Group Think

A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action

(Janis 1972: 9) When the desire for unanimity overcomes a group’s ability to make rational assessments on all available information Can include an unquestioned belief in your moral correctness – religious (give your life to God) or political (Nazi Germany) Reduces team effectiveness because it can remove the ability/need to question or validate

Group behaviour
Group Behaviour –Positive and provides for trust, belonging, reliance, –Resulting in being happy at work - better more efficient service –Like minded people with similar ideas expectations –Did not join public service to make a fortune –Joined to
serve – make a difference belong get self esteem (Maslow 1987)

–Develop identity
•Fitting-in (Baigent 2001) •Surface acting that develops into deep acting (Hochschild 1983)

–Culture can inclusive
•Realise needs (Maslow 1987) •Avoid alienation (Marx) •Resisting deskilling (Braverman 1974)

–Culture can be negative
•Racism (Macpherson 1999) •Sexism (Baigent 2008) •Resist modernisation (Baigent 2007)

–Outsiders seen as the
•other (civvies) •naive (what do they know about doing the job) •deviant stereotyping (sanctions taken against groups) •What are the stereotypes associated with being black? How might these affect a black male who wants to join the police? •What are the stereotypes associated with women – how will this effect women who want to join the fire and rescue service?

Formal Public Service Culture Weberian Bureaucracy – Written rules (orders) for everything – A clear chain of command – No room for entrepreneurs – Rationality rules – An iron cage (Weber) .

CFRS STRUCTURE CHIEF FIRE OFFICER TOM CARROLL COMMUNITY SAFETY DIRECTORATE Lawrie Booth MANAGEMENT SERVICES DIRECTORATE Cheryl Rolph DISTRICT COMMUNITY SAFETY CAMBRIDGE CITY DISTRICT Dave Warren EAST CAMBS DISTRICT Dave Robertson FENLAND DISTRICT Paul Fredericks HUNTINGDON DISTRICT Peter Sharpe PETERBOROUGH DISTRICT Paul Malinowski SOUTH CAMBS DISTRICT Pat Kilby FIRE CONTROL Elaine Wakerley PERSONAL & ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GROUP Maurice Moore CORPORATE & DEMOCRATIC SERVICES GROUP Fiona Fowler HUMAN RESOURCES Tracy BennettTighe/ Marissa Reynolds TECHNICAL SERVICES DIRECTORATE Peter Warner RESOURCES DIRECTORATE John Hummersone FLEET & EQUIPMENT SERVICES GROUP Frank Laska COMMUNITY RISK MANAGEMENT GROUP Gerry Dacey FINANCE & CONTRACT MANGEMENTGROUP Matthew Warren INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY GROUP Martin Scott NEW DIMENSIONS OFFICER Andy Dunlop AUDIT OFFICER Mark Bennett-Tighe PAYROLL TEAM Daphne Baker PROPERTY & ESTATES GROUP Danny Rust .CAMBRIDGESHIRE FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE .

Appointment into Watch Management upon consistent demonstration of competence. CPD Specialist Role Supervisory Management Assessment Centre CPD Specialist Role Test of Potential Required training inputs Middle Management Assessment Centre Required training inputs . CPD Attraction Point of Entry Assessment Test of Potential Firefighting Development Phase I Decision about progression to Watch Management based upon information gathered from the Supervisory Management ADC and workplace assessment . Eligible to access an NVQ award. Potential to develop beyond role identified through continuous workplace assessment and a snapshot of PQAs. Eligible to access an NVQ award. FIREFIGHTING FIREFIGHTER Firefighting Development Programme Phase III Firefighting Development Programme Phase II CREW CREW MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT Crew Management Development Programme WATCH WATCH MANAGEMENT MANAGEMENT Watch Management Development Programme Decision about progression to Station Management based upon information gathered from the Supervisory Management ADC and workplace assessment.FF Competence confirmed through consistent performance. Appointment into Crew Management upon consistent demonstration of competence. Eligible to access an NVQ award.

the existence of shared norms. recognise that workers at Hawthorn suffered from anomie – they did not feel as is they belonged – during his experiment he made them feel important – that they belonged and therefore they were happier and worked harder. values and rules. values and rules When individuals do not feel they belong in a society – share the same norms and values they feel alienated a situation that Durkheim saw as ‘anomie’ Mayo.Forming a society • • • • • • • • • • • • • Jones (1994) suggests that Durkheim has an orthodox consensus view of social structures made up of norms. values and rules through socialisation Norms values and rules serve the function of making social life possible Each generation of people pass on these norms. Durkheim argues we learn about norms. values and rules to the next (tradition) Functionalists believe in a society formed by social structures Structures that become real in their consequences (W I Thomas) The argument of functionalist is that any social process exists because they serve a function For example we have laws because they lay down the boundaries of what is acceptable in a society Durkheim uses the term ‘social solidarity’ to describe how people achieve social order Social solidarity was achieved by collective standards and rules of behaviour that make the ‘social glue’ that holds society together Social solidarity/order flows from consensus . .

teenagers • Each generation has the ability to change their culture • People have a choice if they comply or not • In Public Services there are two cultures – Formal – Informal . work.Durkheim • A collective way of living/being can be termed a ‘culture’ • Cultures can be macro – gender. ethnicity. class • Cultures can be micro – family.

but this is due to a combination of group ownership. it is often the culture rather than individuals that is seen as responsible for how cultural values get put into practice • Formal police culture may appear to have strength. not because it actually exists. • Police culture is a structure – accepted/constructed by the individuals who operate within it • Because the culture has to be put into action by individuals. power and authority.These arguments almost make as if culture has a life of its own • As a result. tradition and history. there is space for those individuals to act differently .

It is sometimes possible to forget that: • People in the fire and police services have minds of their own • Frequently group behaviour acts like a snowball – almost forcing people to put their own values on hold as they to give up some free will to join in with the group • People in the fire or police services make a choice when they join in on cultural practices • Sometimes choice is not made under circumstances that the individual would choose .

a sense of belonging. managers.There can be a number of views about public service culture. purpose . have in common • something people sign up to because it provides for your needs. constables. soldiers etc. firefighters. • values that one cohort of public servants pass down to the next • a common form of behaviour amongst public servants • a public service ethos to serve and protect • values that officers. identity.

Alienation – not here –Public Servants love their jobs –Teamwork can prevent alienation from the work process –Informal culture gives individuals some control over what they do –The process of deskilling –What do the workers feel .

B. Psychological Bulletin 63(6): Forming Identifying the task and how to accomplish it.Tuckman. • Deciding what is acceptable group behaviour and how to handle group conflict • Deciding what information needs to be gathered to tackle the task • Abstract conceptual discussions or some members' impatience with these discussions • No clear focus on task or problem as evidenced by irrelevant discussions • Complaining about organisational problems and barriers to accomplishing the task instead of focusing on the task . (1965) 'Developmental sequence in small groups'.

jealousy. lack of unity. increased concerns about too much work to be done. . bids for power.Storming • Arguing among group members. and a perceived hierarchy • Establishing unobtainable goals. drawing divisional lines • Tension. even if they agree on the issues • Choosing sides within the group.

Norming •Conflict avoidance in an attempt to promote harmony •Friendlier discussions on a more personal level. begin to confide in one another •More of a sense of group cohesion and esprit. more discussions about the dynamics of the group. more commonality of goals •Establishing and maintaining realistic group parameters for behaviour and performance •Organising how team will sanction transgressors .

being able to work through it. • Ability to avoid group conflict and. should conflict arise. • Much closer identity with the group. .Performing • Constructively changing one's self-actually changing for the betterment of the group. understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses.

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ethical or moral consequences of your actions Stereotyped views of politicians – managers – public – Too weak – Too stupid – Don’t know whats going on Overcome any efforts to change – Without solidarity we shall loose our way of knowing the job – link this to a view about serving the public – Make it clear that loyalty is key to solidarity – Snowball and confront anyone who challenges the groups view – Teach lessons about what it means to be marginalised Self-censorship – Don’t even consider the consequences of action or lack of reflection – Distort incoming arguments – Minimise/discount any thoughts that you might be wrong Shared illusion – We are all together – Sink or swim – Silence is consent – we permit what we allow/ignore . – We know best – Optimistic about your power – Prepared to challenge managers covertly – Ignore modernisation Collectively – Rationalise your arguments – Discount warnings – Avoid reconsidering your assumptions – Justify what you think – Stick with past views (traditions) An unquestioned belief that the group is right – Belief in the group's inherent morality – Ignoring the real. values and rules in trust for the next generation An illusion of invulnerability.Self-appointed peer group leaders – members who protect the group – Maintain/police behaviour – Protect the current culture – holding the accepted norms.

‘Norming’ and Action theories Impression management (Goffman) Labelling theory (Becker) Deviancy amplification (Cohen) What if you are black how might the police service label you What do the public services think of modernisation How does the label ‘female’ affect you if you are applying for a job the fire service .

Macpherson. (1999) The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. ignorance. 6. attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice. A number of officers used such terms. London: HMSO. mistakes. displays at least insensitivity and lack of training. which are now well known to be offensive. Mere incompetence cannot of itself account for the whole catalogue of failures. unless it can be said that the use of inappropriate expressions such as "coloured" or "negro" fall into that category. 11. culture. thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.36 The main conclusion that we reach is that the inadequacy of the steps taken was as the result of the failure of direction by supervisory officers.44 We heed this warning.3 In this Inquiry we have not heard evidence of overt racism or discrimination. misjudgements. The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour. The use of such words. W. and lack of direction and control which bedevilled the Stephen 6. or ethnic origin. . It can be seen or detected in processes. The standard of command and co-ordination during the first two hours after this murder was in the opinion of the Inquiry abysmal. but upon all the facts we assert that the conclusion that racism played its part in this case is fully justified. and some did not even during their evidence seem to understand that the terms were offensive and should not be used.

• The leadership must recognise that urgent action is required. If only because of the spotlight that has now been shone on the Service. An improved programme of HR management must be put in place as a matter of priority. • 6. This is disappointing. in practice only lip-service is paid to it.28 We have been told by many – including some politicians – that the leadership and general input from local politicians to fire authorities is poor. it must be clear to all that good leadership and management have been lacking in many respects. saving lives. (2002) The Future of the fire service: reducing risk. Personnel policy. (Bain 2002: V). Despite clear policies from management and the FBU in favour of diversity. London: ODPM 10.Bain. The work on the introduction of the new Integrated Personal Development System (IPDS) gives a framework for this improvement programme. But the programme itself will not be a substitute for real effort by management at all levels to tackle the problems. G. Harassment and bullying are still too prevalent. procedures and practices in the Fire Service give cause for concern. .

It basically says it doesn’t matter if you apply or not. every other. is that a good or a bad thing? Ff: I think that’s racist. they’re not interested in you as a person or interested in this group or this group at this time. It’s out and out discrimination against the white. . DB: You think it’s racist? LF: Yes. absolutely. well.Positive Action another view DB: So if there's a positive action day for ethnic minorities only. do you think.

FireWorks for equality in the fire service Barriers of Ethnic Minority Recruitment Perceived Barriers •Cultural sensitivities prohibited some BEM groups from applying •Religious restrictions prevented other ethnic groups from applying •Asians saw the firefighting profession as a low-status career •Problem of recruitment rested with BEM groups .

I think therefore I am Fitting-in .

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