2Fundamentals of Organizational Communication Groups in OrganizationsChapter Six
3Groups in Organizations Small-group experiences - individual involvement in the formal and informal groups formed within organizations for task or social support.
4Groups in Organizations Small Group ExperiencesGroup – “a collection of more than two persons who perceive themselves as a group, possess a common fate, have organizational structure, and communicate over time to achieve personal and group goals” (Baird 1977)
5Groups in Organizations Small Group ExperiencesThis definition places communication relationships at the core of group activity. As such, groups can be understood in terms of how they are formed and structured, how individuals understand their dependence on one another, and how members communicate.
6Small Group Experiences Organizational NeedsTask efficiencyProblem-solvingPlanningNegotiation
7Small Group Experiences The underlying assumption is that the efforts of numbers of individuals exceed individual efforts requiring energy and creativity for either completing tasks or examining issues.
8Small Group Experiences Groups also contribute to establishing the shared realities of the organization.Expectation of conductRules
9Types of GroupsPrimary work teams - group to which an individual is assigned upon organizational entry.3 common features of competent work team membersThe possession of essential skills and abilitiesA strong desire to contributeThe capability of collaborating effectively
10Types of GroupsLong-standing teams - relatively permanent groups of individuals organized for task accomplishment.develop ways of doing things that not only make qualifications for new members clear but also identify expected behaviors for members.Can limit creativity and change
11Types of GroupsProject teams - work group established for the duration of a specific assignment.Highly specialized individualsLittle history and few traditionsNeed to establish trust and relationships
12Types of GroupsPrefab groups - work group designed and structured for frequent replacement of members. Prefab groups have detailed individual assignments requiring limited experience to produce specified products.
13Types of GroupsSelf-managing teams - a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, have a defined set of performance goals, and who execute an approach for which they hold themselves accountable.
14Types of GroupsDirectional groups - groups formally charged and structured to provide overall direction and oversight of the organization.Executive teams
15Types of GroupsQuality teams - groups charged with responding to quality or quantity problems and to issues raised by management.Quality circles (Deming) in JapanHave made documented improvements in productivity
16Types of GroupsTask force groups - groups composed of individuals with diverse specialties and group memberships who are charged with accomplishing a specifically designed task or project.Make recommendations
17Types of GroupsSteering committees - groups of individuals with diverse specialties and group memberships who are charged with implementing organizational plans, processes, or change.
18Types of GroupsFocus groups - collections of individuals who have familiarity with a problem or issue and are asked in a somewhat nonstructured format to describe the issue and make recommendations; formed to discuss problems but not take responsibility for final recommendations or implementation of change.
19Types of GroupsGeographically diverse groups - groups of individuals who form a work team but are separated in distance and linked through technology.This reality underscores the importance of a combination of human and technological communication competencies.
20Types of GroupsSocial support groups - formed as subgroups of larger task groups or among people with similar organizational interests; function to stimulate trust and cohesiveness among group members.
21Groups in Organizations Team-based organization - organizational structures with fewer managers and networks of self-managing teams.Team-based organizations alter the way in which work is organized, supervised, and rewarded, whereas teamwork is the interactional process through which work is accomplished.
22Team-Based Organizations Research indicates team-based organizations generally outperform more hierarchically organized structures in terms of product and service output, less absenteeism, fewer industrial accidents, more worker flexibility, quality improvements, and overall employee job satisfaction.
23Team-Based Organizations More innovative, able to share information, involved, and task-skilled than more traditional organizational structuresBy 2010 over 75% of work forceFour aspects of organizational life: goals, roles, relationships, and processes
24Team-Based Organizations In essence, team members assume many of the supervision responsibilities formerly residing with management.
25Team-Based Organizations These processes require highly developed communication competencies from all team members.In a recent national employer survey, team skills were listed as a major requirement for college graduates and also a major deficiency as employers evaluated their new college hires.
26Team-Based Organizations Team skills usually are divided into two categoriesTask rolesMaintenance rolesIssuesComplex mixture of competenciesCareer advancement less understood
27Team-Based Organizations Self-Limiting BehaviorsPresence of someone with expertiseThe presentation of a compelling argumentLacking confidence in one’s abilityAn unimportant or meaningless decisionPressure from others to conform to the team’s decisionA dysfunctional decision-making climate
28Team-Based Organizations Workplace democracy - principles and practices which emphasize employee goals, feelings, and participation.
29Groups in Organizations Individuals in GroupsThe more positive we feel about our personal communication competencies, the better able we are to work in groups successfully.
30Groups in Organizations Individuals in GroupsRhetorically sensitive - quality that describes individual acceptance of personal complexity, avoidance of communicative rigidity, interaction consciousness, appreciation of the communicability of ideas, and tolerance for inventional searching.
31Group DevelopmentGroup stages - concept that groups progress through sequences such as formation, production, resolution, and dissolution; frequently described asFormingStormingNormingPerformingAdjourning.
32Group DevelopmentGroup norms - unwritten behavior rules, ways of doing things, that groups develop over time. Norms reflect what groups deem as desirable and can be said to be cultural beliefs about effectiveness or appropriateness.
33Group Development Group communication roles Task RolesMaintenance RolesSelf-centered Rolescategories for description of behaviors which individuals exhibit in groups.Task roles - communication roles that help groups accomplish goals.
34Group DevelopmentTask Roles - communication roles that help groups accomplish goalsInitiatorInformation RequestorInformation GiverProcedure FacilitatorOpinion RequestorOpinion GiverClarifierSummarizer-Evaluator
35Group DevelopmentMaintenance roles - communication roles that promote social support among group members.Social SupporterHarmonizerTension RelieverEnergizerLeaderFollowerCompromiserGatekeeper
36Group DevelopmentSelf-centered roles - communication roles that support individuals’ goals and may or may not be compatible with overall group goals and relationships.Negative BlockerDominatorAttackerClown
37Group DevelopmentGenerally speaking, group, task, and maintenance roles are considered productive for group interaction, whereas self-centered roles are destructive and contribute to ineffectiveness.
38Group Development Influences on Group Members We are most comfortable in groups in which group goals and our individual goals are compatible.Most are attracted to groups with high prestige or in which we have prestige.
39Group Development Influences on Group Members Group participation is influenced by the overall climate of a group, the degree of interaction among group members, and the overall size of the group.Groups are more attractive as participation among members increases and the overall size of the group remains relatively small
40Group Development Influences on Group Members Fulk found that an individual’s attraction to the group was related to the use of technology. In her study of use, Fulk found that technology-related attitudes and behaviors were stronger when individuals were attracted to their work groups.
41Increasing Group Participation Effectiveness People believe decisions are most likely to be of high quality when group members participate fully in the process, when the group climate is characterized by the presence of respectful behaviors and the absence of negative socioemotional behaviors, and when information and solutions offered in groups are analyzed by group members. (Mayer)
42Increasing Group Participation Effectiveness Negative Participation BehaviorsArguing stubbornly for own ideasSuppress differences of opinionWork for quick agreementPit one person against anotherUse power to get others to agree with you
43Increasing Group Participation Effectiveness Positive Participation BehaviorsBe prepared and informedExhibit cooperative behaviorsValue diverse opinionsContribute ideas and seek informationAttempt to remain rationalObserve the participation processActively participate
44Increasing Group Participation Effectiveness Positive Participation BehaviorsStress group productivityAvoid “role ruts”Avoid self-centered rolesEase tensionsSupport leadershipBuild group prideProduce results
45Fundamentals of Organizational Communication Groups in OrganizationsChapter Six