groups with deadline are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitions -Equilibrium means stability, and the research revealed apparent stretched of group stability punctuated by a critical first meeting, a midpoint change in group activity, and a rush to task completion Phase 1 -Begins with the first meeting and continues until the midpoint in the groups existence -Assumptions, approaches, and precedents that members develop in the first meeting end up dominating the first half of the groups life -The group makes little visible progress toward the goal Midpoint Transition -Occurs almost exactly the halfway point in time toward the groups deadline -Marks a change in the groups approach, and how the group manages the change is critical for the group to show progress -The need to move forward is apparent, and the group may seek outside advice Phase 2 -Decisions and approaches adopted at the midpoint get played out in Phase 2 -In concludes with a final meeting that reveals a burst of activity and a concern for how outsiders will evaluate the product -Advice: -Prepare carefully for the first meeting. What is decided here will strongly determine what happens in the rest of Phase 1 -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 -Be sure that adequate resources are available to actually execute the Phase 2 plan -Resist deadline changes. These could damage the midpoint transition Group Structure and its Consequences -Group structure refers to the characteristics of the stable social organization of a group the way a group is put together -The most basic structural characteristics along which groups vary are size and member diversity -Other strucral characteristics are the expectations that members have about each others behaviours, aggrements about who does what, the rewards and prestige allocated to various group members, andBU288 Chapter 7 Groups and Teamwork Week 4 how attractive the group is to its members Group Size -Most work groups, including task forces and committees, usually have between 3 and 20 members Size and Satisfaction -Members of larger groups report les satisfaction with group membership than those who find themselves in smaller groups -As opportunities for friendship increase, the chance to work on and develop these opportunities might decrease owing to the sheer time and energy required -Larger groups may prompt conflict and dissension -As group sizes increase, the time available for verbal participation by each member decreases -In larger groups, individual members identify less easily with the success and accomplishments of the group Size and Performance -Additive tasks tasks in which group performance is dependent on the sum of the performance of individual group members- Ex. Building a house -Disjunctive tasks tasks in which group performance is dependent on the performance of the best group member Ex. Looking for an error in a complicated computer program -Process losses group performance difficulties stemming from the problems of motivating and coordinating larger groups -Actual performance = potential performance process losses -Both potential performance and process losses increase with group size for a
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