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Published by: Manisha Tekchandani on Mar 21, 2011
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DEFINING AND CLASSIFYING GROUPS ........................................................ 2 GROUP BEHAVIOUR ......................................................................................... 3 THEORIES OF GROUP BEHAVIOUR FUNCTIONING .................................... 4 Why Do People Join Groups? ................................................................................ 6 STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT .............................................................. 6 GROUP BEHAVIOUR MODEL ........................................................................... 8 INFLUENCE OF GROUP BEHAVIOUR ON THE WORK ASSIGNED ............. 9 GROUP MEMBER RESOURCES .......................................................................10 GROUP PROPERTIES ........................................................................................10 GROUPS VS TEAMS ..........................................................................................15 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A GROUP BEHAVIOR ...........20 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GROUP DECISIONS ..............22 CASE STUDIES ...................................................................................................23


A group is defined as two or more individuals, interacting and Interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives. Groups can be either formal or informal. By formal groups, we mean those defined by the organization¶s structure, with designated work assignments establishing task. If formal groups, the behaviors that one should engage in are stipulated by and directed toward organizational goals. The six members making up an airline flight crew are an example of a normal group. In contrast, informal groups are alliances that are neither formally structured nor organizationally determined. These groups are natural formations in the work environment that appear in response to the need for social contact three employees from different departments who regularly eat together are an example of an informal group. It¶s possible to further sub-classify groups as command, task, interest, or friendship groups. Command and task groups are dictated by the formal organization whereas interest and friendship groups are formal alliances. A command group is determined by the organization chart. It is composed of the individuals who report directly to manager. An elementary school principal and her 18 teachers form a command group, as do the director of postal audits and his five inspectors. Task groups, also organizationally determined represents those working together to complete a job task. However, a task group¶s boundaries are limited to its immediate hierarchical superior. It can cross command relationships. For instance, if a college student is accused of a campus crime, it may require communication and coordination among the dean of academic affairs, the dean of students, the registrar, the director of security, and the student¶s advisor. Such a formation would constitute a task group. It should be noted that all command groups are also task groups, but because task groups can cut across the organization, the reverse need not be true. People who may or may not be aligned into common command or task groups may affiliate to attain a specific objective with which each is concerned. This is an interest group. Employees who bond together to have their vacation schedules altered to support a peer who has been fired or to seek improved working conditions represent a united body to further their common interest. Groups often develop because the individual members have one or more common characteristics. We call these formations friendship groups. Social alliances, which frequently extend outside the work situation can be based on similar age or ethnic heritage, support for Notre dame, Football, interest in the same alternative rock and, or the holding of similar political views, to name just a few such characteristics. Informal groups a very important service by satisfying member needs. Because of interactions that result from the close proximity of workstations or task interactions we find workers often do things together ±like play golf, commute to work, take lunch, and chat during coffee breaks. We

especially in the area of applied social sciences and other relevant fields of specialization. It is a second potential negative consequence of group cohesion. uniqueness. The term is frequently used pejoratively. Here is no single reason why individuals join groups. reality testing. Individual creativity.must recognize that these types of interactions among individuals even though informal deeply affect their behavior and performance. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty. GROUP BEHAVIOUR Groupthink is defined as ³the deterioration of mental efficiency. Additionally. Working in groups requires a certain amount of trust. There are several aspects of group cohesion which have a negative effect on group decision making and hence on group effectiveness. members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. but one can almost always evaluate the quality of the decision-making process. as are the advantages of reasonable balance in choice and thought that might normally be obtained by making decisions as a group. But consensus without conflict almost always means that other viewpoints are being ignored. for fear of upsetting the group¶s balance. analyzing. or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. group polarisation.´ Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive in-group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing. Group decision making is a situation faced when people are brought together to solve problems in the anticipation that they are more effective than individuals under the idea of synergy. and evaluating ideas. and group-think are negative aspects of group decision making which have drawn attention. During groupthink. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish. irrational decisions. and the consequences of group-think can be disastrous.everyone likes to feel part of a group and our avoidance of social challenges. and independent thinking are lost in the pursuit of group cohesiveness. 3 . and moral judgement in the interest of group solidarity. Are you a trusting a person? The Self Assessment Feature will tell you. It's particularly because it taps into our deep social identification mechanisms . where individual doubts are set aside. it is difficult to assess the quality of decision making in terms of outcomes all the time. But cohesive groups display risky behavior in decision making situations that led to the devotion of much effort. in hindsight. Group-think is one of the most dangerous traps in our decision making. it¶s obvious that different groups provide different benefits to their member. Because most people belong to a number of groups. Risky-shift phenomenon.

infant cannibalism. Collective effervescence is a perceived energy formed by a gathering of people as might be experienced at a sporting event.THEORIES OF GROUP BEHAVIOUR FUNCTIONING The bandwagon effect is well-documented in behavioral science and has many applications. as fads and trends clearly do. is an assessment used to gain insight into an individual's behavioural tendency in a team environment. Behavioral sink . then crashes. failure to breed and nurture young normally. A common manifestation of mass hysteria occurs when a group of people believe they are suffering from a similar disease or ailment. a rave. The general rule is that conduct or beliefs spread among people. also called the Belbin Self-Perception Inventory. When forced interactions exceed some threshold. with "the probability of any individual adopting it increasing with the proportion who have already done so". a carnival. drug and alcohol use rises. often destructive behaviors. in human populations. The Belbin Team Inventory. and psychosomatic disorders increase. but the cage was fixed at a size considered sufficient for only 50 rats. it is the necessity for community members to interact with one another. Actual physical disease. Often. or because individuals derive information from others. Subsequent studies involving humans have shown it is not mere lack of space that causes the behavioral sink. or a riot. mental illness. The tendency to follow the actions or beliefs of others can occur because individuals directly prefer to conform. This perception can cause people to act differently than in their everyday life Mass hysteria ² other names include collective hysteria. and abnormal sexual patterns. population peaks.Calhoun provided a cage of rats with food and water replenished to support any increase in population. group hysteria. Collective consciousness was a term coined by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858± 1917) to refer to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. There are eating disorders. The only known counter to the effect of the behavioral sink is to reduce the frequency and intensity of social interaction. his conclusion was that space itself is a necessity. Population peaked at 80 rats and thereafter exhibited a variety of abnormal. Belbin Team Role Inventory. increased mortality at all ages. is the sociopsychological phenomenon of the manifestation of the same or similar hysterical symptoms by more than one person. social norms break down. Thus social density is considered more critical than geometric spatial density. 4 . others also "hop on the bandwagon" regardless of the underlying evidence. Notable conditions in the behavioral sink include hyper aggression. As more people come to believe in something.

A person affected by peer pressure may or may not want to belong to these groups. political party. As a result. and to human conduct during activities such as stock market bubbles and crashes. they have also provoked controversy. A moral panic is the intensity of feeling expressed in a population about an issue that appears to threaten the social order. It is very important to accentuate the constructive conflict and minimize the destructive conflict. values. roles. is where social behaviour causes groups of individuals to conflict with each other. flocks and schools. religious gatherings. They may also recognize dissociative groups with which they would not wish to associate. Social groups affected include membership groups. they develop their own unique set of characteristics including structure. The term pertains to the behavior of animals in herds. sporting events. judgment and opinion forming. trade union). As groups function and interact with other groups. Crowd psychology is a branch of social psychology. or a social clique. groups may cooperate or compete with other groups. A moral panic occurs when "[a] condition. and religion. animals. Group conflicts. or behavior in order to conform to group norms. Both constructive and destructive conflict occurs in most small groups. cohesiveness. and intergroup competition can lead to conflict. person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests. Conflict is bound to happen. Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes. episode. This conflict is often caused by differences in social norms. episodes of mob violence and even everyday decision making. Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. because large groups of people have been able to bring about dramatic and sudden social change in a manner that bypasses established due process.Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making in bacteria. norms and processes. humans and computer networks. and thus they behave adversely concerning that group's behaviors. Historically. It can also refer to a conflict within these groups. but if we use it constructively then it need not be a bad thing. 5 . also called group intrigues. when the individual is "formally" a member (for example. street demonstrations. Ordinary people can typically gain direct power by acting collectively. values.

or power in order to complete a job. That is. personal relations are characterized by dependence. People enjoy the regular penetration that comes with group membership. Rules of behavior seem to be to keep things simple and to avoid controversy. and similar concerns. knowledge. in addition to conveying status to those outside the group. membership can also give increased feelings of worth to the group members themselves. Status: Inclusion in a group that is viewed as important provides recognition and status for its members. They set about gathering impressions and data about the similarities and differences among them and forming preferences for future subgrouping. Members attempt to become oriented to the tasks as well as to one another. STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT STAGE 1: Forming In the Forming stage. Group members rely on safe. how to approach it. Self esteem: Groups can provide people with feelings of self worth. Group members have a desire for acceptance by the group and a need to be know that the group is safe. The major task functions also concern orientation. To grow from this stage to the next. For many people. There is power in numbers. these on-the-job interactions are their primary source for fulfilling their needs for affiliation. each member must relinquish the comfort of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict. management will rely on the use of a formal group. In such instances. Goal Achievement: There are times when it takes more than one person to accomplish a particular task ± there is a need to pool talents. Serious topics and feelings are avoided.Why Do People Join Groups? Security : By joining a group. Discussion centers around defining the scope of the task. individuals can reduce the insecurity of µstanding alone¶ people feel stronger. Power: What cannot be achieved individually often becomes possible through group action. Affiliation: Groups can fulfill social needs. and are resistant to threats when they are part of a group. patterned behavior and look to the group leader for guidance and direction. have fewer self doubts. 6 .

The major task function of stage three is the data flow between group members: They share feelings and ideas. community building and maintenance. is characterized by competition and conflict in the personalrelations dimension an organization in the task-functions dimension. Members are willing to change theirpreconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented by other members. attitudes.Stage 2: Storming The next stage. ideas. They feel good about being part of an effective group. Because of "fear of exposure" or "fear of failure. These reflect conflicts over leadership. Although conflicts may or may not surface as group issues. Because of the discomfort generated during this stage. In order to progress to the next stage. There may be wide swings in members¶ behavior based on emerging issues of competition and hostilities. they do exist. and solving of group issues. Questions will arise about who is going to be responsible for what. It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts. and what criteria for evaluation are. and they actively ask questions of one another. The most important trait in helping groups to move on to the next stage seems to be the ability to listen. Individuals have to bend and mold their feelings. group members must move from a "testing and proving" mentality to a problem-solving mentality. The major drawback of the norming stage is that members may begin to fear the inevitable future breakup of the group. and explore actions related to the task. Group members are engaged in active acknowledgment of all members contributions. interpersonal relations are characterized by cohesion. the level of trust in their personal relations contributes to the development of group cohesion. As the group members attempt to organize for the task. If this stage of data flow and cohesion is attained by the group members. called Storming. When members begin to know-and identify withone another. and beliefs to suit the group organization. and authority. Leadership is shared. what the rules are. conflict inevitably results in their personal relations." there will be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment. their interactions are characterized by openness and sharing of information on both a personal and task level. what the reward system is. and cliques dissolve. Creativity is high. some members may remain completely silent while others attempt to dominate. solicit and give feedback to one another. power. Stage 4: Performing 7 . Stage 3: Norming In the Norming stage. structure. they may resist change of any sort.

leading toward optimal solutions and optimum group development. In this stage. Concluding a group can create some apprehension . and the need for group approval is past. people can work independently. in subgroups. Stage four is marked by interdependence in personal relations and problem solving in the realm of task functions. There is support for experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis on achievement. If group members are able to evolve to stage four. The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. their capacity. Members are both highly task oriented and highly people oriented. involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships.in effect. Stage 5: Adjourning The final stage. GROUP BEHAVIOUR MODEL Group member resources External conditions imposed on the group Group task Performance and satisfaction Group process Group Group Structure 8 . The most effective interventions in this stage are those that facilitate task termination and the disengagement process. the group should be most productive. group morale is high. range. and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence. Adjourning. Individual members have become self-assuring. a minor crisis. The task function becomes genuine problem solving. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes. By now.The Performing stage is not reached by all groups. or as a total unit with equal facility. and group loyalty is intense. There is unity: group identity is complete. The overall goal is productivity through problem solving and work. Their roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the changing needs of the group and individuals.

past research indicates that a majority of groups possess an affective tone. These characteristic levels of personality have been theorized to be brought about by member similarity resulting from attraction-selection-attrition processes described by Schneider (1987). including the selection and composition of group members. Research shows that the two dimensions of affect emerge as independent factors and display independent patterns of relationships with other variables. If the group members tend to be distressed. mistrustful and nervous. If the moods of the individual group members are consistent. for example. are positively associated with their corresponding (positive and negative) affective tones. Group affective tone is associated with various organizational outcomes such as group prosocial behavior George's (1990) demonstration that characteristic levels of the personality traits of PA and NA. then their cognitive flexibility will be amplified as a result of social influence and other group processes. and (e) emotional contagion George believes that a group's affective tone will determine how innovative (and effective) the group will be. members of some groups do not experience similar moods. for example: (a) common socialization experiences and common social influences. within work groups. (d) mood regulation norms and rules. members of a group tend to be excited. and exposure of group members to the same affective events. Group affective tone is influenced by characteristic levels of personality traits within groups. Beyond personality. Moods tend to be shared among group members through processes such as mood contagion and impression management. Group affective tone is an aggregate of the moods of the individual members of the group and refers to mood at the group level of analysis. (b) similarity of tasks and high task interdependence (c) membership stability. George suggests that if all or most individuals in a work group tend to feel positive at work (the group has a "high positive affective tone"). then group affective tone can be treated as a group property. Not all groups possess an affective tone. energetic and enthusiastic. then the group can also be described in these terms. such as task demands and outcomes. a number of other factors have been posited to explain why work group members tend to share moods and emotions. An evidence to this belief is that when individuals feel positive they tend to connect and integrate divergent stimulus materials²they are more creative. Even so. then the group itself can be described as being excited. Group members tend to experience similar moods based on several theoretical mechanisms. If. As a result of these individual and group 9 . Two dimensions of group affective tone have been identified: positive affective tone and negative affective tone.INFLUENCE OF GROUP BEHAVIOUR ON THE WORK ASSIGNED Group affective tone represents the consistent or homogeneous affective reactions within a group. energetic and enthusiastic. the socialization of group members.

Leaders who are effective at managing the group's affective tone should have more impact on group processes than will their counterparts. and negative group affective tone partially mediated. ROLES NORMS STATUS SIZE COHESIVENESS ROLES . 4. dependent on the resources that its members individually bring to the group. Analyses suggested that positive group affective tone fully mediated. but taking personality characteristics together. to a large extent. 5. In effect. the consequences for group behaviour are of major significance. Successful leaders must efficiently regulate the affective tones of their groups. 3. the association between leader mood and group coordination. GROUP MEMBER RESOURCES A group¶s potential level of performance is. the group will develop shared (and flexible) mental models. 2. y Abilities  Set the parameters for what members can do and how effectively they will perform in a group y Personality Characteristics  The magnitude of the effect of any single Characteristic is small. GROUP PROPERTIES 1.A role is a set of expected behaviour patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit.level processes. groups with a high positive affective tone will be creative. -Role Identity: Certain attitudes and behaviours consistent with a role -Role Perception: An individual¶s view of how he or she is supposed to act in a given situation -Role Expectations: How others believe a person should act in a given situation -Role Conflict: A situation in which an individual is confronted by divergent role expectations 10 .

threatens the well-being of the organization ±Typology: ‡Production ± working speed ‡Property ± damage and stealing ‡Political ± favoritism and gossip ‡Personal Aggression ± sexual harassment Group Influence on Deviant Behavior ±Group norms can influence the presence of deviant behavior ±Simply belonging to a group increases the likelihood of deviance 11 .distribution and assignments of jobs and material Norms and Behavior ‡Conformity ±Gaining acceptance by adjusting one¶s behavior to align with the norms of the group ‡Reference Groups ±Important groups to which individuals belong or hope to belong and with whose norms individuals are likely to conform ‡Asch Studies ±Demonstrated the power of conformance ±Culture-based and declining in importance Deviant Workplace Behavior ±Also called antisocial behavior or work place incivility ±Voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and. in doing so.what to wear ±Social arrangement norms .ROLES IN GROUPS -Task-oriented roles Roles performed by group members to ensure that the tasks of the group are accomplished -Maintenance roles Roles performed by group members to maintain good relations within the group -Individual roles Roles performed by group members that are not productive for keeping the group on task NORMS ±Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group¶s members Classes of Norms ±Performance norms .friendships and the like ±Allocation of resources norms .level of acceptable work ±Appearance norms .

±Being in a group allows individuals to hide ± creates a false sense of confidence that they won¶t be caught STATUS A socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others ± it differentiates group members ±Important factor in understanding behavior ±Significant motivator ‡Status Characteristics Theory ±Status derived from one of three sources: ‡Power a person has over others ‡Ability to contribute to group goals ‡Personal characteristics Effects ‡On Norms and Conformity ±High-status members are less restrained by norms and pressure to conform ±Some level of deviance is allowed to high-status members so long as it doesn¶t affect group goal achievement ‡On Group Interaction ±High-status members are more assertive ±Large status differences limit diversity of ideas and creativity ‡On Equity ±If status is perceived to be inequitable. it will result in various forms of corrective behavior SIZE ‡Group size affects behavior ‡Size: ±Twelve or more members is a ³large´ group ±Seven or fewer is a ³small´ group Issues with Group Size ‡Social Loafing ±The tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually ±Ringelmann¶s Rope Pull: greater levels of productivity but with diminishing returns as group size increases ±Caused by either equity concerns or a diffusion of responsibility (free riders) ‡Managerial Implications ±Build in individual accountability ±Prevent social loafing by: ‡Set group goals ‡Increase intergroup competition -Use peer evaluation 12 .

Cohesiveness has two dimensions: emotional (or personal) and task-related. not to individuals. Group Decision Making v/s Individual Choice ‡Group Strengths: ±Generate more complete information and knowledge ±Offer increased diversity of views and greater creativity ±Increased acceptance of decisions ±Generally more accurate (but not as accurate as the most accurate group member) ‡Group Weaknesses: ±Time-consuming activity ±Conformity pressures in the group ±Discussions can be dominated by a few members ±A situation of ambiguous responsibility GROUP COHESIVENESS. 13 . ‡Increase time members spend together. which was studied more often. ‡Increase group status and admission difficulty. ‡Stimulate competition with other groups. is derived from the connection that members feel to other group members and to their group as a whole. ‡Give rewards to the group. ‡Physically isolate the group. The emotional aspect of cohesiveness.‡Distribute group rewards based on individual effort COHESIVENESS Degree to which group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the group ‡Managerial Implication ±To increase cohesiveness: ‡Make the group smaller. ‡Encourage agreement with group goals. PRODUCTIVITY Vs PERFORMANCE Group cohesiveness" is the force bringing group members closer together.

group success and external competition and threats. Since it is easier for fewer people to agree on goals and to co-ordinate their work smaller groups are more cohesive than larger groups. if the group lacks enough members to perform its tasks well enough. group size. entry difficulty. though. Often.The forces that push group members together can be positive (group-based rewards) or negative (things lost upon leaving the group). 14 . Task cohesiveness may suffer. these factors work through enhancing the identification of the individual with the group she/he belongs to as well as their beliefs of how the group can fulfill their personal needs. The main factors that influence group cohesiveness are: members¶ similarity.

Encourage agreement with group goals. 15 .SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO ENCOURAGE GROUP COHESIVENESS Make the group smaller. Increase the time members spend together. Leaders also focus on the relationship between the team/super-being and its output(s).  Stimulate competition with other groups. Growing sales inquiries outstrip the time one person has available. it is important to be more precise about what a team is and what it isn't. it's important to make this 'Groups v Teams' distinction. when. co-ordination and communication difficulties increase. Group leadership can frequently focus on individual members who usually need to hear the same message at the same time. Your approach to leading each will be completely different.For these reasons. Increase the status of the group and the perceived difficulty of attaining membership in the group.  Give rewards to the group rather than to individual members. or how to encourage and use teams. Solution? Sign up another sales person to carry out essentially the same tasks. Team leadership is more complex. Work groups are created when scalable tasks need to be carried out. Individuals and sub-teams are likely to perform tasks that are qualitatively different from/than each other. longer than any one individual can embody. Groups v/s Teams: Why bring people together to work? Some organizational or business functions are too large for individuals to carry out. For managers to make better decisions about whether.  Physically isolate the group. Teams are created to create a 'super-being' whose collective experience and competence is broader.     GROUPS VS TEAMS Groups v/s Teams Are there essential differences? What are they? What are the implications for leaders? As a leader. deeper. Team tasks are usually not scalable in any simple sense. needing to focus on facilitating the web of relationships between individuals and sub-teams.

16 . diversity and levels of ownership The ownership of products and processes looks quite different in groups v teams. Individuals meet responsibilities independently of each other. changes in offers . Working alliances are not well developed within a group. Teams . values and norms impact on the working life of groups v teams. your first key task is to assess operational or organizational needs. work out what set of working norms provides the best solution to meet those needs. A group has little need for diversity of opinion or perspective. Next. Diversity of approaches may be counter-productive and lead to difficulties in evaluating changes in practice.on the other hand .and so on . Individual and collective goals are met through mutually supportive activities. Groups v/s teams: variations in alliances.at the same time. Roles are largely channeled and pre-determined by leaders or managers.contrasting cultures As a team leader or group leader. There is little scope for unique contributions. Differing points of view of a problem lead to lateral thinking. A variety of criticisms of current practice may lead to new insights and innovations. Finally. Barriers to progress may be overcome by negotiating new understandings through discussion.are very interdependent. Diversity: It is more valuable to a team. Groups v/s Teams . Very different working cultures. gather individuals together and establish working practice. Working alliances: Groups believe that their main reason for existing is administrative: it's easier to tell ten members of the sales staff targets. In this way teams tend to celebrate difference and respond positively to the uniqueness of individual contributions. Working alliances are strong.The following two sections. The following ideas will help you identify leadership issues arising from these differences. y y contrasting group and team culture summarizing different approaches to leading groups v teams Will help to focus on key issues for the leadership development of groups v teams.

They will almost certainly have made important decisions about how to operationalize the global aim of the team. Groups v/s teams: differing emphasis on creativity. argument and criticism. It is easier to have a constructive argument with a team mate when you are clear about the values that motivate a contribution that you disagree with. In contrast. Work groups need to be clear about the roles and responsibilities of individuals. for example.and respect . participative decision-making is a key-feature of team activity.will be applied fairly by managers and group leaders. Values: Team members may come to realize that they share deeply held values with their team mates. This all rests on a shared creative effort. Trust between team mates grows as it is tested by open discussion. They need to trust that comments and criticisms will be respected by other team members. Trust: In a group individual members need to trust that the roles and responsibilities that they have been delegated are appropriate to meet stated objectives. They are likely to have had a major influence in the approach the team will take. Common understandings are seldom a feature of group working. possibly modifying global goals and aims.Ownership: Negotiating the whole approach to a project by team members creates a strong sense of ownership by team members. greater levels of trust are required between team members themselves. debate. The clearest sense of the aims of the group is likely to be held by those in executive or managerial roles who instruct the group. trust and shared values Teams and groups score differently for creativity too. 17 . then team mates usually know . particularly if you share some of them! Explicit values create a basis for common understanding between team members. Shared and interlocking responsibilities make this an important feature of good team working. It's easier to respect a disagreement when you know the values that underpin it.the different values that shape their colleagues' contributions. In a team. Thus. Groups can function perfectly well with little formal trust between group members themselves. Establishing shared and/or diverse values between team members is often an important team leadership task as the team forms and starts to work together. If values are not shared between all. for groups ownership of global aims and targets is located outside the individual members. They need to trust that any incentives for example . Diversity plus ownership together create a strong sense of shared responsibility for the product of the team's efforts and the process they use to develop that product.

The common understandings (referred to before) that teams create arise from exchanges between individuals and sub teams who are likely committed to their own points of view.people can get 'stuck' in conflict that becomes self-serving. Emails are relatively useful for passing simple messages to and fro. there is insufficient commitment to arouse real passion. It is acknowledged as an essential part of shared responsibility.. We agree with those who characterize group communication as "polite. if not shared . they differ In a team or group situation . 18 . Groups v/s Teams: communication and professional development Work group communication tends to be straightforward and unidirectional. Content of communications tends to be direct and unambiguous. listen for unspoken assumptions. We take the view that most work groups are unlikely to have a strong enough vested-interest in other group members to make game-playing likely... The best teams are cauldron-like at times! Yet the apparent conflict is not taken personally. Meanings are negotiated through active sharing and debate.with less to lose between individuals .. y y y y y y routinely demonstrate all the skills of active listening. facilitate discussion.are more open to this kind of point scoring. provide constructive feedback (positive and negative). group member to group member. they. malfunctioning teams (possibly stuck in an extended 'storming' stage) are very likely to engage in some serious game-playing! A strong foundation of shared (or.. This is referred to as 'game-playing'. listen for and respond to underlying feelings. However.. Salesperson to customer. group leader to group member.. That is. will actively seek feedback. Some writers take the view that groups . Team communication tends to be much more complex and multi directional.." It's tempting to call it "bland" . it perpetuates itself and does not lead to constructive resolution. then explicitly stated) values will often help team members respond constructively to negative feedback and criticism from team mates. Constructive team members become skilled in many areas of communication. purchaser to supplier. in fact .Game-playing: groups v/s teams.in any relationship.

Team leadership is much more of an art.y y help others to express themselves. for example. Team leaders won't want to become complacent. these can simply sound hollow. We've seen and heard skills deployed insincerely. The learning curve is longer.or sub-sections of the team . or who may have avoided confronting issues (perhaps hoping they would 'blow over'). It may test a leader who is likely to be unaware of its foundation. Professional development: Participation in a team experience contributes to professional development and the growth of professional self-awareness in striking and diverse ways.the strong leader only appears so because the members of his group are weak. and Clarify nuances in meaning. Conflict in teams is more likely to focus on how the product is to be delivered and the processes the team engages in to deliver it. and opportunities to learn through consistent supportive challenge are restricted. One of the most important aspects of this particular art form is to know when to let individual team members . steeper and richer than in a group. 19 ." It's our view that this is relative . Communication skills are really a misnomer.it is likely to be personal (rather than professional). where training tends to be clearly focused on relatively narrow goals. Groups v/s teams . Conflicts: In groups the absence of a framework to understand and manage conflict means that . In the absence of a mature self-awareness.step up to the plate.let alone developing ± your organizations current pool of talent.leadership and summary Sometimes discussion about team leaders and group leaders focuses on issues of "strength. relative to the leader. It may appear that their will dominates: "What I say goes!" One of the risks is disintegration of the function of the group in the leader's absence. We also believe that skilled team members are much more self-aware.when it does arise . Team members may legitimately argue about the best routes to progressing the team's aims. however: even the most focused team can become side-tracked into game-playing and point-scoring. Neither offer a positive way of holding . Contrast groups. A second is the "dumbing-down" of group members' potential. Formally 'correct' words and phrases may be uttered.

Eager to express our own ideas. There is a strong tendency for individuals in a group to want to conform to the consensus. For example.This distributed leadership is a wonderful way of nurturing talented people. barbed questions and displays of expertise to show their supremacy. often by trying to sabotage the ideas of those who disagreed with us. The collective output of a strong team will always be greater than the sum of its parts. If it is not . Because agreement on ideas can be gained quickly in a group setting. including the need to feel liked. Sometimes there is no effective leader to give direction to the discussion. The natural reaction is to regain our self-esteem. Lack of objective direction Most traditional meetings and group discussions convened to solve problems are ineffectively directed. Even when there is strong leadership. while junior members want to avoid appearing the inexperienced 'upstart'. This can be for a variety of reasons. The comparative status of the individuals present also has an important influence. Power-seekers may use ploys such as highlighting flaws in others' arguments. groups tend to select and approve solutions quickly. If this is true the team is likely to repay the extra investment of time that teams require. This generates behavior which is destructive and drains the creative energy of the group. without exploring all the possibilities. These types of behavior create an atmosphere which is incompatible with effective problem solving. Senior members often want to maintain their image of being knowledgeable. valued or respected. Instead of looking for ways to improve on their ideas we choose to destroy them. we may totally ignore what others are suggesting. with the result that it wanders aimlessly.are you sure you need a team? ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF A GROUP BEHAVIOR The disadvantages of group can include:Competition Most people working in a group unconsciously perceive the situation as competitive. Lastly. Conformity. the group leader or chairman 20 . deepening their technical knowledge and developing the soft skills that will enable them to adapt to changing organizational needs. and tends to make people censor their ideas accordingly. we often perceive disagreement with our ideas as a put-down. effective team leadership should focus on ensuring that its outputs are significantly superior to the individual outputs that members can achieve working independently.

with the result that many ideas are forgotten and cannot act as a constant stimulus to the discussion.often exerts undue pressure on the direction and content of the discussion. Simply because of the number of people involved. and this can cause organizational problems as well as impatience amongst participants to 'get it over with' as quickly as possible. The discussion of different points of view also helps the group to be more realistic in assessing the risks associated with particular courses of action. It requires individuals to come together at an agreed time. Group pressure can also encourage individuals to accept that change is needed. each with differing experience. within which individuals can gain a feeling of self-determination and recognition through their contribution. Individual biases and prejudices can be challenged by the. points of view and values. usually for about one hour. encouraging individuals to explore ideas they would not otherwise consider. group. knowledge. 21 . the ideas aired during a meeting are not usually recorded. Reduced bias The shared responsibility of a group in arriving at decisions can. Increased risk taking Shared responsibility makes individuals more willing to take risks. forcing the individual to recognize them. The advantages of group can include: Greater output. Time constraints Group problem solving is a relatively slow process compared with working alone. Cross fertilization: The exchange of ideas can act as a stimulus to the imagination. In addition. Individuals who have contributed to finding a solution feel a greater commitment to its successful implementation. a larger number and variety of ideas for solving a problem can be produced. encourage individuals to explore seemingly unrealistic ideas and to challenge accepted ways of doing things. Higher commitment When goals are agreed it gives a common purpose to the group. apart from the minutes and individual notetaking.

knowledge and skills to bear on a problem. A group decision gains greater group commitment since everyone has his/her share in the decision making. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of group decisions: Advantages of Group Decisions: y Group decisions help to combine individual strengths of the group members and hence has a set of varied skill sets applied in the decision making process. 22 . people with knowledge relevant to the problem can communicate that knowledge directly if they participate in solving the problem. A group decision always means enhanced collective understanding of the course of action to be taken after the decision is taken. Group decisions imbibe a strong sense of team spirit amongst the group members and help the group to think together in terms of success as well as failure. Individual opinions can be biased or affected with pre-conceives notions are restricted perspectives. group decision help to get a broader perspective owing to differences of perception between individual in the group.people who are affected by a problem or who will be involved in implementation are involved in finding a solution. the process of taking group decisions has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Better solutions Groups of individuals can bring a broad range of ideas. Also. This creates a stimulating interaction of diverse ideas which results in a wider range and better quality of solutions. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GROUP DECISIONS Like any other process. y y y y Disadvantages of Group Decisions: y One of the major disadvantages of group decision making is that it is more time consuming than the process of individual decision making.Improved communication When . they will know how and why that particular solution was chosen.

Landsberger when analysing older experiments from 1924-1932 at the Hawthorne Works (a Western Electric factory outside Chicago). readily inflicted punishment on other prisoners who attempted to stop it. and.y Group decisions take longer to be finalized since there are many opinions to be considered and valued. 1971 by a team of researchers led by Psychology professor Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. In case of authoritarian or minority group decision making. The responsibility and accountability of the decisions are not equally shared in some cases which leads to a split in the group and hence hamper the overall efficiency of the group. The experiment was conducted from Aug. who. Roles were assigned randomly. The entire experiment was filmed. the people whose opinions are not considered tend to be left out from the decision making process and hence the team spirit ceases to grow. Five of the prisoners were upset enough by the process to quit the experiment early. 14-20. Over 30 years later. Twenty-four students were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days." lost sight of his role as psychologist and permitted the abuse to continue as though it were a real prison. Zimbardo found renewed interest in the experiment when the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal occurred The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behavior being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they are being studied. at the request of the guards. leaving some disturbed by the resulting film. CASE STUDIES The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The term was coined in 1950 by Henry A. in his capacity as "Prison Superintendent. not in response to any particular experimental manipulation. Hawthorne Works had commissioned a study to see if its workers would become more productive in higher 23 . y y While involved in a group decision making process it is always better to study the advantages and disadvantages of group decisions and hence formulate a group-decision making process that suits your group and gives you the optimum results. with excerpts soon made publicly available. The experimental process and the results remain controversial. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond what even Zimbardo himself expected. many of the prisoners developed passive attitudes and accepted physical abuse. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself. leading the "Officers" to display authoritarian measures and ultimately to subject some of the prisoners to torture. In turn.

and even relocating workstations resulted in increased productivity for short periods. The workers' productivity seemed to improve when changes were made and slumped when the study was concluded.or lower levels of light. 24 . other changes such as maintaining clean work stations. Thus the term is used to identify any type of short-lived increase in productivity. It was suggested that the productivity gain was due to the motivational effect of the interest being shown in them. Although illumination research of workplace lighting formed the basis of the Hawthorne effect. clearing floors of obstacles.

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