GROUP DYNAMICS Group : A collection of two or more people who meet regularly and influence one another over a period of time , perceive themselves as a distinct entity distinguishable from others, share common value and strive for common objectives. Group dynamics is the study of groups, and also a general term for group processes. In group dynamics, the phrase "group process" refers to the understanding of the behavior of people in groups, such as task groups, that are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. An individual with expertise in group process, such as a trained facilitator, can assist a group in accomplishing its objective by diagnosing how well the group is functioning as a problem solving or decision making entity and intervening to alter the group operational behavior.
Group Cohesiveness : When member of a group subscribe to common values, beliefs and objectives and when there is a high level of agreement between them on these matters and how best to achieve those adjectives of the group , a state of cohesiveness is said to exist. According to Kurt Lewin , the founder of the movement to study group scientifically the phrase "Group Dynamics" contains two words- (i) Group- a social unit of two or more individuals who have in common a set of believes and values, follow the same norms and works for an establish able aim common. The members of the group share a set of common purpose, task or goals. (ii) Dynamics- the flow of, coherent activities which as envisaged or will lead the group towards the establishment of its set goal.
WHY JOIN A GROUP. People join groups for a variety of reasons. Some group members are motivated by task concerns and others are motivated by interpersonal attraction to other group members. Read about the reasons people join groups and then complete the interactive activity Group Synergy : Group synergy1 refers to the idea that two heads (or more) are better than one. You may have also heard the phrase, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," which also refers to group synergy. Put simply, groups are often capable of producing higher quality work and better decisions that can an individual working alone. Support and Commitment : A group may be more willing to take on a large project than would an individual. In addition to its increased ability to perform work, the group can provide encouragement and support to its members while working on a big project. Interpersonal Needs: Individuals often join a group to meet their interpersonal needs. William Schutz2 has identified three such needs: Inclusion, Control, and Affection. Inclusion is the need to establish identity with others. Control is the need to exercise leadership and prove ones abilities. Groups provide outlets for this need. Some individuals do not want to be a leader. For them, groups provide the necessary control over aspects of their lives. Affection is the need to develop relationships with people. Groups are an excellent way to make friends and establish relationships.
TYPES OF GROUPIn most organization several different types of groups are present. The major classification is in the form of formal and informal groups. Formal Group : A formal group is established by management and is expected to perform a well defined tasks to achieve organizational objectives. At the organizational level formal group helps to accomplish complex ,interdependent tasks and create new ideas. At the individual level it helps to satisfy a persons need for affiliation , confirm his identity and enhance self esteem. Formal groups are again classified in to two types.a. Task group : Temporary formal groups that are established to solve specific issues. Example of a task group will include a curriculum committee constituted to look after specific disciplinary issues in an organization. Such task groups compromises of people from different department who possess complimentary skills in the area of expertise that are required. As soon as the task is completed the member disintegrate or revert back to their original groups.
TYPES OF GROUPb. Command group : Permanent group in an organization dictated by the structure of the organization. A typical command group comprises of supervisors exercising his authority over a set of subordinates.INFORMAL GROUPS : Grows out of need for friendship, affiliation, companionship and communication between people. The membership of this group is not identified by the organization but it is dependent upon the common values and interest shared by the employees. A common example of informal groups are ‘tea or coffee group’. Membership to groups are often found to be more powerful than formal group.a. Friendship groups : based on common characteristics such as age, common value and college affiliation. They help to satisfy the affiliation need of the members. Members have tremendous influence on each other.
TYPES OF GROUPb. Interest Group: These group comprises of individual who shares mutual interest and group tries to achieve their objectives.Ex- individual who comes to fight for a common cause such as alcohol or smoking is an interest group.
STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT – TUCKMAN’S MODEL. A permanent group in its evaluation has to pass through five distinct stages.( tuckman’s 1965). In a temporary group the fifth stage is also added. The phases are ; a. Forming : The first stage in group formation is the inclusion of the members in a group for a definite objective. The primary consideration is to focus on the task in hand and the utilization of resources to complete it. members tries to get to each other and build rapport. Most people are very cautious of each other and seek for guidance. The search for power center or leader also may begin at this stage . b.Storming : As member receive clarity about the techniques of doing the job , there may be disagreement about the process involved, the way resources are being used and their own lack of skills and abilities to do the job. Among the members themselves there may be personality clashes , ego hassles , friction in interpersonal relationship and inability to accept leaders power, there by creating a dissonance among the group members,.
STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT – TUCKMAN’S MODEL .c. Norming : As the differences begins to resolve, members develops mutual understanding and clarity with respect to the task in hand. There is an open invitation to exchange feelings and ideas which results in the acceptance of each others opinion. Cohesion also develops at the social level. Members develops there own set of formal and informal norms. ( through consensus) and try to abide by these norms.d. Performing : As members develops norms for work and interpersonal relationship. Solutions to the problem begins to emerge and constructive attempts are made to complete the job. Members relate to each other while performing the task with flexibility. Since interpersonal have been handled well, the energy of the group gets channelized in a positive direction.c.Adjourning : This stage is more apparent in temporary groups , where the members have to abandon their membership in the group once the task has been accomplished. It creates a lot of mixed feeling in terms of excitement of being able to complete the task effectively and experience melancholy for terminating the existence of membership in the group.
GROUP PROCESSES. There are certain inherent processes existing within each group. After a group has progressed through the stages of development, it is assumed that certain stable patterns of relationships exists among all members. Some of the important dynamics of group will be discussed un this section .ROLES : All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. Using the same metaphor all group members are actors each playing a role. By this term , we mean a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit.a. Role Identity : Certain attitudes and actual behavior s are consistent with the role. And they create role identity. Ex- When a union stewards were promoted to supervisor y positions, it was found that their attitude changed from pre- union to pre- management with in the few month of the promotion .b. Role Perception : Our view of how we are suppose to act in a given situation is what is known as role perception . Ex - We may form an impression of the work of doctors from watching Grey’s Anatomy . Of course , the primary reason apprenticeship programs exist in many professions is to allow the beginners to watch an expert and learn to act as they are supposed to.
GROUP PROCESSES Role Expectations : Are defined as the way others believe you should act in a given situation. In the work place , it will be helpful to look at the topic of role expectation through the perspective of the psychological contract. Unwritten agreement that exist between the employer and the employee . What management expect from the expects from workers and vice – versa. Role Conflict : When an individual is confronted to divergent role expectation , the result is role conflict. It exist when an individual finds that compliance with one role requirement may it difficult to comply with others.NORMS AND STATUS : Acceptable standard of behavior that are shared by the group member. Norms tell the members what they aught and ought not to do under certain circumstances. Probably the most common group norm is the performance norm . Work groups typically provides cues to how hard they should work . Other types include appearance norms and resource allocation norms ( distribution of resources like pay and equipment ). Conformity : The adjustment of one’s behavior to align with the norms of the group. Deviant workplace behavior : Also known as antisocial behavior or workplace incivility. These are the voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and in doing so, threatens the well being of the organization or its members.
GROUP PROCESSESSTATUS : A socially defined position or rank given to groups or groups members by others. Status is an important factor in understanding human behavior because