5

Cohesion and Development
A group is not just a set of individuals, but a cohesive whole that joins the members in interlocking interdependencies. This solidarity or unity is called group cohesion and is a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for a group to exist. A group may begin as a collection of strangers, but, as uncertainty gives way to increasing unity, the members become bound to their group and its goals. As cohesion and commitment ebb and flow with time, the group’s influence over its members rises and falls.

What is group cohesion, and what are its sources? v How does cohesion develop over time? v What are the positive and negative consequences of cohesion? v Do initiations increase cohesion?
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Sources .

Five Stage Model of Group Development Performance Stabilizing Formation creating the group and setting goals Performance and cohesion structure and stability monitoring. feedback dealing with source Conflict of tension Time . leading.

Tuckman’s Five Stage Model .

Cyclical vs. monochronic . Stage Models Tuckman: A successive stage model Bale’s Equilibrium model: a cyclical model Punctuated equilibrium model Relationship Orientation Task Orientation Cultural differences in development and time perceptions: polychronic vs.

. and this intensity affects the members. Cohesion leads to a range of consequences—not all of them desirable.The Nature of Cohesion Developing Cohesion Consequences of Cohesion Satisfaction and adjustment Explaining Initiations Dynamics and Most people. But cohesiveness has its drawbacks. if asked to choose between influence two groups—one that is cohesive and another that is not—would likely pick the Productivity cohesive group. A cohesive group is an intense group. the group’s dynamics. and the group’s performance in both positive and negative ways.

peach time. and horseplay that gave structure and meaning to their day. Roy worked for two months in 12-hour shifts lasting from 8AM to 8:30PM with three other men in an isolated room in a factory.Satisfaction and adjustment Explaining Initiations Donald Roy’s (1959) “banana time” case study documented the benefits of membership in a cohesive workgroup. of course. and tiring. collectively called “banana time” by Roy. These rituals and social activities. There was. menial. but the cohesive workgroup group filled its workday with jokes. teasing. repetitive. the men stopped from time to time for various refreshments and breaks. and banana time. To break up the day into smaller segments. . but the men added many others. turned a bad job into a good one. such as coffee time. The work was tedious. kidding around. lunchtime. fish time.

Satisfaction and adjustment Dynamics and influence Positive Consequences Enhanced member satisfaction Reduced tension. stress Higher group engagement Reduced turnover Longer duration of membership Problematic Consequences Intensification of emotional and social processes Increased influence. pressure Hostility Groupthink What about productivity? .

25 Task Interdependence Norms are also critically important .17 .. 2003. Beal et al. 1995 Unity (Group Pride) .17 Sources: Mullen & Copper. Gully et al..Do Cohesive Groups Outperform Less Cohesive Groups? .24 .25 Cohesion Performance Task Cohesion (teamwork) ..51 Social cohesion . 1994.

Festinger.Click icon to add picture Application: Explaining Initiations Cohesion and initiations Hazing Aronson & Mills tested this hypothesis in an experimental study of initiation and also found evidence of increased commitment Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance predicts that people who must invest in their group will become committed to it. Schachter’s and Back’s classic study of the “Seekers” supported this predictions .

Click icon to add picture Application: Explaining Initiations Cohesion and initiations Hazing Aronson & Mills tested this hypothesis in an experimental study of initiation and also found evidence of increased commitment .

status Commitment: Increases psychological costs and commitment Tradition: Defended as a sacred tradition Ineffective: Not as effective a means of increasing commitment as other group-level activities Dangerous: Harmful and fatal in some cases Illegal: Banded in most jurisdictions .Hazing What sustains hazing? Dangers of hazing Bonding: Increases dependency on the group Dominance: Establishes hierarchy.

  C o h e s i o n & T h e N a t u r e o f C o h e s i o n D e v e l o p m e n t .

Group Development Tuckman’s 5 stage model of group developlment Click icon to add picture Norming Performing Task Storming Forming Ø Storming Ø Norming Ø Performing Ø Adjourning Ø Adjourning Forming Source: Forsyth. 2010 .