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Lecturer: Sara Sharif

– Two or more individuals interacting and
interdependent, who have come together to achieve
particular objectives
– Defined by the organization’s structure with
designated work assignments establishing tasks
– Alliances that are neither formally structured nor
organizationally determined
– Appear naturally in response to the need for social
– Deeply affect behavior and performance
Formal Groups Informal Groups
 Command Group  Interest Group
A group composed of the Members work together to
individuals who report attain a specific objective
directly to a given with which each is
manager concerned
 Task Group  Friendship Group
Those working together to Those brought together
complete a job or task in because they share one or
an organization but not more common
limited by hierarchical characteristics
 Security
 Status
 Self-esteem
 Affiliation
 Power
 Goal Achievement
 It explains why people form groups.
 Social identity theory proposes that people have
emotional reactions to the failure or success of
their group because their self-esteem gets tied
into the group’s performance. When your group
does well, you bask in reflected glory and your
own self-esteem rises. When your group does
poorly, you might feel bad about yourself, or you
might even reject that part of your identity.
 Social identities help people reduce uncertainty
about who they are and what they should do as
well as where we fit in with other people.
 Socialidentities have a negative side in the
form of in-group favoritism.

 Itmeans we see members of our in-group as

better than other people, and people not in
our group as all the same.

 This obviously paves the way for

1. Forming
– Members feel much uncertainty
2. Storming
– Lots of conflict between members of the group
3. Norming Stage
– Members have developed close relationships and
4. Performing Stage
– The group is finally fully functional
5. Adjourning Stage
– Stage found in temporary groups
– Characterized by concern with wrapping up activities
rather than performance
• ASSUMPTION: The group becomes more
effective as it progresses through the first
four stages.
– Not always true – group behavior is more
– High levels of conflict may be conducive to high
– The process is not always linear
– Several stages may occur simultaneously
– Groups may regress
• Ignores the organizational context
(constraints imposed by the organization)
– Generate more complete information and knowledge
– Offer increased diversity of views and greater
– Increased acceptance of decisions
– Generally more accurate (but not as accurate as the
most accurate group member)
– Time-consuming activity
– Conformity pressures in the group
– Discussions can be dominated by a few members
– A situation of ambiguous responsibility
Two by-products of group decision making have the
potential to affect a group’s ability to appraise
alternatives objectively and arrive at high-quality
– Situations where group pressures for conformity deter
the group from critically appraising unusual, minority, or
unpopular views.
– Groupthink is a disease that attacks many groups and
can dramatically hinder their performance.
– The way group members tend to exaggerate the initial
positions they hold when discussing a given set of
alternatives and arriving at a solution.
– In some situations, caution dominates and there is a
conservative shift, while in other situations groups tend
toward a risky shift.
 Due to group think, people find it difficult to speak up in group
discussions if they have decided against what the group has
 Symptoms:
– Group members rationalize any resistance to the assumptions they
have made. No matter how strongly the evidence may contradict their
basic assumptions, they behave so as to reinforce them.
– Members apply direct pressures on those who momentarily express
doubts about any of the group’s shared views, or who question the
validity of arguments supporting the alternative favored by the
– Members who have doubts or differing points of view seek to avoid
deviating from what appears to be group consensus by keeping silent
about misgivings and even minimizing to themselves the importance of
their doubts.
– There is an illusion of unanimity. If someone doesn’t speak, it’s
assumed he or she is in full accord. Abstention becomes a “yes” vote.
 Minimize Groupthink by:
– Reducing the size of the group to 10 or less
– Encouraging group leaders to be impartial (treat everyone equally)
– Appointing a “devil’s advocate” (who offers divergent perspectives)
– Using exercises on diversity and promoting diverse alternatives
 There are differences between group decisions and
the individual decisions of group members. What
appears to happen in groups is that the discussion
leads members toward a more extreme view of the
position they already held. Conservatives become
more cautious, and more aggressive types take on
more risk.
 The group discussion tends to exaggerate the initial
position of the group.
 Group polarization is a special case of groupthink.
The group’s decision reflects the dominant decision-
making norm that develops during discussion.
Whether the shift in the group’s decision is toward
greater caution or more risk depends on the
dominant pre-discussion norm.
 Shift toward polarization can be due to the fact that
discussion makes the members more comfortable
with each other and, thus, more willing to express
extreme versions of their original positions.
 The group diffuses responsibility. Group decisions
free any single member from accountability for the
group’s final choice, so a more extreme position can
be taken.
 It’s also likely that people take on extreme positions
because they want to demonstrate how different
they are from the out group. People on the fringes of
political or social movements take on ever-more
extreme positions just to prove they are really
committed to the cause, whereas those who are
more cautious tend to take exceptionally moderate
positions to demonstrate how reasonable they are.
 Group Think: Imagine a situation where you are
with a bunch of close friends and deciding the
venue for an important event before arriving at
a decision. All the other members seem to hold a
particular opinion, which is very different to
your personal belief. Even if you feel that the
decision of the other members of the group is
rather faulty, you will keep quiet because you do
not want to taint the harmony of the group.
 Group Shift: Mildly conservative individuals of a
group voice far-right opinions, while slightly
liberal individuals voice far-left opinions.
Because all individuals in the group exaggerate
their own opinions, the opinion of the group
becomes exaggerated as well.
 Work Group
 A group that interacts primarily to share information and to
make decisions to help each group member perform within his
or her area of responsibility
 Work groups have no need or opportunity to engage in
collective work that requires joint effort. So their performance
is merely the summation of each group member’s individual
 There is no positive synergy that would create an overall level
of performance greater than the sum of the inputs.
 Usually do not belong to same department or same area of
 Work Team
 Generates positive synergy through coordinated effort.
 The individual efforts result in a performance that is greater
than the sum of the individual inputs.
– Groups of 5 to 12 employees from
the same department who meet
for a few hours each week to
discuss ways of improving quality,
efficiency, and the work


– Groups of 10 to 15 people who
take on the responsibilities of
their former supervisors
– Employees from about the same hierarchical level, but
from different work areas, who come together to
accomplish a task
– Very common
– Teams that use computer technology to tie together
physically dispersed members in order to achieve a
common goal
– The members have limited socializing
– Organization can overcome time and space constraints
– To be effective, team members must have mutual trust
as well as there should be close monitoring of the
Note 1: This is a
general guide only.

Note 2: The model

assumes that
teamwork is
preferable to
individual work.
1. Context
2. Composition
3. Work Design
4. Processes
• Adequate Resources
– Need the tools to complete the job
• Effective Leadership and Structure
– Agreeing to the specifics of work and how the team
fits together to integrate individual skills
– Even “self-managed” teams need leaders
– Leadership is especially important in multi-team
• Climate of Trust
– Members must trust each other and the leader
• Performance and Rewards Systems that Reflect
Team Contributions
– Cannot just be based on individual effort
• Abilities of Members
– Need technical expertise, problem-solving,
decision-making, and good interpersonal skills
• Personality of Members
– Conscientiousness, openness to experience, and
agreeableness all relate to team performance
• Allocating Roles and Diversity
– Many necessary roles must be filled
– Diversity can often lead to lower performance
• Size of Team
– The smaller the better: 5 to 9 is optimal
• Member’s Preference for Teamwork
– Do the members want to be on teams?
• Freedom and Autonomy
– Ability to work independently
• Skill Variety
– Ability to use different skills and talents
• Task Identity
– Ability to complete a whole and identifiable task
or product
• Task Significance
– Working on a task or project that has a
substantial impact on others
 Commitment to a Common Purpose
 Create a common purpose that provides direction
 Have reflexivity: willing to adjust plan if necessary
 Establishment of Specific Team Goals
 Must be specific, measurable, realistic, and challenging
 Team Efficacy
 Team believes in its ability to succeed
 Mental Models
 Have an accurate and common mental map of how the
work gets done
 A Managed Level of Conflict
 Task conflicts are helpful; interpersonal conflicts are not
 Minimized Social Loafing
 Social loafing is the phenomenon of a person exerting less
effort to achieve a goal when they work in a group than
when they work alone.
 Team holds itself accountable both individually and as a
Teams take more time and resources than does
individual work.
Three tests to see if a team fits the situation:
1. Is the work complex and is there a need for
different perspectives: will it be better with
the insights of more than one person?
2. Does the work create a common purpose or
set of goals for the group that is larger than
the aggregate of the goals for individuals?
3. Are members of the group involved in
interdependent tasks?