Foundations of Group Behavior
Two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who come together to achieve particular objectives
Defining and Classifying Groups Formal Command Groups Tasks Groups Interest Groups Friendship Groups Informal
Types of Groups A designated work group defined by the organisation’s structure. A group composed of the individuals who report directly to a given manager.
Those working together to complete a job task.
Types of Groups A group that is neither formally structures nor organisationally determined. Those working together to attain a specific objective with which each is concerned.
Those brought together because they share one or more common characteristics.
Stages of Group Development Forming stage characterised by much uncertainty. Storming stage characterised by intragroup conflict. Norming stage characterised by close relationships and cohesiveness. Performing stage, when the group is fully functional.
Adjourning stage (for temporary gruops) characterised by concern with wrapping up activities rather than task performance.
Why People Join Groups
Basic Group Concepts
To engage in a set of expected behavior patterns that are attributed to occupying a given position in a social unit
Roles Role Identity: Certain attitudes and behaviour consistent with a role.
Role Perception: An individual’s view of how he or she is suppose to act in a given situation.
Roles Role Expectations: How others believe a person should act in a given situation. Unwritten agreement that exists between employees and their employer Sets out mutual expectations
Role Conflict: A situation in which an individual is confronted by divergent role expectations.
Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are adopted and shared by the group’s members
The Hawthorne Studies Series of studies at Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne Works, Chicago Examined the relation between the physical environment and productivity
Researchers’ findings contradicted their anticipated results
The Hawthorne Studies Concluded that a worker’s behavior and sentiments were closely related
Group influences were significant in affecting individual behavior.
The Hawthorne Studies Group standards were highly effective in establishing individual worker output.
Money was less a factor in determining worker output than were group standards, sentiments, and security.
Conformity and the Asch Studies Adjusting one’s behaviour to align with the norms of the group. Asch’s studies demonstrated that subjects conformed in about 35% of the trials Members desire to be one of the group and avoid being visibly different
Members with differing opinions feel extensive pressure to align with others
Examples of Cards Used in Asch Study X A B C
Status - a socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others
What Determines Status? The power a person wields over others A person’s ability to contribute to a group’s goals
An individual’s personal characteristics
The degree to which members of the group are attracted to each other and motivated to stay in the group
Relationship of Cohesiveness, Performance Norms and Productivity Cohesiveness Performance Norms High Low High Low Decrease in productivity No significant effect on productivity Strong increase in productivity Moderate increase in productivity
How Can Managers Encourage Cohesiveness? Encourage agreement on group goals Increase the time spent together
Increase the status and perceived difficulty of group membership
More Ways Managers Can Encourage Cohesiveness Stimulate competition with other groups Give rewards to the group rather than members
Physically isolate the group
How Size Affects a Group Smaller groups are faster at completing tasks Large groups are consistently better at problem solving
Increases in group size are inversely related to individual performance
Social loafing - tendency to exert less effort in a group than as an individual
When a group is diverse, there is an increased probability that it will possess the needed characteristics to complete its tasks effectively.
Diversity promotes conflict, which stimulates creativity, which leads to improved decision making
Group Decision Making More complete knowledge and information
Increased diversity of views
Group Decision Making Conformity pressures in groups
Dominated by one or a few members
Individual versus Group Decision Making
More information and knowledge
Symptoms of Groupthink Phenomenon in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action Group members rationalize any resistance to their assumptions
Members pressure any doubters to support the alternative favored by the majority
Symptoms of Groupthink Doubters keep silent about misgivings and minimize their importance
Group interprets members’ silence as a “yes” vote for the majority
Variables Influencing Groupthink
Failure to follow methodical decision-making procedures
Decision of the group reflects the dominant decision-making norm that develops during the group’s discussion
In discussing a given set of alternatives and arriving at a solution, group members tend to exaggerate the initial positions that they hold. In some situations caution dominates and there is a conservative shift. More often groups tend toward a risky shift.
Selecting the Best Decision-Making Technique