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©2007 Prentice Hall Organizational Behavior: An Introduction to Your Life in Organizations Chapter 9 Groups and Their Influence
©2007 Prentice Hall Preview Why are groups so important to organizations? What key factors define a group? What is a team? How do groups and teams evolve over time? What special issues do you face when managing a self-directed team? What special issues do you face when managing a virtual team? What issues arise in multicultural teams?
©2007 Prentice Hall Groups are a key building block of organizations A group is two or more people who spend time with each other, experience emotional ties, share a common frame of reference, and are behaviorally interdependent Formal groups are those officially designated by the organization to accomplish its tasks Informal groups are social groups that have no official designation by the organization yet have some common interests and personal ties
©2007 Prentice Hall Groups represent a power structure in organizations Formal groups are given power officially Informal groups have power because they acquire and exchange information and contacts, and because they give social support to their members Powerful groups are allotted a larger portion of an organization’s resources Individuals gain much of their power through their group memberships
©2007 Prentice Hall Groups may make better decisions than individuals alone Some assets of group decision making: Groups bring a greater total sum of knowledge to a problem. Groups bring a greater number of approaches to a problem. Groups tend to take more innovative approaches to solving a problem. Participation in decision making helps people understand the solution. Participation in decision making helps people accept a solution.
©2007 Prentice Hall Groups may make worse decisions than individuals alone Major liabilities of group decision making are: Groups may be influenced by a dominant individual. Social pressure on individuals can significantly affect their judgment: Individuals may vote with their friends, authorities, or superiors rather than assert their own opinion. Groups have a tendency to make risky decisions, accepting a plausible early solution rather than working to find an optimal solution. This is termed the risky shift. It is more difficult to fix responsibility for a decision on a group than on an individual.
©2007 Prentice Hall Group membership influences individual identity and decision making Your social identity consists of your belief about the groups to which you belong Being a member of a highly cohesive group can cause deindividuation In-group: a group that commands members’ esteem and loyalty Out-group: a group toward which the group members feel some opposition or competition
©2007 Prentice Hall The nature of groups Common goals – a unity of purpose Small size – 5 people is ideal Norms – informal rules which regulate and standardize group members’ behaviors Cohesion – the sum of all the forces acting on members to remain in a group Roles – indicate what tasks a person should perform, and what socioemotional support a person should provide
©2007 Prentice Hall How groups motivate their members Social compensation occurs when individuals increase their own efforts to compensate for the anticipated poor performance of other members of their group Köhler effect, in which less capable members of groups actually increase their effort
©2007 Prentice Hall What is a team? Working groups: when group members do not have to interact very much to complete a task Teams engage in collective action to produce joint work products Teams must be well-designed: The right size Have the right mix of skills
©2007 Prentice Hall What are teams really like in the workplace? Team characteristics: modal team size is five; half are self-managing; most common are cross- functional project teams; on average work for 1- 2 years together Team problems: sustaining motivation; minimizing confusion & coordinating problems; fostering creativity and innovation; finding adequate training Team tasks: Teams with different types of tasks face different types of risks and opportunities
©2007 Prentice Hall What are high-performance teams? High-performance team: a group that: is committed to a common purpose and working collectively towards their goals hold themselves mutually accountable for achieving the goal its members are deeply committed to each other’s personal growth and success Manager must set clear performance challenges, establish group rewards, minimize status differences, foster trust.
©2007 Prentice Hall Stages of group development Stage 1: Forming: group members orient themselves to the task at hand Stage 2: Storming: group members develop an understanding of potential issues and limitations Stage 3: Norming: group members move beyond conflict to develop an in-group feeling and cohesiveness Stage 4: Performing: interpersonal processes become the tool for accomplishing the group’s task Stage 5: Adjourning: ending the task and allowing the members to disengage from each other
©2007 Prentice Hall What special issues do you face when managing a self-directed team? A self-directed team makes its own decisions about task assignments and work methods Managers change from directing and leading to coaching and assisting Difficult because: May be seen as a demotion May be asked to give up perks Fear of loss of job
©2007 Prentice Hall What special issues do you face when managing a virtual team? A virtual team is a group of employees situated in distant locations who must collaborate using technology to accomplish their assigned tasks Need members who have a high level of initiative and proactivity Face communication challenges because don’t meet face to face
©2007 Prentice Hall What issues arise in multicultural teams? In virtual multicultural teams? Tend to develop tensions grounded in their diversity Consider the influence of status and power and how these are viewed cross-culturally Different cultural attitudes on everything from time management to gender roles
©2007 Prentice Hall Apply what you have learned World Class Company: W. L. Gore & Associates Advice from the Pro’s Gain Experience Can you solve this manager’s problem?
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – Why are groups so important to organizations? They represent a key building block of organizations They suggest power relationships Depending on the circumstances, they may make better or worse decisions than individuals
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – What key factors define a group? Characterized by: Unity of purpose Small size Norms Cohesion Roles Working in groups, individuals may exert more effort than if working alone
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – What is a team? All teams are groups, but not all groups are teams Types of groups include working groups, potential teams, real teams, and high performance teams The major difference between working groups and teams is that teams actually work on projects together Real teams and high performance teams have a significant element of trust among team members
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – How do groups and teams evolve over time? Usually groups proceed through the stages of forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning Time-pressured groups may progress from long periods of inertia through concentrated periods of energy and change
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – What special issues do you face when managing a self- directed team? Teams make many of their own decisions Managing such teams requires dropping the traditional directive style and adopting a coaching style, a transition that is not always easy for either managers or employees
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – What special issues do you face when managing a virtual team? Virtual teams meet in a variety of ways They tend to be complex They face unique communication challenges
©2007 Prentice Hall Summary – What issues arise in multicultural teams? Consider national culture and ethnicity Consider how members’ cultural identities affect their interactions May face more interpersonal conflict than might occur in homogeneous teams
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