Presentation on theme: "Group Theory in Management Education – whats missing? Carole Elliott & Michael Reynolds Department of Management Learning and Leadership."— Presentation transcript:
Group Theory in Management Education – whats missing? Carole Elliott & Michael Reynolds Department of Management Learning and Leadership
Focus of the paper Still an emphasis on teamwork and groupwork Reasons are pedagogical, institutional and preparational. Which ideas are disseminated? Which ideas are applied in practice?
Usual suspects Characteristics group as bounded exclusion of history and context individualised interpretations emphasis on performance Examples Lewin, Bales, Tuckman, Belbin.
Critical Alternatives Characteristics notion of group de-emphasised or deconstructed. emphasis on context and history interpretative theory more social and cultural than intra/inter personal Examples Psychodynamics Activity Theory Discourse analysis
Our interest is not only in the ideas which are disseminated to management students, but as an element of pedagogy, the ideas which are drawn on for the selection, organization and assessment of students involved in groupwork
First example Some members of an MBA project group approach the course director to ask if one of the group who hasnt been pulling their weight shouldnt be given less marks than the others who have done all the work.
An interpretation Ringelmann effect. Social Loafing. Free-riding Explanations: –No-one else is doing more than I am, –I think I can get away with it, –I dont believe difference in effort would be reflected in rewards Ways of preventing or dealing with it: –more involving projects –identify individual effort –insist on differential rewards –introduce punishments
A critical alternative Explanations –a reflection of how the group works with difference. –a response to being seen as or seeing oneself as different. –the ethos of the group discourages raising problems –the team takes on the dynamics of the organization Ways of dealing with it –What was her experience of the department and of the project team? –How do the students work with difference –What ideas have faculty been disseminating?
Second example Some members of a full-time MA group are openly intolerant towards others who are perceived not to display the same level of English comprehension as others. Another female member of the same group begins to be ignored when contributing to classroom discussions.
An interpretation Storming stage of group development (Tuckman) Explanations: –This is only a temporary stage; –Group will eventually perform the task; –Narrative of improvement; –Group a unitary organism with impermeable boundaries. Ways of preventing or dealing with it: –Tutor introduces activity that encourages reflection on these events; –Activity would encourage students to move to performing stage;
A critical alternative Explanations –A reflection of intersections between power and gender in groups; –Interrelationship between learning processes, emotions and power –Significance of groups multi-ethnic and gender make-up upon group dynamics; –Forces recognition of racialised assumptions regarding dominant discourses of different ethnic groups Ways of dealing with it –Dependent on tutors pedagogic philosophy –If tutor challenges intolerance (anti-racist stance), might contradict an approach that otherwise seeks less hierarchical student-tutor relations
For discussion Examples of critical approaches to groupwork. In particular: What processes of selection are used? What support do the students have for making sense of and working with their experience of groupwork? What process of assessment is adopted?