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Chapter 14 UNDERSTANDING WORK GROUPS. Management Talk Teams, training, and increased authority for workers are key elements of quality-improvement efforts…To.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 14 UNDERSTANDING WORK GROUPS. Management Talk Teams, training, and increased authority for workers are key elements of quality-improvement efforts…To."— Presentation transcript:


2 Management Talk Teams, training, and increased authority for workers are key elements of quality-improvement efforts…To help accomplish their objectives, teams are aided by company-trained employees, who provide skills training and serve as resources throughout all phases of the teams work. –National Institute of Standards and Technology, describing its 1992 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner, AT&T Network Systems Group (Lucent Technologies)

3 Objectives Explain the difference between formal and informal work groups Discuss group norms, group cohesiveness, and group conformity Understand why individuals conform to group norms Recognize the importance of work groups to an organization Suggest ways to build effective work groups

4 Understanding Management When Lucent Technologies spun off from its parent company, AT&T, it gained the freedom to organize its workforce differently. Most Lucent employees work in teams designed to foster efficiency, creativity, and innovation. This approach gives employees the flexibility to solve problems and invent new products. In fact, Lucent can boast of earning about two patents per working day, as well as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

5 Management Skills Why would it be important for tam members to receive continual training? If you were on a team responsible for inventing a communications system, what qualities would you appreciate in your team members?

6 Sec. 14.1: How Groups Behave Brainwrite/Brainstorm: –What are the pros and cons of group work? –What kinds of group work have you experienced?

7 What Youll Learn The differences between formal and informal work groups Why employees join informal work groups The factors that influence how groups behave The meaning of groupthink.

8 Why is this important? To supervise groups effectively, managers must understand the dynamics of group behavior

9 Groups Within Organizations Two or more people who interact to meet a shared goal A shared sense of purpose sets a group apart from just a gathering of people

10 Types of Groups 1.Formal Work Groups Exist for short or long period of time Task Force A single goal to resolve a problem or design a new product Functional Group Consists of manager and all the employees he or she supervises in an ongoing manner

11 Types of Groups 2.Informal Work Groups Formed voluntarily by members of an organization Develop personal contact and interactions among people Interest Groups Share a purpose or concern Women executives form a group to share ideas about issues facing women in management The workplace is where socialization takes place and friendships emerge Affects of Informal Work Groups Productivity Morale Success of Managers Sense of Loyalty Work for or against organizational goals

12 Groups Within Organizations Management does not recognize informal groups that revolve around friendship, interests, or shared working space and tasks. An understanding of informal groups can improve managers work with formal work groups Satisfaction from informal groups should be duplicated in a formal work group environment

13 Group Norms Informal rules a group adopts to regulate the behavior of group members Expectations of group members to improve: Productivity levels Operating procedures Other work-related activities Group norms can be written, spoken, or acted out by group members to show new members how to behave

14 Group Behavior Group Cohesiveness –Degree of attraction among group members, or who tightly knit a group is –More Cohesiveness = Greater likelihood that Group Norms will be followed Factors affecting cohesiveness of informal work group SizeSmall work groups SuccessHigh Success StatusHigh Status Outside Pressures Conflicts with management increase group cohesiveness (Us Against Them) Stability of Membership Long-Standing Members CommunicationEasy lines of communication in social Areas Physical IsolationForces workers into close contact with each other and strengthens bonds

15 Group Behavior Group Conformity –Degree to which group members accept and follow group norms –Group seeks to control members behavior for two reasons: Independent behavior can cause disagreements that threaten a groups survival Consistent behavior creates an atmosphere of trust that allows members to work together and socialize comfortably –Individuals conform to group norms when they are: Similar to personal attitudes, beliefs, and behavior Do not agree with the groups norms but feel pressure to accept them

16 Group Behavior Group Pressure and Conformity Group pressure can break-down a group when one member goes above and beyond the rest of the group –(Case Study) A textile employee began to produce more than the group norm of 50 units per day. After two weeks, the group started to pressure this worker to produce less, and she quickly dropped to the groups level. After three weeks, all the members of the group were moved to other jobs except for this worker. Once again, her production quickly climbed to double the group norm. –Why would the other workers try to slow their co-worker down? –Was it fair for other workers to try to slow her down?

17 Group Behavior Groupthink –When group members lose their ability to think as individuals and conform at the expense of their good judgment Members become unwilling to say anything against the group or any member Groupthink members will justify any action, stereotype outsiders as enemies of the group, and pressure unwilling members to conform –Groupthink is disruptive because it affects employees ability to make logical decisions –Imagine that you are the new manager of a department that has succumbed to groupthink. What steps would you take to encourage individual thinking?

18 Extension Activity!!! Have students write an opinion piece, act out a workplace situation, or design a cartoon illustrating the concept of groupthink

19 14. 1: Chapter Summary Organizations have two kinds of work groups, formal and informal Informal work groups develop around friendship, shared interests, or similar work responsibilities Informal groups have their own norms, are cohesive, and develop ways to maintain conformity

20 Sec. 14.2: Managing Formal Groups Review the explanation formal groups and predict what role managers play in helping formal groups succeed What qualities might be helpful to a manager in the team building process?

21 What Youll Learn The importance of formal work groups How managers can influence group cohesiveness and conformity Methods of encouraging teamwork in formal groups The characteristics of successful group leaders Why is this Important? Formal work groups are an important way of organizing work and managers must help them succeed.

22 The Importance of Formal Work Groups Groups have more knowledge and information than individuals Ease the process of communicating and solving problems Creates more efficiency Managing groups effectively will enable a company to: –Improve production –Maintain a competitive edge (advantage) Managers must overcome cultural and gender differences

23 Influencing Work Groups Hawthorne Effect – giving special attention to a group of employees changes the employees behavior Job factor variance –Employee pay –Supervision –Lighting –Length of rest periods –Number of hours worked

24 Building Effective Work Groups Managers are responsible for developing shared values and group loyalty in formal work groups Linking-Pin Concept –Since managers are members of overlapping groups, they link formal work groups to the total organization –Managers improve communication and ensure that organizational and group goals are met –Managers themselves are the linking pins

25 Building Effective Work Groups Team Building –Process of establishing a cohesive group that works together to achieve its goals Managers can encourage teamwork by: –Selecting group members carefully –Creating a positive work environment –Building Trust –Increasing Group Cohesiveness

26 Building Effective Work Groups Creating Groups Identify qualified people Make the group attractive to these individuals –Increase of pay –Job Satisfaction –Benefits that are provided just like an informal work group Consider office layout and physical factors affecting groups ability to work together successfully

27 Building Effective Work Groups Youve got to pick a few people and really trust them. - Bill Gates, Microsoft Building Trust Sharing responsibility and making decisions together Trust enables members to stick to the group norms Managers must: –Have faith in employees –Recognize the interests of the organization, the group, and the employees –Become personally involved, take a real interest in group members, share information, and exhibit honesty What kinds of managerial problems might arise if employees lose confidence or trust in a manager?

28 Building Effective Work Groups Influencing Group Cohesiveness and Conformity Managers can affect formal group performance levels to those individuals who are highly competitive and eager to succeed by: –Keeping groups small –Selecting group members carefully –Finding a good personality fit between new and old employees –Developing an office layout that improves communication –Creating clear goals –Inspiring group competition –Rewarding groups rather than individuals –Isolating groups from each other

29 Building Effective Work Groups Whether on the court or off, what I call for in my people is full awareness and attention. -Phil Jackson, Former Coach of the 6-time NBA Champion Chicago Bulls Jacksons approach teaches individuals: To value the needs of the team To surrender their egos so that the end result is bigger than the sum of its parts

30 Quality Circles A group of employees from a single work unit (such as a department) who share ideas on how to improve quality –Encourage employees in decision making –Membership is usually voluntary –Members share a common bond – performing similar tasks –Encourages communication and trust among members and managers –Inexpensive way to provide employees with training while giving them a sense of control over their work lives –May solve problems that have been around for years –Me becomes Us in a good quality circle

31 Groups and Leaders Informal groups select a leader most capable of satisfying the groups needs Gaining Acceptance Managers assigned to formal work groups must work to gain acceptance as leaders What makes a good teacher, makes a good manager? –Know their subject well –Communicate information effectively –Treat students with respect –Make fair judgments

32 Groups and Leaders Encouraging Participation Managers encourage participation and shared responsibility, acting more like a coach than a manager How does one encourage team spirit? –Provide the group with a shared vision –Lead by example (Attitude and Performance) –Encourage group to listen and support all members –Function within a cohesive group

33 14. 2: Chapter Summary Formal work groups often lack the loyalty and shared values that characterize informal groups, so managers work hard to encourage participation Managers can build effective teams by selecting the right candidates, building trust, and encouraging group cohesiveness In order to be good team leaders, managers must be accepted by the group, understand how to provide a vision, and lead by example

34 Speech Skills You have been a member of many formal and informal groups in your life. Examples of such groups may include a youth group, a sports team, co-workers at a summer or part- time job, or neighborhood friends. Some of the groups have been effective and some have not. Think about the most effective and ineffective groups you have been in. Prepare a brief presentation describing the characteristics of each group.

35 Assessing Team Skills Within the class, organize team to compete in a paper airplane contest where each team will compete for distance and flight time. Have each group select a captain, then work together to create cohesiveness. Methods may include practicing together, engaging in a group activity, or sharing personal information. Keep record of the methods your group uses. Once the contest has been completed, compare your methods and results with those of the other teams. What methods did the winning team use that have made them successful?

36 Assessing Academic Skills You are a manager at a family-oriented restaurant chain. In the past year, two new restaurants have opened in the area. Both of them have done poorly, despite good locations. You must put together a task force to find ways to boost the new restaurants revenues. Decide where you would find people for the task force. Then compose a memo for senior management presenting your proposal and explaining your reasons for choosing these employees.

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