The Impact of Group Structure



Group No. 18 ( Executive PGDM 2008-2009) Susheel Kumar Singh (08XPGDM51) Modak priy (08XPGDM31 Vineet Dixit (08XPGDM59)

The Impact of Group Structure Acknowledgement


We wish to express sincere gratitude to our “Organization behavior” instructor, Professor. G. S. Das, for guiding us and helping us in understanding the fundamentals of Organization Behavior with his knowledge and expertise. Our term paper on “The impact of group structure on group performance” has given us the opportunity to analyze the different aspects of group structure and effect of it on group performance, for which these fundamentals have contributed immensely towards the completion of this term paper.

The Impact of Group Structure Abstract In the context of changing business scenarios , where more and more emphasis is given to the productivity of individuals in groups and alone our article “The impact of group structure on group performance” has a much wider role to play. This article relates various parameters of


groups, their type, their decision making philosophy with the structure and its dynamics. Through various reference sources and learning pedagogies it was inferred that group structure is basically divided into 4 types in terms of size, diversity, cohesiveness and interaction. All such types of structures have different impact on group performance and this has been the major concern of this report.

The Impact of Group Structure


The impact of group structure on group performance
Shakespeare said “All world is a stage and all the man and women merely players” using the same metaphor, all group members are actors, each playing a role. By this term, we mean set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit. The understanding of role behavior would be dramatically simplified if each of us chose one role and “played it out” regularly and consistently. Unfortunately we are required to play a number of diverse roles, both on and off our jobs .as we shall see one of the task in understanding behavior is grasping the role that a person is currently playing. And if we consider the total drama played by actors and keeping in mind the roles played by actors the importance of the roles, the interpersonal relation of the roles the hierarchical structure of the roles and skewed ness of the balance of the power towards any particular role then we understand the structure of the group and if we consider the total performance of the play means impact of the play on the spectators then we will have idea of the impact of group structure on group performance. Before studying the impact we have to under stand what the exactly group means Group a group is defined as two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent having common interests, objectives . Decision making process in a group Group decisions may be better described by a signal detection approach, in the terminology of signal detection theory, a decision maker makes an inference decision by first making an (noisy) observation of the situation and then deciding on which input condition led to the observation. An outcome payoff (or penalty) is tied to each combination of input condition and decision. Many inferential decision tasks can be described using a standard signal detection paradigm: detection (presence or absence of a signal in noise), discrimination (one of two alternative signals), or identification (one-of-m-alternative signals). Important model parameters Include the decision maker’s ability to discriminate among the possible inputs, memory Uncertainty about the signal characteristics, and response biases toward the decision outcomes (i.e., a function of the event probabilities and outcome utilities). The detection approach simplifies the measurement of decision performance (accuracy and bias) and in many situations allows specification of optimal behavior. Ideal models of detection have been used to describe In many household decision problems involving multiple alternatives and multiple attributes, groups may reach decisions in a phased approach: first, they construct/negotiate a subset of alternatives that appropriately reflect individual constraints, requirements, concerns and preferences – call this choice set formation; second, choice is exercised from this (potentially) reduced and most acceptable set of alternatives according to some choice rule – call this conditional choice. Group structures and their effect on group performance In groups as members may differ dramatically in terms of preferences, endowments, expertise, influence, and cognitive ability. Common interactions. Some groups may interpret a decision as

The Impact of Group Structure an inference problem while other groups may interpret the same decision as a preference problem. However, the correctness of an inference often cannot be proven but the interference and the interactions are the two major factors which play a very important role in the group performance We can divide the group structure on the basis of following points.







The group structure on the basis of size (larger and smaller) Larger Group The larger groups generally are different than smaller groups in dimensions other than size. Group members may differ dramatically in terms of preferences, endowments, expertise, influence, and cognitive ability when the group size increases. Smaller group The Smaller groups are not only different on the basis of size but also they are different on the basis of homogeneity .they are basically heterogeneous. The decisions are taken individually or interaction between two members of the group. Effect of the group structure on group performance: One of the most important findings related to the size of the group has been labeled social loafing. Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively then when working individually. It directly challenges the logic that the productivity of the group as whole should at least equal the sum of the productivity of the individuals in that group. Generally the group performance increases with group size ,but the addition of new members to has diminishing returns on productivity of a group so more may be better in the sense that total productivity of a group of four is greater is greater then that of three people but the individual productivity of each group Member declines. Basically larger groups may interpret a decision as an inference problem while smaller groups may interpret the same decision as a preference problem. However, the correctness of an inference often cannot be proven. if the group size is larger there is always a

The Impact of Group Structure


chance of formation of subgroups inside a group due to lack of cohesion or communication barrier. it is very important that the group objective should be in sync with the group size if the scope of the group objective is larger the group size also be bigger so group member should give their complete effort .on the other hand if the scope of the group objective is not wide with the respect of the groups size then it will result in idling in the group, group members will have ample time for non productive work that will result in conflicts that is very harmful for the basic structure of the group. Group structure on the basis of interaction:





Interacting group: In these groups members meet face to face and rely on both verbal and nonverbal interaction to communicate with each other .interacting group often censor them and pressure individual members toward conformity of opinion. Non interacting group: In these groups members are not interacting with each other their goals are defined they are doing their job individually it is the job of the supervisor who will assemble the job of individual members as final work. Effect of the group structure on group performance: Interaction among the group creates positive result on the group performance. In the interacting type of group the flow of information is smooth so all the group members are well aware about the group objective and proceeding in the group resulted in the intrapersonal bonding in the group, so the group work as a unit to achieve the objective on the other hand when the group members were not interacting with each other

The Impact of Group Structure Group structure on the basis of cohesiveness:






Cohesive group: In these type of groups members are attracted towards each other and are motivated to stay in the group. For instance some work groups are cohesive because the members are spending a great deal of time together, or the group’s small size facilitates high interaction, or the group has experienced external threats that have brought members close together. Noncohesive group: In these types of groups group members are not attracted towards each other they do not want to stay in the group they want to leave the group as early as possible. Members are separated from either due to demographic reasons are due to different understanding of the group objectives. Effect of the group structure on group performance: Cohesion is working as “Intrapersonal glue” between the group members. A Cohesive group is more productive then less cohesive group but if cohesiveness is high and performance norms are low, productivity will be low. If cohesiveness low and performance norms are high, productivity increases, but it increases less than in the high-cohesiveness /high norm situation .when cohesiveness and performance –related norms both are low, productivity tends to fall in the low to moderate so increasing the cohesiveness we have to take following steps • Make the group smaller

The Impact of Group Structure • • • • Encourage agreement with group goals Increase the time members spend together Give reward to the group rather then individual members. Increase the status of the group and the perceived difficulty of attaining membership in the group.


Group structure on the basis of diversity:







FLOW OF IDEAS FROM GROUP MEMBERS OF DIFFERENT CULTURAL BACKGROUND, DIFFFERNT GENDERS TO GROUP LEADER Homogeneous group: This group has similar type of cultural background; race and gender, so there is a type of cohesion among the group members due to similar background. Communication flow among them is streamlined and well accepted. It is very easy in such as groups to motivate the persons towards common goal because they have already a common understanding among them and the information flow is very smooth among them. The problem arises when there is a challenge in front of the group arises which multi perspective needed view, since we have people of similar background in our group so we did not get different type of views so our decision making will be affected and probably will not be accurate.

Diverse group:

The Impact of Group Structure


This type of group consists of people of different cultural backgrounds, gender and races. There are initial barriers of the information flow and group decision making but once the Forming and Storming phase is over the group member’s start contributing their effort for the group’s objective. The advantage with such as group is that we have people of different back ground they can provide multidimensional view of any problem so the decision making will be more accurate and more practical. Effect of the group structure on group performance: Diversity often lead to increased group conflict ,especially in the early stages of the Group tenure .This conflict often results in lower group morale and group members dropping out . One study of groups that were either culturally diverse or homogeneous found that found that, on a wilderness survival exercise, the diverse and homogeneous groups performed equally well, but the diverse groups were less satisfied with their groups and had more conflict.

Group structure on the basis of Hireaearchy:




The Impact of Group Structure


Defined Hierarchy: In this type of group hierarchy is clearly defined .this type of groups are clearly in the Normalizing stage the group leader is clearly defined the group members clearly under stand their role means there is structured division of the work their there is no job related confusion is their . Undefined Hierarchy: In this type of group hierarchy is not clearly defined .this type of group is still in storming stage the group leader has yet to be decided and the role of the group members are not cleared yet.

Effect of the group structure on group performance: There is positive relationship between role perception and employees performance evaluation. The degree of congruence that exist between a group member and agroup leader in the perception of the group members job influence the degree to which a group leader will judge that an group member is an effective performer. To the extent that the employee’s role perception fulfills the boss’s role expectations, the employee will receive a higher performance evaluation. Conclusion:The impact of group size on the group performance depends on the type of task in which the group is engaged .Larger groups are more effective at fact- finding activities Smaller groups are more effective at action taking tasks; on the other hand cohesiveness can play an important function in a group’s level of productivity. So it is evident from our study group structure has direct relationship with group performance. Among the most prominent are diversity, cohesiveness, size and defined hierarchy .these are the fact findings and recommendations of 1)-Make the group smaller 2)-Encourage agreement with group goals. 3)-Increase the time members spend together. 4)-Increase the status of the group and the perceived difficulty of attainining membership in the group. 5)-Stimulate competition with other groups. 6)-Give rewards to the group rather than to individual members.


The Impact of Group Structure 1. Locke, E. toward “a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives”. From Organizational behavior and Human Performance, 1968, from page no: 157-189.


2. Kahn, R.L. and D. Katz. “Leadership Practices in Relation to Productivity and Morale”. in D. Cartwright and A. Zander (Eds.), Group Dynamics: Research and Theory, (2nd edition). New York: Harper and Row, 1960. 3. Morse, N.C. and E. Reimer. The Experimental Change of a Major Organizational variable. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1956, 32, 120-129. 4. Porter, L.W. and E.E. Lawler. Managerial Attitudes and Performance. Homewood, Illinois: Irwin-Dorsey, 1968. 5. Remus, W. Who Likes Business Games? Simulation and Games, 1977, 8: 64-6 8. 6. Remus, W. and S. Jenner. Playing Business Games:Attitudinal Differences Between Students Playing 7. Restle, F. and J.H. Davis. Success and Speed of Problem Solving by Individuals and Groups.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful