Nature Of Group Behaviour Within Organizations

Explain the nature of groups and group Behaviour within organizations

A group is any number of people  who interact with one another;  who are psychologically aware of one another; and  who perceive themselves to be a group. Clearly, this brings into play the ideas that interaction must take place and the importance of awareness So the Oasis concert spectators in the list above are not a group because they do not fulfill all of Schein’s criteria. When we use the words ‘groups’ or ‘group relationship’ we are, more than likely, referring to the existence of a psychological relationship. (Brooks I 2002)
A team is a collection of people who work with each other to achieve a specific,common goal or objective. Martin (2005) states that a team ‘implies a small, cohesive group that works effectively as a single unit through being focused on a common task.’ Katzenbach and Smith (1999:15) in their landmark research present a more comprehensive definition: ‘a team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.’ Further, they describe a number of groups and teams which distinguish between different levels of collective performance ranging from working groups and pseudogroups to potential teams, real teams, and high-performance teams. (Brooks I 2002)
There are 5 stages of group development and relationship.

Stage 1 Forming:

This is the first step of formation of a group where individual who have the knowledge about the target goals comes together for a common goal. There is high dependence on leader for guidance and direction during this stage. The leader must be able to answer questions relating to the purpose of the establishment of the group. initially, this stage is involved with the bringing together of a number of people who may be somewhat anxious, wary and unsure. Clearly in this scenario, there are few, if any, ground rules. Ambiguity and confusion reign over the group. Everybody is busy finding out who the other people are. Members are keen to establish their personal identities in the group and make a personal impression, and it is for this reason that considerable anxiety, and even fear, may be generated. Adding to this anxiety is the potential lack of focus and clarity around the purpose of the group and uncertainty about the task ahead.  (Brooks I 2002)

Stage 2 Storming:

Members of the group will get to know each other at this stage, their view will put forward to the house, decisions do not come easily within the group. This stage is important because if successful there will be discussions on reforming arrangement for the working and the operation of the group.This is a period of disagreement, frustration and potential confrontation but every group must go through it. Out of conflict can come good, and the group needs to cling to this sentiment at this time. The potential conflict is there because members now feel more confident to challenge each other, and to express their views more openly and forcefully. There will be some jockeying for positions of power  and frustration at an  apparent lack of progress. The storming stage is important as it raises the energy (and activity) level of the group and can lead on to significant changes in creativity and innovation.  (Brooks I 2002)

Stage 3 Norming:

Here, conflict and hostility start to be controlled, members of the group will have established rules and guidance to follow, what is accepted and what is not accepted. The members need to be co-operative in order to achieve their goals.Here, there is a clear sense of group identity, and guidelines, standards, procedures, roles and structure become formally established. Emotions are now expressed constructively and listened to! In organisational settings, it is at this stage that management should intervene if they are looking to influence the group this stage that that  all-important group rules the rules are developed and established. If the Hawthorne Studies of the 1920s and 1930s (see Chapter 5) showed us anything, it was that group norms can certainly influence, it is much more difficult to alter, or influence, their members’ attitudes and behaviour.(Brooks I 2002)

Stage 4 Performing:

Here, the group has progressed through the 3 stages of development. They will have understood each other and they can then concentrate on the attainment of the desired goals. having progressed through the earlier stages, a team will have created some structure and cohesiveness to work effectively. With these ‘mechanics’ in place, the team can now concentrate on the achievement of its objectives. It is at this stage that task performance is at its most effective. The group should now be close and supportive, open and trusting, resourceful and effective. As most teams have a limited life. (Brooks I 2002)

Stage 5 Adjourning:

The group may disband, either because the task and objectives have been achieved to a satisfactory level or because the members have left. However, before disbanding, it is important for the group to reflect on their time together – what went well, what didn’t go so well and what might they do differently next time and how? Such reflection may be a great source of learning for both the individuals concerned and the organisation. .  (Brooks I 2002)

Types of groups are a  formal and informal group.

Formal groups are, therefore, consciously created to accomplish the organisation’s collective mission and to achieve specific organisational and departmental objectives. They are primarily concerned with the coordination of work activities and are task orientated. They are embedded and entrapped in the fabric, hierarchy and structure of the organisation: people are brought together on the basis of defined roles. The nature of the tasks undertaken is a predominant feature of the formal group. Goals are identified and developed by management, and rules, relationships and norms of behaviour are established. They have been consciously created and organised, recruited for and put together by somebody for a reason. Formal groups are an important element of the organisational structure Because the individuals in formal groups share some commonality of objectives, goals and (occasionally) rewards, they are more akin to teams – formal teams. They assist people to accomplish goals much less haphazardly than they would in informal groups, coordinate the activities of the functions of the organisation, establish logical authority relationships among people and between positions, apply the concepts of specialisation and division of labour,  They are to distribute work, having brought together a particular set of skills, talents and responsibilities, manage and control work, facilitate the problem-solving process by bringing together all of the available capabilities, pass on decisions or information to those who need to know, gather ideas, information and suggestions, test and ratify decisions,coordinate and facilitate necessary liaison, increase commitment and involvement resolve arguments and disputes between different functions and levels. (Brooks I 2002)
Running alongside and within, cutting across and around these formal groups and teams there exist a number of informal groups, such as the office quiz or bowls team, the theatre-going group or the t The list is endless. We can define an informal group as a collection of individuals who become a group when members develop certain interdependencies, influence one another’s behaviour and contribute to mutual need satisfaction. Informal groups are based more on personal relationships and agreement of group members than on any defined role relationships. They simply emerge in the organisation, from the informal interaction of the members of the organisation. They may be born out of shared interests, friendship or some other social aspect. What informal groups satisfy, in a way that the formal group may not, is a sense of belonging, the idea that we can be wanted, needed and included for what we are and not because the organisation has put us to work with these other people. These informal groups can also satisfy a range of other needs. They can, reduce feelings of insecurity and anxiety and provide each other with social support, fulfil affiliation needs for friendship, love, and support, help to define our sense of identity and maintain our self-esteem , provide guidelines on generally acceptable behaviour, they help shape group and organisational norms, cater for those often ill-defined tasks which can only be performed through the combined efforts of a number of individuals working together. As can be seen from the list at the beginning of this section, membership of a group can cut across the boundaries created by the formal structure. Individuals from different parts and levels of the organisation may all belong to the same informal group. (Brooks I 2002)

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