PGDM (2013-15) Term-II
Dynamics of Group Behavior
Dr. V. Ekkirala
Function Groups Teams
Performance Individual Individual & Collective
Leadership Assigned Leader Shared leadership roles
Accountability Individual Individual, Mutual and Collective
Similar to Organization’s
Specific Common Purpose & goals
Size Range from two to thousands Narrow range of size
Skills Similar skills Complementary skills
Tasks Jointly perform similar tasks Collective work, integration & coordination
Perform under authority
Empowered, responsible & accountable
Synergy Neutral (at times negative) Positive
Groups & Teams
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• Formal group: Created by the organization with designated roles
• Informal group: Social groups of employees beyond the organization’s
structure – Friendship groups, Interest groups etc.
• Command group: Group of people reporting to a given manager
• Teams: Formal Collaborative group with common goals, shared
leadership and collective responsibility
• Task force: Temporary team Created for specific purpose/goal
• Functional groups: Comprising of members from a specific function
• Cross-functional groups: Group members from multiple functions
Types of Groups
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• Forming: Knowing each other, clarifying goals, roles & Behavior
• Storming: Dealing with tensions of resistance, competition & conflict
• Norming: Evolve standards, roles & norms of group behavior
• Performing: Start working towards group goals
• Adjourning: Group disbands after accomplishment of its goals
Groups do not always progress from one stage to the other sequentially. They may
go through several stages simultaneously (e.g.., storming & performing) or may
even regress to previous stages.
¹ Tuckman, & Jensen. (1965).
Stages of Group Development ¹
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Group norms are informal rules of conduct – acceptable standards
of member behavior.
Reasons for conformity of members to the Group’s norms:
• Compliance: To avoid punishment and/or to obtain reward
• Identification: Associating with the supporters of the norm
• Internalization: Belief that the norm is most appropriate
Deviance: Violation of a norm by a member. Responses to deviance:
Justifying the need for compliance/reprimand or punishment
Reject or expel the member
Change the norm itself when it is found to be inappropriate
Balancing Deviance & Conformity: Teams need both deviance &
conformity to accomplish their goals.
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Cohesiveness is the strength of the glue that holds the group together. It is
the attractiveness of the group to its members, together with their
motivation to remain with the group. (Piper et al. 1983).
Factors influencing Cohesiveness:
• Group size • Similarity/Diversity • Status of the group
• Success • External pressure
A cohesive group is more productive when the group’s attitude is
positively aligned with organization’s goals.
A highly cohesive group with unfavorable attitude towards
organization/ its goals, causes decline in performance.
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• Social Facilitation: How the presence of others effects an individual’s
performance (Positive and negative) as a result of heightened emotional
state (tension & excitement)
• Drive theory of Social Facilitation: In the presence of others, individuals
perform better on well-learned tasks but poorer if the task is not well-
learned (due to social facilitation).
• Evaluation apprehension: The fear of being judged by others – what
others might think about them. At times close monitoring on the job
might hinder performance.
• Social Loafing: The tendency of people to work less hard in a group than
they would individually (Latane, Williams & Harkins, 1978) ².
• Overcoming Social Loafing: Define roles; identify and reward individual
contribution to group performance; Raise accountability.
Individual Performance in Groups
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• Deviant behavior (Unethical/ antisocial behavior or workplace
incivility) refers to voluntary actions violating organizational norms
detrimental to the well-being of the organization or its members.
• Individuals who do not engage in deviant behavior may be more
likely to do so in a group.
• A study found that individuals working alone never lied. But those
working in groups were more likely to cheat on task and steal ³.
Groups provide a shield of anonymity.
• Deviant behavior depends on the accepted norms of the group ⁴.
Deviant Workplace Behavior
1. Tuckman, B.W. & Jensen, M.A. (1977). Stages of small group development revisited.
Group and Organization Studies, 2: 419-427.
2. Bib Latane, Kipling Williams & Stephen Harkins (1978). Many hands make light the work:
The causes and consequences of social loafing. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 37: 822-832.
2. Erez, A., Elms, H. & Fong, E. (2003). Lying, cheating, stealing: It happens more in groups.
Paper presented at the European Business Network Annual Conference, Budapest,
Hungary, August 30.
2. Robinson, S., & Kraatz, M.S. (1998). Constructing the reality of normative behavior: The
use of neutralization strategies by organizational deviants. In R.W. Griffin and A.O’Leary-
Kelly (eds), Dysfunctional Behavior in Organizations: Violent and Deviant Behavior.
Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, pp. 203-220.
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