DR. GAUR HARI SINGHANIA INSTITUTE OF
MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH.
SUBMITTED TO: SUBMITTED BY:
Prof .MONIKA SRIVASTAVA SONIA KAPOOR (1257)
(FACULTY:-Organisational Behaviour) SUKRITI GUPTA (1259)
XV BATCH- section “C” (full time)
We would like to express our gratitude to MRS. MONIKA SRIVASTAVA
GHS- IMR for encouraging us to prepare term paper. The term paper would not
convince without him who mentored us to his ideas. It was our opportunity to work
with such a literate .Our sincere thanks to all the staff members of GHS-IMR
associated to this term report for helping us in every possible way for their trust , co-
operation & support without which the fabrication of the term report would not have
been in the present form .
Lastly, we would also like to thank all our friends who have bore with us
during this term paper, apart from that, those who have helped up in some way or the
other. Last but not the least we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our
parents, who were with us when we were some expensive about the project. Their
help and encouragement also proved to be a handful.
Group exists in every organisation and they affect the behaviour of their members.
They not only affect the behaviour of their members rather they have impact on other
groups and organisation as a whole. Such groups are created by the organisation
members for their own satisfaction. An organisation divides its ultimate task into
small task which are assigned to various sub-units. Division of task and passing them
down until a level is reached where several people take sub goals and themselves as
individuals, but no longer create work units. Thus organisation itself generates forces
towards the formation of various functional task groups within itself. Besides, many
groups are created automatically because of operation of socio-psychological factors
at work place. Thus, these groups are essential for organisation‟s functioning, if one
wants to study the organisation, he will have to understand the group and their
functioning. Group Dynamics provide understanding of groups.
Group dynamics is the study of groups, and also a general term for group processes.
Relevant to the fields of psychology, sociology, and communication studies, a group
is two or more individuals who are connected to each other by social relationships
Because they interact and influence each other, groups develop a number of dynamic
processes that separate them from a random collection of individuals. These processes
include norms, roles, relations, development, need to belong, social influence, and
effects on behavior. The field of group dynamics is primarily concerned with small
group behavior. Groups may be classified as aggregate, primary, secondary and
In organizational development (OD), or group dynamics, the phrase "group
process" refers to the understanding of the behavior of people in groups, such as task
groups, that are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. An individual with
expertise in 'group process, such as a trained facilitator, can assist a group in
accomplishing its objective by diagnosing how well the group is functioning as a
problem-solving or decision-making entity and intervening to alter the group's
operating behavior. Because people gather in groups for reasons other than task
accomplishment, group process occurs in other types of groups such as personal
growth groups (e.g. encounter groups, study groups, prayer groups). In such cases, an
individual with expertise in group process can be helpful in the role of facilitator.
Well researched but rarely mentioned by professional group workers, is the social
status of people within the group (i.e., senior or junior). The group leader (or
facilitator) will usually have a strong influence on the group due to his or her role of
shaping the group's outcomes. This influence will also be affected by the leader's sex,
race, relative age, income, appearance, and personality, as well as organizational
structures and many other factors.
A group can be defined as two or more individuals that are connected to each
another by social relationships. Groups tend to interact, influence each other, and
share a common identity. They have a number of emergent qualities that distinguish
them from aggregates:
Norms - implicit rules and expectations for group members to follow, e.g.
saying thank you, shaking hands.
Roles - implicit rules and expectations for specific members within the group,
e.g. the oldest sibling, who may have additional responsibilities in the family.
Relations - patterns of liking within the group, and also differences in prestige
or status, e.g. leaders, popular people.
Temporary groups and aggregates share few or none of these features, and do not
qualify as true social groups. People waiting in line to get on a bus, for example, do
not constitute a group.
Groups are important not only because they offer social support, resources,
and a feeling of belonging, but because they supplement an individual's self-concept.
To a large extent, humans define themselves by the group memberships which form
their social identity. The shared social identity of individuals within a group
influences intergroup behavior, the way in which groups behave towards and perceive
each other. These perceptions and behaviors in turn define the social identity of
individuals within the interacting groups. The tendency to define oneself by
membership of a group leads to intergroup discrimination, which involves favorable
perceptions and behaviors directed towards the in-group, but negative perceptions and
behaviors directed towards the out-group. Intergroup discrimination leads to prejudice
and stereotyping, while the processes of social facilitation and group polarization
encourage extreme behaviors towards the out-group.
Groups often moderate and improve decision making, and are frequently
relied upon for these benefits, such as committees and juries. A number of group
biases, however, can interfere with effective decision making. For example, group
polarization, formerly known as the "risky shift," occurs when people polarize their
views in a more extreme direction after group discussion. More problematic is the
phenomenon of groupthink.
The term group dynamics contain two terms group and dynamics. Group is
basically a collectivity of two or more persons. Dynamics comes from Greek word
meaning force. Theory of Dynamics is used in physical sciences and engineering
which explains the phenomena of universe by some immanent energy: operation of
force. Thus group dynamics refers to the interaction of forces between group
members in a social situation. However the term group dynamics is defined in
different ways: One view is that it describes how a group should be organised and
operated. This includes democratic leadership, participation and co-operation.
Another view takes it as a set of techniques such as role playing, brainstorming,
leaderless group, group therapy, sensitivity training etc. According to the third view
group dynamics is viewed from internal nature of groups, their structure, formation
and processes and the way they affect individual members, other members and
organisation. This view is more prevalent. For example, group dynamics is defined as
“The social process by which people interact face to face in small groups is
called Group Dynamics.
Thus group dynamics encompasses the interaction pattern within groups, the
subtle and the non subtle pressure exerted by group members, the manner in which
decisions are made in the group. How work gets done, and how members need is
satisfied. Understanding of all these will enable managers to manage groups
effectively leading to organisational effectiveness.
Concept of Groups
It is quiet difficult to define a group independent to some specific purpose or
reference. That is why people tend to define group differently. Shaw has summarised
various definition of group into 4 categories. First, group is defined as consisting of an
individual who perceives the existence of a group and their membership in it. Second,
is defined on the basis of common motivation or goal. Third, looks to the structure of
the group- the relationship and ties among group members which bind them together
into a group. Fourth, perceives the element of a group to be interacting among its
members. This approach, Shaw finds most acceptable and defines group as „two or
more persons who interacting with one another in such a manner that each persons
influences and is influenced by each other.‟
Thus a group is defined as the aggregation of small number of persons who
work for common goals, develop a shared attitude, and are aware that they are part of
a group and perceives themselves as such. Based on this following features o group
1. Two or more person - To form a group there should be at least two
persons because a single person cannot interact. However, there cannot be any
specific limit on maximum number of persons in a group but the size of the
group is determined by rules and regulations of the organisation in this context
or meaningful interaction among the member in the case of informal group.
2. Collective identity- Members of the group must be aware about their
membership of the group. Each member of the group must believe that he is
the member of, is a participant in, some specific group. It is the awareness of
each other that most clearly differentiates a group from an aggregation of
individuals. In the case of aggregation of individuals, they are ordinarily not
aware of one another or, if aware, do not interact with each other in a
3. Interaction- Members of the group interact among themselves. Interaction
means that each member share his ideas with others through communication
and communication takes place face to face, in writing, over the telephone,
across a member. However, it is not necessary for all members of the group to
interact simultaneously, but each member must interact at least occasionally
with one or more members of the group
4. Shared goal interest- Members of the group should subscribe to the
attainment of some common objectives. However, it is not necessary that each
member subscribe to or agrees with all the objectives of the group. If a group
has a variety of objectives or interest, each member of the group must share at
least one of the group concerns. The shard goal interest binds the group
Types of group
Groups may be classified into different types. The basis of differentiation may be
purpose, extent of structuring, process of formation, and size of group membership.
However, an analytical classification of the group may be: formal and informal,
primary and secondary, membership and reference, command and task, and in-group
and out-group. Each type has different features and different effects on its
Primary groups are small groups with intimate, kin-based relationships: families, for
example. They commonly last for years. They are small and display face to face
Secondary groups, in contrast to primary groups, are large groups whose relationships
are formal and institutional. They may last for years or may disband after a short time.
The formation of primary groups happens within secondary groups.
Individuals almost universally have a bond toward what are known as reference
groups. These are groups to which the individual conceptually relates him/herself, and
from which he/she adopts goals and values as a part of his/her self identity.
Other types of groups include the following:
Peer group - A peer group is a group of approximately the same age, social
status, and interests. Generally, people are relatively equal in terms of power
when they interact with peers.
Clique - An informal, tight-knit group, usually in a High School/College
setting, that shares common interests. There is an established yet shifting
power structure in most Cliques.
Club - A club is a group, which usually requires one to apply to become a
member. Such clubs may be dedicated to particular activities, such as sporting
Household - all individuals who live in the same home, there are various
models in Anglophone culture including the family, blended families, share
housing, and group homes.
Community - A community is a group of people with a commonality or
sometimes a complex net of overlapping commonalities, often - but not always
- in proximity with one another with some degree of continuity over time.
They often have some organization and leaders.
Franchise - This is an organization which runs several instances of a business
in many locations.
Gang - A gang is usually an urban group that gathers in a particular area. It is
a group of people that often hang around each other. They can be like some
clubs, but much less formal.
Mob - A mob is usually a group of people that has taken the law into their
own hands. Mobs are usually a group which gathers temporarily for a
Posse - A posse was initially an American term for a group of citizens that had
banded together to enforce the law. However, it can also refer to a street
Squad - This is usually a small group, of around 3-8 people, that would work
as a team to accomplish their goals.
Team - similar to a squad, though a team may contain many more members. A
team works in a similar way to a squad.
Groups can also be categorized according to the number of people present within the
group. These categories are defined as follows:
Couple or Pair - 2 people
Few - 3 people
Group - 3 to 5 people
Bunch - 6 to 9 people
Heaps - 10 or more people
1. Primary and Secondary group- A primary group is characterised by
intimate, face to face association and co-operation The membership of such a
group is small and is based on intimate relationship. Examples of such group
may be family, friendship group, or neighbourhood group. A secondary group
may be more formal, general and remote. Members of secondary group may
not have any interest in problems and pleasures of others. The continuous
interaction, intimacy, face to face interaction, co-operation and association of
primary group may not be found in secondary group.
2. Membership and reference group- A membership group is one which
an individual really belongs while a reference group is one with which
individual identifies or to which he would like to belong. In fact, an individual
may be member of several groups at a time but he may not participate actively
in all such groups but he would like to participate in that whose norms are
more attractive and gratifying. The attractiveness of the reference group makes
the norms of that group more attractive to the individual who aspires to it and
its norms will, therefore, become more influential in determining behaviour.
The reference group has more relevance to organisational behaviour.
3. Command and task group- A command group is composed of
subordinates who report directly to a common superior. This type of group is
determined by organisation chart. Example of such group may be production
manager with his subordinates in his department, a college principal and
teachers, and so on. A task group is comprised of the employees who work
together to complete a particular task or project. It is usually formed to solve
problems or perform an activity that involves number of organisational units.
Thus, membership of the task group may extend beyond the hierarchal
command of a superior.
4. In-groups and Out-groups- The in-groups represent a clustering of
individuals holding prevailing values in a society or at least, having a
dominant place in social functioning. It can be a majority numerically, or it
may represent the power structure with its pattern of behaviour considered
desirable. The out-group is the conglomerate looked up as subordinate or
marginal in the society; it is usually referred to as a majority group even
though in certain instances, it may represent o numerical majority.
Formal and informal groups
There may be other types of group. These are formal and informal groups.
These are also referred as formal and informal organisations because of the term
organisation is used being currently used in the organisation as an entity or its parts,
though the tendency is to term former as formal group and latter as informal
organisation. Formal group are created and maintained to fulfil specific needs or tasks
which are related to the total organisational mission. Thus these are conscious and
deliberately created. Such groups may either be permanent in the form of top
management team such as board of directors or management committees, work units
in the various departments of the organisation, staff groups providing specialised
service to the organisation, and so on or the formal group may be constituted on the
temporary basis for fulfilling certain specified objectives. They may be in the form of
temporary committee, task-force, etc.
Informal group, on the other hand, are created in the organisation because of
operation of social psychological forces operating at the workforce. Members create
such groups for their own satisfaction and their working is not regulated by the
general framework of organisational rules and regulations. The formal and informal
organisation s differs from each other, and understanding of difference between
formal and informal organisation has important implication of managers. In order to
understand the difference between the two, we have to identify their basic
Characteristics of Formal Organisation.
According to the classical theorists, the formal organisation is built on four pillars: (1)
division of labour, (2) scalar and functional processes, (3) structure, and (40) span of
control. These are also referred to as principal of organisation. From this point of
view, characteristics of formal organisation are as follows:-
1. Organisation structure is designed by the top, management to fulfil certain
requirements- performance of certain activity thereby achieving organisational
2. Organisation structure is based on the principle of division of labour and
efficiency in organisation.
3. Organisation concentrates more on the performance of jobs (conglomerate of
activities) and not on the individuals performing the jobs.
4. The authority and responsibility assigned to each jobs have to be adhered to s
be placed in hierarchy, and their status is determined accordingly.
5. Co-ordination among members and their control are well specified through
processes, procedure, rules, etc.
Characteristics of Informal Organisation
It means natural grouping of people in the work situation. Whenever people work
together they evolve some sort of grouping or pattern of relationships among them
which is not according to what is prescribed by the formal organisation. Such
relationship may be more complex than the officially prescribed ones. Thus the
characteristics of informal organisation are as follows:-
1. Informal organisation is a natural outcome at the workplace. It is not designed
2. Informal organisation is created on the basis of some similarity among its
members. The basis of similarity may be age, sex, place of origin, caste,
religion, personality characteristics, likings/disliking, etc.
3. Membership in an informal organisation is voluntary. A person may become
member of several informal organisations at the same time.
4. Behaviour of members of the informal organisation is coordinated and
controlled by group norms and not by the norms of the formal organisation.
In considering the manner in which perception and judgement are influenced by social
variables, particularly in group setting, attention can be focused on individuals. But
the group itself can be studied as a whole because the product of group interaction
cannot necessarily be predicted from the behaviour of individuals outside the group
situation. This is because each member of the group affects the behaviour of other
members and, in turn, is affected by them. The group also determines the nature and
pattern of reinforcement the member receive in the course of their interaction with
one another. Therefore, the behaviour of individual member in a group may be
different than their behaviour outside the group situation. In understanding group
behaviour, the factors that should be analysed are group norms, group cohesion, and
group decision making.
Functions of groups are sometimes termed as normative in that they cause
people to behave in a similar pattern as well as evaluative in providing reference pont
by an individual of his own behaviour. The normative function of groups is of great
importance in organisational behaviour because it helps manager to understand how
and why an individual will behave according to group norm. Group members tend to
form and conform norms. Norms are rules of behaviour or proper ways of action
which are accepted as legitimate by group members. The kinds of behaviour that are
expected of group members are specified by these norms. According to Hackman,
group norms have five characteristics.
1. Norms summarise and simplify group influence processes. They summarise
and highlight those things that the group feels important to control.
2. Norms apply only to behaviour, and not to private thoughts and feelings. It
will be sufficient if there is behavioural compliance from the members. Private
acceptance of norms is not necessary.
3. Norms are generally developed only for behaviours which are considered as
important by most group members.
4. Norms usually develop gradually, but the process can be shortened if members
so desire. If, for some reasons, group members decide that a particular norm is
now desired, they may simply agree to institute such a norm suddenly by
declaring that „from now on‟ the norm exists.
5. Not all norms apply to everyone in the group in the same manner. High status
members enjoy more freedom to deviate from the „letter of the law‟ than do
Group norm perform two functions. First, norms help the group to accomplish the
goals. Approved procedures for movements towards an agreed upon goals are often
the source of pressure of uniformity. If methods are seen as assuming progress
towards the goal, then members view these procedures as a proper way to behave.
Second, Norms help the group maintain itself as a group. These ensure that group will
continue to maintain entity by putting pressure against behaviour that may divide or
threaten the existence of group, or make members uncomfortable and ready resign
also serve to ensure that the group survives.
Factors affecting conformity to group norms
People conform to the group norms for their own benefit. Homans, a noted
sociologists, has provided the „equation of human exchange theory‟ to explain why
people conform to the group norm. This theory is built upon the premise the
interpersonal activities and sentiments emitted by one individual responding to
another are more or less reinforcing or punishing to the behaviour of the other
individual, that is, they are more or less valuable to him. The nature of interaction is
determined by the individual‟s perception of the profit of the interaction. This can be
defined in familiar economic terms:
Profit = Rewards – Cost
Individuals arrange their social interactions in such a way so as to maximise their total
profit. Thus, the degree to which individuals adhere to group norms is based on the
amount of profit. However, since this profit figure is a matter of perception, this may
vary for individuals, and all individuals in the group may not adhere to the norms in
the same way. Usually, following factors affect the conformity to group norms.
1. The more stable and cohesive the group is, the more likely it is to exercise
conformity to its norms.
2. When group goals mesh with individual goals, members are quiet willing to
adhere norms. When there are differences in two sets of goals, and few rigid
and definite standards are used to evaluate group norms, non conformity is
likely to increase.
3. Situational factors in group processes affect the degree of conformity. Thus,
the pressure for conformity increases for an individual as the number of person
agreeing to group norm increases. Similarly, if the group faces external
threats, the degree of conformity to group norms increases.
4. Personality characteristics of individuals affect the degree of conformity to
group norms. More intelligent members are likely to show lesser degree of
conformity as compared to less intelligent members. Authoritarians conform
more as compared to non authoritarian. Members with high status tend to
show higher conformity.
Enforcing group norms
Group norms may vary from a simple rule to very complex set of prescriptions and
prohibitions. Therefore, it is always not possible to enforce norms quiet easily. Group
leaders can devise certain actions for the adherence to group norms, particularly those
norms which are critical to the group. These actions may be of the following types.
1. Education – Adherence to the group norms can be increased through
educating the group members about how the group norms contribute to the
achievement of group goals. They may be educated and persuaded to give up
their gains in favour of the group gains. Increasing each member‟s
involvement in group‟s activities also helps in adherence to group norms.
2. Surveillance - Surveillance of adherence to group norms provide clue to
measure the degree to which group members adhere to norms. Such a clue
helps managers to devise suitable actions for ensuring conformity to norms. If
the deviation to norms cannot be detected directly, some other means can be
developed to measure this.
3. Warning – Deviant members can be warned to the consequences of non-
adherence to group norms. Such a warning may induce the deviant members
to reappraise their profit or loss from adherence or non-adherence to group
4. Sanction – This is the stage of taking actions against deviant members.
However, sanction has some negative consequences. Therefore, they should be
used quiet judiciously. Sanctions should be used only if means of persuading
deviant members are exhausted.
Conformity is the most common and pervasive form of social influence. It is generally
defined as the tendency to act or think like other members of a group. Group size,
unanimity, cohesion, status, and prior commitment all help to determine the level of
conformity in an individual. Conformity is usually viewed as a negative tendency in
American culture, but a certain amount of conformity is not only necessary and
normal, but probably essential for a community to function.
Examples of cards used in Asch‟s study
Which line matches the first line, A, B, or C? In the Asch conformity experiments,
people frequently followed the majority judgment, even when the majority was
The two major motives in conformity are normative influence, the tendency to
conform in order to gain social acceptance, and avoid social rejection or conflict, as in
peer pressure; and informational influence, which is based on the desire to obtain
useful information through conformity, and thereby achieve a correct or appropriate
result. Minority influence is the degree to which a smaller faction within the group
influences the group during decision making. Note that this refers to a minority
position on some issue, not an ethnic minority. Their influence is primarily
informational and depends on consistent adherence to a position, degree of defection
from the majority, and the status and self-confidence of the minority members.
Reactance is a tendency to assert oneself by doing the opposite of what is expected.
This phenomenon is also known as anticonformity and it appears to be more common
in men than in women.
There are two other major areas of social influence research. Compliance
refers to any change in behavior that is due to a request or suggestion from another
person. The Foot-in-the-door technique is a compliance method in which the
persuader requests a small favor and then follows up with a larger favor, e.g. asking
for the time, and then asking for ten dollars. A related trick is the Bait and switch. The
third major form of social influence is obedience. This is a change in behavior that is
the result of a direct order or command from another person.
A different kind of social influence is the self-fulfilling prophecy. This is a
prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true. For example, in
the stock market, if it is widely believed that a crash is imminent, investors may lose
confidence, sell most of their stock, and actually cause the crash. Likewise, people
may expect hostility in others and actually induce this hostility by their own behavior.
It is another factor, besides group norms, which affect group behaviour. Group
cohesiveness means the degree of attachment of the members to their group. If group
cohesion is high, the interaction between members of the group is high and the degree
of agreement in group opinion is high. Cohesiveness is a measure of the attraction of
the group to its members (and the resistance to leaving it), the sense of team spirit,
and the willingness of its members to coordinate their efforts. Compared with
members of a low-cohesive group, those in a high-cohesive group will, therefore, be
keen to attend meetings, be satisfied with the group, use "we" rather than "I" in
discussions, be cooperative and friendly with each other, and be more effective in
achieving the aims they set for themselves. The low-cohesive group will be marked
by absenteeism, the growth of cliques and factions, and a sense of frustration at the
lack of attainment. A cohesive group usually has following features.
1. The members share the group goals and norms and have common interests and
2. The numbers of member is small.
3. The members interact among themselves quiet frequently and interpersonal
communication is very effective.
4. Group loyalty among the members is high because the group enjoys high
5. The members stand united against any perceived external threats to the group.
6. The members keep themselves glued to the group as they feel that their needs
would be satisfied by the group.
7. The group has a history of past success.
Group Cohesiveness is the force bringing group members closer together.
Cohesiveness has two dimensions: emotional (or personal) and task-related. The
emotional aspect of cohesiveness, which was studied more often, is derived from the
connection that members feel to other group members and to their group as a whole.
That is, how much do members like to spend time with other group members? Do
they look forward to the next group meeting? Task-cohesiveness refers to the degree
to which group members share group goals and work together to meet these goals.
That is, is there a feeling that the group works smoothly as one unit or do different
people pull in different directions?
Factors Influencing Group Cohesiveness
The forces that push group members together can be positive (group-based rewards)
or negative (things lost upon leaving the group). The main factors that influence group
cohesiveness are: members‟ similarity, group size, entry difficulty, group success and
external competition and threats. Often, these factors work through enhancing the
identification of the individual with the group she/he belongs to as well as their beliefs
of how the group can fulfill their personal needs.
Members’ Similarity The more group members are similar to each other
on various characteristics the easier it would be to reach cohesiveness.
Following Social Identity Theory, we know that people feel closer to those
whom they perceive as similar to themselves in terms of external
characteristics (age, ethnicity) or internal ones (values, attitudes). In addition,
similar background makes it more likely that members share similar views on
various issues, including group objectives, how to communicate and the type
of desired leadership. In general, higher agreement among members on group
rules and norms results in greater trust and less dysfunctional conflict. This, in
turn, strengthens both emotional and task cohesiveness.
Group Size Since it is easier for fewer people to agree on goals and to co-
ordinate their work smaller groups are more cohesive than larger groups. Task
cohesiveness may suffer, though, if the group lacks enough members to
perform its tasks well enough.
Entry Difficulty Difficult entry criteria or procedures to a group tend to
present it in more exclusive light. The more elite the group is perceived to be,
the more prestigious it is to be a member in that group and consequently, the
more motivated members are to belong and stay in it. This is why alumni of
prestigious universities tend to keep in touch for many years after they
Group Success Group success, like exclusive entry, increases the value of
group membership to its members and influences members to identify more
strongly with the team and to want to be actively associated with it.
External Competition and Threats When members perceive active
competition with another group, they become more aware of members‟
similarity within their group as well as seeing their group as a means to
overcome the external threat or competition they are facing. Both these factors
increase group cohesiveness; leaders throughout human history have been
aware of this and focused the attention of their followers on conflicts with
external enemies when internal cohesion was threatened. Similar effects can
be brought about by facing an „objective‟ external threat or challenge (such as
Group Cohesiveness and Productivity
Group cohesiveness, taken together with group norms for productivity, affects
productivity. This relationship was established by Hawthorne experiments. During the
experiments, it was found that the workers tended to set their own norms of
production for the group as a whole, and because of group cohesiveness, they used to
stick to those norms. Group cohesiveness and productivity shows two types of
1. The productivity of members of a cohesive group tend to be more uniform.
This is because high group cohesiveness promotes high control over the level
of production of the individual members and this reduces variations among
2. In the group with low cohesiveness, productivity tends to show wide variation
among members reflecting that the group has a control over its members.
There may be a perception that highly cohesive group produces better results.
However, this relationship is much more complex than what it appears to be, because
the relationship is moderated by the degree to which the group attitudes align with its
own goals or those of the organisation of which it is apart. Thus, the relationship of
cohesiveness and productivity of the group depends on the alignment of the group‟s
attitudes towards the organisational goals (setting performance norms).This
relationship is presented in the figure given below:-
High High Productivity Moderate Productivity
Low Low Productivity Moderate to Low Productivity
Group Cohesiveness and productivity
Thus, we may see that for high productivity, both group cohesiveness and
performance norm should be high. If the performance norms are low, the group‟s
productivity will be low in spite of high group cohesiveness. Even in the case of high
performance norms, less cohesive group may produce more as compared to highly
cohesive group because of lower impact of group on its individual members.
The above relationship between group cohesiveness, group norms and
productivity has important implications for management. If management simply
focuses its attention to have better cohesive groups, it may not be able to achieve high
productivity unless it focuses its attention on group norms and their alignment with
A role (sometimes spelled role as in French) or a social role is a set of connected
behaviors, rights and obligations as conceptualized by actors in a social situation. It is
an expected behavior in a given individual social status and social position. It is vital
to both functionalist and interactionist understandings of society.
Roles may be achieved or ascribed. An achieved role is a position that a person
assumes voluntarily which reflects personal skills, abilities, and efforts. Roles are not
forced upon the individual; a choice is involved. An ascribed role is a position
assigned to individuals or groups without regard for merit but because of certain traits
beyond their control. Roles are forced upon the individual.
Certain attitudes and behaviour are consistent with a role, and they create the role
identity. People have the ability to shift roles rapidly when they recognize that a
situation and its demand clearly require major changes. For example, when union
stewards were promoted to supervisory positions, it was found that their attitudes
changed from pro-union to pro-management within afew months of their promotion.
When these promotions have to be rescinded later because of economic difficulties in
the firm, it was found that the demoted supervisors had once again adopted their pro-
Our view of how we are supposed to act in a given situation is a role perception.
Based on an interpretation of how we believe we are supposed to behave, we engage
in certain type of behavior. Where do we get these perceptions? We get them from
stimuli all around us-friends, books, televisions. For example, we may form an
impression of the work of doctors from watching Grey’s Anatomy. Of course, the
primary reason apprenticeship programs exists in many trades and profession is to
allow beginners to watch an “expert” so they can learn you act as they are supposed
These are defined as the way others believe you should act in a given situation. How
you behave is determined to a large extent by the role defined in the context in which
you are acting. For example, the role of a Supreme Court judge is viewed as having
propriety and dignity, while a cricket coach is seen as aggressive, dynamic, and
inspiring to his players.
In the workplace, it can be helpful to look at the topic of role expectations
through the perspective of the psychological contract-an unwritten agreement that
exists between employees and their employer. This psychological contract sets out
mutual expectations-what management expects from workers and vice-versa. In
effect, the contract defines the behavioral expectations that go with every role. For
instance, management is expected to treat employees justly, provide expectable
working conditions, clearly communicate what is a fair day‟s work, and give feedback
on how well an employee is doing. Employees are expected to respond by
demonstrating a good attitude, following directions, and showing loyalty to the
What happens when role expectation as implied in the psychological contract
are not met? If management is derelict in keeping up its part of the bargain, we can
expect negative repercussions on employee performance and satisfaction. When
employees fail to live up to the expectations, the result is usually some form of
disciplinary action up to and including firing.
"Role conflict is a conflict among the roles corresponding to two or more statuses."
Role conflict is a special form of social conflict that takes place when one is forced to
take on two different and incompatible roles at the same time. Consider the example
of a doctor who is himself a patient, or who must decide whether he should be present
for his daughter's birthday party (in his role as "father") or attend an ailing patient (as
"doctor"). (Also compare the psychological concept of cognitive dissonance.)
Often, two or more roles collide in certain situations. Take for example a
father who is the coach of his son‟s baseball team. The man takes on both the role of
father and coach. If the boy makes a bad play in the game a father would be inclined
to support and comfort his son, but a coach would be inclined to show the boy exactly
what he did wrong. This collision represents role conflict where two roles in an
individual's role set cannot cooperate in a specific social situation
In the functionalist conception, role is one of the important ways in which
individual activity is socially regulated: roles create regular patterns of behavior and
thus a measure of predictability, which not only allows individuals to function
effectively because they know what to expect of others, but also makes it possible for
the sociologist to make generalizations about society. Collectively, a group of
interlocking roles creates a social institution: the institution of law, for example, can
be seen as the combination of many roles, including "police officer", "judge",
"criminal", and "victim".
Roles, in this conception, are created by society as a whole, are relatively
inflexible, are more-or-less universally agreed upon, and individuals simply take their
designated roles on and attempt to fulfill them as best they can. Although it is
recognized that different roles interact ("teacher" and "student"), and that roles are
usually defined in relation to other roles ("doctor" and "patient", or "parent" and
"child"), the functionalist approach has great difficulty in accounting for variability
and flexibility of roles, and finds it difficult to account for the vast differences in the
way that individuals conceive different roles. Taken to extremes, the functionalist
approach results in "role" becoming a set of static, semi-global expectations laid down
by a unified, amorphous society: as simply prescriptions for correct behaviour. The
distinction between "role" and norm and culture thus becomes sterile.
Although the classic functionalist approach to "role" is no longer regarded as
an especially useful tool in the modern sociologist's approach to understanding
societies, it remains a fundamental concept which is still taught in most introductory
courses and is still regarded as important, particularly so when considering relatively
homogeneous, united societies like the middle-class post-war USA that gave birth to
More broadly, "role", in the sense created by society, is a concept that has
crossed over from academic discourse into popular use. It has become commonplace
to speak of particular "roles" as if they were indeed fixed, agreed on by all, and
uncontroversial: "the role of the teacher" or "a parent's role", for example. Notice that
this everyday usage nearly always employs "role" in a normative way, to imply that
"this is the proper behaviour" for a teacher or a parent, or even for an entire institution
such as the government.
People in modern, high-income countries juggle many responsibilities
demanded by their various statuses and roles. As most mothers can testify both
parenting and working outside the home are physically and emotionally draining.
Sociologists thus recognize role conflict as conflict among the roles corresponding to
two or more statuses.
There are situations where the proscribed sets of behavior that characterize
roles may lead to cognitive dissonance in individuals. Role conflict is a special form
of social conflict that takes place when one is forced to take on two different and
incompatible roles at the same time. For example, a person may find conflict between
her role as a mother and her role as an employee of a company when her child's
demands for time and attention distract her from the needs of her employer. Similarly,
role confusion occurs in a situation where an individual has trouble determining
which role he or she should play, but where the roles are not necessarily incompatible.
For example, if a college student attending a social function encounters his teacher as
a fellow guest, he will have to determine whether to relate to the teacher as a student
or a peer.
Stages of Group Development
Groups generally pass through a standardized sequence in their evolution. We call this
sequence the five stage model of group development. Although researches indicate
that not all groups follow this pattern, it is a usual framework for understanding group
development. In this section, we describe the five stage general model and an
alternative model for temporary groups with deadlines.
Formation of Groups
Two models of group development have been offered by the researchers in the field of
social sciences to explain how groups are formed. These are: a) Five-Stage Model and
b) Punctuated Equilibrium Model.
The Five-Stage Model
According to the Five-Stage Model of group development, groups go through five
distinct stages during the process of its development. The Forming – Storming –
Norming – Performing is a model of group development, first proposed by Bruce
Tuck man in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable
in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find
solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has become the basis for
subsequent models. These stages are as follows:
Stage 1: Forming Stage
In the Forming stage, personal relations are characterized by dependence. Group
members rely on safe, patterned behaviour and look to the group leader for guidance
and direction. Group members have a desire for acceptance by the group and a need to
be known that the group is safe. They set about gathering impressions and data about
the similarities and differences among them and forming preferences for future sub
grouping. Rules of behaviour seem to be to keep things simple and to avoid
controversy. Serious topics and feelings are avoided.
The major task functions also concern orientation. Members attempt to become
oriented to the tasks as well as to one another. Discussion centres on defining the
scope of the task, how to approach it, and similar concerns. To grow from this stage to
the next, each member must relinquish the comfort of non-threatening topics and risk
the possibility of conflict.
Stage 2: Storming Stage
The next stage, called Storming, is characterized by competition and conflict in the
personal-relations dimension an organization in the task-functions dimension. As the
group members attempt to organize for the task, conflict inevitably results in their
personal relations. Individuals have to bend and mould their feelings, ideas, attitudes,
and beliefs to suit the group organization. Because of "fear of exposure" or "fear of
failure," there will be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment.
Although conflicts may or may not surface as group issues, they do exist. Questions
will arise about who is going to be responsible for what, what the rules are, what the
reward system is, and what criteria for evaluation are. These reflect conflicts over
leadership, structure, power, and authority. There may be wide swings in members‟
behaviour based on emerging issues of competition and hostilities. Because of the
discomfort generated during this stage, some members may remain completely silent
while others attempt to dominate.
In order to progress to the next stage, group members must move from a "testing and
proving" mentality to a problem-solving mentality. The most important trait in
helping groups to move on to the next stage seems to be the ability to listen.
Stage 3: Norming Stage
In the Norming stage, interpersonal relations are characterized by cohesion. Group
members are engaged in active acknowledgment of all members‟ contributions,
community building and maintenance, and solving of group issues. Members are
willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented
by other members, and they actively ask questions of one another. Leadership is
shared, and cliques dissolve. When members begin to know-and identify with-one
another, the level of trust in their personal relations contributes to the development of
group cohesion. It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this
far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief
as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts.
The major task function of stage three is the data flow between group
members: They share feelings and ideas, solicit and give feedback to one another, and
explore actions related to the task. Creativity is high. If this stage of data flow and
cohesion is attained by the group members, their interactions are characterized by
openness and sharing of information on both a personal and task level. They feel good
about being part of an effective group.
The major drawback of the norming stage is that members may begin to fear
the inevitable future breakup of the group; they may resist change of any sort.
The Five-Stage Model
Stage 4: Performing Stage
The Performing stage is not reached by all groups. If group members are able to
evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to
true interdependence. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or
as a total unit with equal facility. Their roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the
changing needs of the group and individuals. Stage four is marked by interdependence
in personal relations and problem solving in the realm of task functions. By now, the
group should be most productive. Individual members have become self-assuring, and
the need for group approval is past. Members are both highly task oriented and highly
people oriented. There is unity: group identity is complete, group morale is high, and
group loyalty is intense. The task function becomes genuine problem solving, leading
toward optimal solutions and optimum group development. There is support for
experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis on achievement. The overall
goal is productivity through problem solving and work.
Stage 5: Adjourning Stage
The final stage, adjourning, involves the termination of task behaviours and
disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition
for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal
goodbyes. Concluding a group can create some apprehension - in effect, a minor
crisis. The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control
to giving up inclusion in the group. The most effective interventions in this stage are
those that facilitate task termination and the disengagement process.
Many interpreters of the five-stage model have assumed that a group becomes
more effective as it progresses through the first four stages. While this assumption
may be generally true, what makes a group effective is more complex than this model
acknowledges. Under some conditions, high levels of conflict are conducive to high
group performance. So we might expect to find situations in which groups in Stage II
outperform those in Stages III or IV. Similarly, groups do not always proceed clearly
from one stage to the next. Sometimes, in fact, several stages go on simultaneously, as
when groups are storming and performing at the same time. Groups even occasionally
regress to previous stages. Therefore, even the strongest proponents of this model do
not assume that all groups follow its five-stage process precisely or that Stage IV is
always the most preferable.
Another problem with the five-stage model, in terms of understanding work-
related behaviour, is that it ignores organizational context.4 For instance, a study of a
cockpit crew in an airliner found that, within 10 minutes, three strangers as- signed to
fly together for the first time had become a high-performing group. What allowed for
this speedy group development was the strong organizational context surrounding th~
tasks of the cockpit crew. This context provided the rules, task definitions,
information, and resources needed for the group to per- form. They didn't need to
develop plans, assign roles, determine and allocate re- sources, resolve conflicts, and
set norms the way the five-stage model predicts.
An Alternative Model: For Temporary Groups with Deadlines
The Punctuated Equilibrium Model
Temporary groups with deadlines don't seem to follow the previous model. Studies
indicate that they have their own unique sequencing of actions (or inaction): (1) Their
first meeting sets the group's direction; (2) this first phase of group activity is one of
inertia; (3) a transition takes place at the end of this first phase, which occurs exactly
when the group has used up half its allotted time; (4) a transition initiates major
changes; (5) a second phase of inertia follows the transition; and (6) the group's last
meeting is characterized by markedly accelerated activity . This pattern is called the
punctuated equilibrium model and is shown below.
The Punctuated-Equilibrium Model
The first meeting sets the group's direction. A framework of behavioural pat-
terns and assumptions through which the group will approach its project emerges in
this first meeting. These lasting patterns can appear as early as the first few seconds of
the group's life.
Once set, the group's direction becomes "written in stone" and is unlikely to be
re-examined throughout the first half of the group's life. This is a period of inertia that
is, the group tends to stand still or become locked into a fixed course of action. Even
if it gains new insights that challenge initial patterns and assumptions, the group is
incapable of acting on these new insights in Phase 1.
One of the more interesting discoveries made in these studies was that each
group experienced its transition at the same point in its calendar-precisely halfway
between its first meeting and its official deadline-despite the fact that some groups
spent as little as an hour on their project while others spent six months. It was as if the
groups universally experienced a midlife crisis at this point. The midpoint appears to
work like an alarm clock, heightening members' awareness that their time is limited
and that they need to "get moving."
This transition ends Phase 1 and is characterized by a concentrated burst of
changes in which old patterns are dropped and new perspectives are adopted. The
transition sets a revised direction for Phase 2.
Phase 2 is a new equilibrium or period of inertia. In this phase, the group
executes plans created during the transition period.
The group's last meeting is characterized by a final burst of activity to finish its work.
In summary, the punctuated-equilibrium model characterizes groups as exhibiting
long periods of inertia interspersed with brief revolutionary changes triggered
primarily by their members' awareness of time and deadlines. Keep in mind, however,
that this model doesn't apply to all groups. It's essentially limited to temporary task
groups that are working under a time-constrained completion deadline
In organizational development (OD), or group dynamics, the phrase "group process"
refers to the understanding of the behavior of people in groups, such as task groups,
that are trying to solve a problem or make a decision. An individual with expertise in
'group process, such as a trained facilitator, can assist a group in accomplishing its
objective by diagnosing how well the group is functioning as a problem-solving or
decision-making entity and intervening to alter the group's operating behavior.
Because people gather in groups for reasons other than task accomplishment, group
process occurs in other types of groups such as personal growth groups (e.g.
encounter groups, study groups, prayer groups). In such cases, an individual with
expertise in group process can be helpful in the role of facilitator.
Well researched but rarely mentioned by professional group workers, is the social
status of people within the group (i.e., senior or junior). The group leader (or
facilitator) will usually have a strong influence on the group due to his or her role of
shaping the group's outcomes. This influence will also be affected by the leader's sex,
race, relative age, income, appearance, and personality, as well as organizational
structures and many other factors.
Group dynamics is the study of groups, and also a general term for group
processes. Relevant to the fields of psychology, sociology, and communication
studies, a group is two or more individuals who are connected to each other by social
relationships. Because they interact and influence each other, groups develop a
number of dynamic processes that separate them from a random collection of
individuals. These processes include norms, roles, relations, development, need to
belong, social influence, and effects on behavior. The field of group dynamics is
primarily concerned with small group behavior. Groups may be classified as
aggregate, primary, secondary and category groups.
Groups of individuals gathered together to achieve a goal or objective, either
as a committee or some other grouping, go through several predictable stages before
useful work can be done. These stages are a function of a number of variables, not the
least of which is the self-identification of the role each member will tend to play, and
the emergence of natural leaders and individuals who will serve as sources of
information. Any individual in a leadership position whose responsibilities involve
getting groups of individuals to work together should both be conversant with the
phases of the group process and possess the skills necessary to capitalize on these
stages to accomplish the objective of forming a productive, cohesive team.
Various theories of group development exist. The model below combines
elements of theories by Jones (1973), Tuck man (1965), and Benet (1976). In this
model, each phase of group development is looked at with respect to group members'
concerns with task and personal relations (process) functions.