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WARWICK MBA IB8020: Organisational Behaviour Lesson 4: Attributes of Groups Lesson 5: Group Decision Making.

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Presentation on theme: "WARWICK MBA IB8020: Organisational Behaviour Lesson 4: Attributes of Groups Lesson 5: Group Decision Making."— Presentation transcript:

1 WARWICK MBA IB8020: Organisational Behaviour Lesson 4: Attributes of Groups Lesson 5: Group Decision Making

2 Lesson 4: Attributes of Groups (1) Section 1:The Hawthorne studies the group as an important force in the work setting; the sources of individual job satisfaction and dissatisfaction; different styles of supervision, with a special emphasis on employee participation; the need for managers to have good interpersonal skills; and the importance of social relationships as a determinant of individual behaviour at work. Section 2: The process of socialisation Anticipation - assimilation of the values and behaviours required to survive and prosper. Initiation - the price of admission. Assimilation - development of new role, identity and value system. Section 3: Types of groups Work Groups; Formal Groups; and Informal Groups. Section 4: The group as an open system Group Process = Transformation of resource inputs into group outputs. Section 5: Developing power and authority Orientation; Conflict; and Cohesion.

3 Lesson 4: Attributes of Groups (2) Section 6: Group values As a group develops, its own particular ideology or complex of values emerges. Conformity to the norm is rewarded (reinforcements) and non-conformity is punished (sanctions). Some variables that have been found to influence conformity to group norms include: Personality of group members; The stimuli which evoke the response; Situational factors; and Intra-group relationships. Section 7: Roles Each position in the group hierarchy has an associated role which consists of the expected behaviour of the occupant. Section 8: Status Status is a measure of worth conferred upon an individual or on a position by some social groups. Sociologists and psychologists found the following sources of status: Reward power; Receiving rewards; and Personal investment. Section 9: Cohesiveness Formal and informal groups possess a closeness or commonness of attitude, behaviour and performance = cohesiveness.

4 Lesson 5: Group Decision Making (1) Section 2: Individual decision making Six decision making styles among managers and manual workers, namely: Logical; No thought; Emotional; Intuitive; Hesitant; and Compliant. Overall, the logical style was used most often at work, with the no-thought style second and the emotional style third. Section 3: Individual versus group decision making Groups have the following major advantages over individuals in the making of decisions: More complete information and knowledge; Increased diversity of viewpoints; Increased acceptance of decision; and Increased legitimacy. The major disadvantages associated with group decision making are: Time-consuming; Pressure to conform; Domination by the few; and Ambiguous responsibility.

5 Lesson 5: Group Decision Making (2) Section 4: Group decision making Communication barriers Frame of reference Selective listening Value judgements Source credibility Semantic problems Filtering In-group language Status differences Time pressures Communication overload Groupthink the psychological drive for consensus at any cost that suppresses dissent and appraisal of alternatives in cohesive decision making groups (Janis, 1972). Three moderating variables: group cohesiveness leadership behaviour insulation from other groups Group polarisation Group discussions lead to a significant shift in the positions of members towards a more extreme position in the direction towards which they were already leaning before the discussion began. Two possible explanations for the polarisation phenomenon (Isenberg, 1986): 1. The social comparison explanation 2. The persuasive argumentation explanation

6 Lesson 5: Group Decision Making (3) Section 5: Guidelines for effective communication First, improve messages. Second, seek to improve own understanding of what other people are trying to communicate. Techniques include: Following up; Regulating the information flow; Utilising feedback; Empathy; Repetition; Encouraging mutual trust; Effective timing; and Using the grapevine. Section 6: Guidelines for overcoming groupthink and group polarisation Douglas McGregor (1960) listed the following 11 characteristics of effective groups: An informal, relaxed atmosphere in the group, which shows that members are involved and interested. Full participation by all members in the discussion, which remains focused upon the task. Acceptance of the group objective by all. Members listen to each other and are not afraid to make creative suggestions. Disagreements are fully discussed and either resolved or lived with. Most decisions are reached by consensus. Criticism is frank and frequent, without degenerating into personal attacks. Group members are free to express their feelings about the way the group is functioning. Actions are clearly assigned to group members and are carried out by them. Leadership within the group shifts occasionally and tends to be based on expertise rather than formal status or position. The group is self-conscious about its own operation and regularly reviews the way it goes about its business.

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