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7 Pros and Cons of Group

05/30/2015 / in Opinions / by Joseph Chris

As in everything, there are many

advantages and disadvantages to working
as a group. Not all situations can work in
your favor. This is especially true if a group
consists of individuals from di erent
cultural backgrounds, varying skill levels,
and knowledge. Even people on the same
wavelength almost always nd something
to argue or debate about.

Many individuals nd themselves preferring

to work alone versus a group due to
feelings of lost productivity, as many group
meetings turn into some sort of party of
social a air. Other risks associated with
groups is the feeling of people being
competitive rather than cooperative. An
individual may be left with little choice but
to work in a group. Working in teams, after
all, is part of a business environment and is
an approach that companies use to achieve
certain goals or complete certain projects.
But how is it possible to make di erent
personality types share one common goal?
When is group work good or bad?

In a seminal text by David Jaques entitled

learning in groups, he de ned the notion of
a group as having at least some key
attributes: collective perception, needs,
shared aims, interdependence, social
organization, interaction, cohesiveness and
membership. Whenever any of these
attributes are present, group work can
succeed. Here is a look at some of the top
associates pros and cons of group work.

What Are the Pros of Group

1. Results in Common Direction
When a team is put together to handle
special projects or manage certain tasks,
people will always nd a way to follow a
common direction. Sure, there will be
arguments and clashes, what with each
individual having di erent ideas and
beliefs. But once everyone is on the same
page, they will be able to nd a common
ground and direction to follow.

2. More Ideas Are Shared

Didnt they say that two heads are better
than one? Imagine what a team can achieve
if there are plenty of heads sharing ideas or
looking for solutions. This is one of the
many bene ts of group work or a team
environment. The ability to share ideas can
lead to a more successful project, what with
several possible approaches being shared.
Everyone can share di erent perspectives,
contribute pros and cons, and nd
methods to accomplish their goals. The fact
that team members can bounce around
ideas, make group work very
3. Increased E ciency
With more people thinking, working and
searching for ideas, things are likely to get
done faster. Think of it in terms of a
physical project where a team divides itself
to work on di erent modules, which they
will then put together at a certain period.
The amount of time needed to complete
each module would be lesser, than if
someone were to work on all of them
alone. So, contrary to popular belief, group
work will make a team more e cient. Even
when dealing with larger scale projects,
members of the team can provide more
resources enabling them to complete the
tasks. As each one bounces o ideas,
everyone will have a greater and better
understanding of what needs to be done.

But the real highlight is in the ability for

several people to detect aws about a
particular solution or idea. This helps
eliminate errors and mistakes that an
individual may overlook when working

4. Accountability of weak areas

Remember better detection of aws? This is
just one problem that group work is able to
eliminate. Working as a team also allows
for compensation of weaker areas. One
members weakness can be someone elses
strength. Since they are in a group, the
workload can then be distributed in a way
that every individual can showcase their
various strengths, and then team up to
tackle areas where the team is weaker. This
results in a stronger and more skilled
workforce. Most importantly, it opens a
teamwork opportunity for everyone to
improve across the board, especially in
terms of communication skills.
Building a Great Workplace Te

What Are the Cons of Group

1. The Case of the Free-Rider
In a team, there is almost always that
someone who rarely does everything yet
reaps the bene ts and accomplishments of
the entire group. No one likes a free-rider
and, in some cases, may be the cause of
arguments and con ict. Actively obtaining
reward for no e ort can result in a task not
being completed on time. If it does, expect
people to be griping about the free-rider
who was doing nothing, yet enjoys the
same level of praise or score as the rest of
the group.

Now, free-riding is di erent from social

loa ng, which refers to an employees
reduced e ort because his abilities are not
being noticed or he cannot identify with a
group task. It is easier to remedy social
loa ng then free-riding. Members who have
something to share, yet are not
contributing can be encouraged to
participate by making it clear that all
opinions will be valued, and everyone gets
a turn to make a contribution.

2. Loss of resources
This may seem contradictory with the
advantage of more ideas being shared and
increased e ciency, but there are instances
when a group spends more time planning
and organizing without really getting
anywhere. In fact, they may have di culty
getting started, especially if its members
dont take the time to get to know each
other before brainstorming.

As a way to avoid such a situation from

happening, it is important that members
introduce themselves, including their
strengths. This will make it easier to decide
on jobs and sub-tasks that will be assigned.
When brainstorming, everyone must be
given an opportunity to speak and make
suggestions. But to avoid delays, an agenda
and timeline must be developed.

3. Con ict among Team Members

With di erent personalities clashing,
combined with ine ective communication,
con icts are sure to arise. If none of those
having disagreements will try to work out
the problem, any group work will not result
in anything at all. Also, when someone no
longer feels happy about working as a
team, a ected parties will be unable to
focus on the task at hand. They may even
suggest of bailing out on a team. To keep
this from happening, it is vital that all the
members respect each others ideas. If
someone disagrees, it must be voiced out
politely and respectfully. Everyone must be
willing to negotiate and compromise as
well. In the event that a situation is getting
out of hand, the group must take a break to
di use the situation.
The Seven Principles of Team

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