Groups and Group Dynamics

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Unit 14 Groups and Group Dynamics : 

Unit 14 Groups and Group Dynamics Book Code – MB 0027 Smita Choudhary Faculty HR & OB 1

Contents : 

Contents Introduction Meaning and characteristics of groups The types of groups Formal work groups Informal work groups Group characteristics Group decision making Advantages of group decision making Group dynamics Principles of group dynamics 2 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Introduction : 

Introduction The concept of group is very old. Men lived in groups in ancient time. Man used to hunt and protect itself from wild animals in groups. With the advancement of civilization, many racial groups developed in different parts of the world and developed different cultures. The culture of different countries flourished with different racial groups. 3 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Learning Objectives : 

Learning Objectives After studying this unit, you will be able to Understand groups as they exist in organizations Identify group characteristics Explain group dynamics and principles of group dynamics. 4 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Meaning and Characteristics of Group : 

Meaning and Characteristics of Group A group refers to two or more persons who share a common purpose. “A group is defined as two or more persons in a state of social interaction.” ---- Kimball Young “A group consists of two or more persons who share norms about certain things with one another and whose social roles are closely interlocking.” ---- T.M. Newcomb “A group is plurality of persons who interact with anyone else.” ---- W.J.H. Sprott 5 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Characteristics of a Group : 

Characteristics of a Group The necessary characteristic of a group are Two or more people, Who interact with one another, (The members of a group occasionally meet, talk, and do things together) Share some common ideology, and (The members of a group have something in common like common goals, common threat, security concern, etc.) See themselves as a group. (People who interact with each other and who have a common ideology are attracted to one another) 6 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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A group fulfills the following needs of its members: Affinitive needs of an individual are fulfilled by the group through friendship between individuals. A group also fulfills egoistic needs of an individual by developing self-esteem and status. A group fulfills functional needs of its members by helping him/her in his daily activities, adjusting work routines and avoiding boredom. Cognitive needs may be satisfied by motivation. 8 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Slide 9: 

A groups serves the following purposes: Group is a means for affiliation needs like needs for friendship, love and support. A group is a means of developing a sense of identity and maintaining self-esteem. It is a means of establishing reality through developing consensus among group members. It is a means of increasing security and power to handle a common enemy or threat. 9 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

The Types of Groups : 

The Types of Groups Groups may be classified on the basis of the following criteria Purpose or goal Extent of structuring Legal organization or setting Groups may be formal or informal. All groups have the following common characteristics Have leaders Have followers Try to achieve some goal or goals Have ideas about how to achieve the goals Communicate expectations to members Satisfy some needs of its members 10 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Formal Work Groups : 

Formal Work Groups Organizing means arranging people in such a pattern that they can perform the required activities. The purpose of manager’s organizing responsibility is to create formal work groups that are necessary to achieve the goals of the organization. The characteristics of formal workgroups are They are approved by some authority. There is a fixed division of labor. Individuals are assigned specific responsibilities. There are personal interactions between the group members. Group members are rewarded. 11 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Informal Work Groups : 

Informal Work Groups Informal groups are not very well organized groups. They exist because the formal groups in an organization do not satisfy human needs sufficiently. Informal workgroups provide a means of satisfaction for security needs, social needs and esteem needs. 12 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Informal Work Groups and Security Needs : 

Informal Work Groups and Security Needs Informal groups support their members and protect them from outside pressure and authority. The group protects an individual from unfriendly work environment. When a person is new in the organization, he may feel worried. He does not know his surroundings well. New employees try to find an existing group and join it for help in the orientation process. 13 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Informal Work Groups and Social Needs : 

Informal Work Groups and Social Needs Many jobs do not allow communication and interaction between workers. In this situation, people cannot make friends and are unable to satisfy their need for companionship. People want to belong to a small social group in which relationships are based on common interests and values. Social groups occur in most companies. Members of a social group enjoy each other’s company. 14 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Informal Work Groups and Esteem Needs : 

Informal Work Groups and Esteem Needs Informal groups are also a means of status or prestige for its members. This is specially true if The group is well known in the organization Outsiders want to join the group It is difficult to achieve acceptance into the group The informal group is a source of egoistic need satisfaction. The need to achieve can be partially satisfied by the informal group. 15 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Advantages of Informal Groups : 

Advantages of Informal Groups Informal groups increase the employee’s sense of security and help him to do the work more effectively. Informal groups can help the manager in maintaining discipline. Informal groups help to maintain “no time clock” policy because the employee are highly motivated and also there is peer pressure. So any individual cannot take undue advantage of this policy. 16 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Disadvantages of Informal Groups : 

Disadvantages of Informal Groups The disadvantages of informal groups arise when the goals of the group do not match with the organizational goals. This problem occurs when a planned change is implemented. The protection and social relationships provided by informal groups are in danger due to new plans that disturb order and stability, create new procedures of standard and production and disturb the pattern of personal interactions on the job. 17 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Group Characteristics : 

Group Characteristics The main elements of group behavior are: 1) Membership in the Group It is a process in which membership is provided to individuals on the basis of common interests and readiness to be cooperative and follow group norms. 2) Emergent Leadership The informal leader performs two functions: He starts the action and provides direction. He tries to eliminate the differences of opinion within the group and makes effort so that the group achieves its goals. He communicates the groups’ beliefs about policies, job, organization, supervision and other matter to non-members. 18 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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3) Formal Hierarchy All groups have some formal arrangement. The sub-leaders communicate the message to the members of the group. The individuals performing leadership role possess prestige because of their role. 4) Group Has Some Activity or Task to Perform A group does something which may be related to its job or not related to it. 19 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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All people interact with one another.During interaction one person responds to another. According to Berne, “people interact with each other in terms of three psychological positions or behavioral patterns known as ego states. These ego states are parent, adult and child. Persons interacting with a parent ego are protective (caring), dogmatic (strict), evaluative and righteous (honest and respectable). They prefer laws, rules and standards. People with adult ego state are based on reasons, looking for information and processing it and on factual discussions. It views people as equal, worthy and reasonable human beings. The child ego state shows the conditions and experiences of childhood. It is dependent, rebellious (disobedient), selfish and sometimes creative. 5) Interaction 20 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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6) Group Norms Every group has some rules, norms, beliefs, traditions and attitudes that the group members must follow. “Norms are the ought to’s of behavior. They are prescriptions for acceptable behavior determined by a group, institution or society.” ---- Luthens “Group norms are rules or guidelines of accepted behavior which are established by a group and used to monitor the behavior of its members.” ---- Argyle 21 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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Group cohesiveness It is the degree of attraction that the group has for its members. Cohesiveness is shown by attitudes like loyalty to the group, a feeling of responsibility for group efforts, friendliness. ii) Member satisfaction The end result of group membership is satisfaction of members. In a survey of 37 studies, Heslin and Dumply have shown specific relationship between satisfaction of members of work group and Perceived freedom to participate Perceived goal attainment Status consensus 22 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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Perceived Freedom to Participate A member’s opinion of freedom to participate affects need satisfaction. Individuals who feel that they are active participators are more satisfied while those who feel that their freedom to participate is not important were less satisfied. ii) Perceived Goal Attainment A group member’s opinion of progress towards achievement of desired goals is related to member satisfaction. Members of the groups which progressed towards goal achievement showed higher satisfaction while members of the groups which are not progressing towards achievement of goals showed lower satisfaction. 23 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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iii) Status Consensus It is an agreement about the relative status of all group members. When the degree of status consensus within the group is low, members satisfaction is low. Status consensus is achieved in groups where The members consider group task specialist as competent. A leader plays an important role. A leadership role is performed by an individual who focuses on coordinating and maintaining the activities of the group. 24 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Group Decision Making : 

Group Decision Making Important decisions are taken by groups and not by individuals. Generally, group decision making is better than individual decision making. Advantages of group decision making Groups perform better than individuals in decision making because: A wide range of alternatives and solutions is considered. Decisions taken in a group are well accepted and the level of commitment is also high. People accept a decision when they have contributed to decision making. 25 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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Potential Problems with Group Decisions Group decisions take longer time than individual decisions. Sometimes, group decision may be a compromise which gives no positive results. A dominant person in a group may dominate over other members and affect decision making. This is more common when group members are of unequal rank. A person with high rank tries to dictate over members with low rank. Problem of individual dominance can be handled in the following ways: Avoid announcing your preferred solution while the group is working on the problem. Listen carefully to suggestions from every member. Encourage every group member to participate. Try to achieve a good solution 26 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Group Dynamics : 

Group Dynamics It is related to the interactions between group members in a social situation. It is concerned with getting knowledge of groups, how they develop, and their effect on individual members and organization. “Group dynamics is an expression that describes the situation in which people acting together in a group accomplish certain thing, either positively or negatively in a way that cannot be explained adequately in terms of the individual acting separately.” ---- Thomas Harrell 27 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Slide 28: 

The word ‘dynamics’ is derived from a Greek word which means ‘force’. Thus, group dynamics are the forces working in a group. Kurt Lewin established the Research Centre for Group Dynamics in 1945. The centre is making efforts to improve scientific understanding of groups through experiments and field studies. Many factors in the work environment affect group behavior. The two most broad aspects are The physical environment, e.g., plant, equipment, layout The psycho-social environment, e.g., worker needs reward systems, work group structure, supervisory practices, work group norms, worker roles and attitudes. 28 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Principles of Group Dynamics : 

Principles of Group Dynamics Principles of group dynamics (termed by Cartwright) are the norms that the group must follow to work effectively. These principles are---- There should be no barrier between the leader and the follower. The leader (who changes others) and the follower (who are changed) should have a strong sense of belongingness to the group. The group should be attractive to its members. It increases the group’s influence on its members. A group member with higher prestige has a greater influence on other members of the group. 29 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

Slide 30: 

Efforts to change individual members of a group will make them conform to the norms of the group. Pressure for changes in a group can be established by creating the perception that there is a need for change. Information related to the need for change, plans for change, and the results of change should be shared by all members of the group. Changes in one part of the group may cause tension in other parts. This tension can be reduced by removing the change or making some adjustments. 30 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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Cattell proposed seven theorems which show characteristics of synergy within a group: Groups are formed to satisfy individual needs and stop to exist when this purpose is not solved. The total synergy of a group is the result of the attitudes of all members towards the group. Effective synergy may be aimed to achieve goals outside the group. Individual group members may also use groups to achieve personal goals, group goals may be secondary to them. Group memberships may overlap, but the total synergy in the group remains constant. 31 SMU Learning Centre, Alwar LC Code 03034

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