Group Dynamics

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Lesson 1
What Is A Group?
Every group evolves out of a purpose (strong or weak)
The most successful teams are driven by a strong purpose, often envisioned by an inspiring and visionary leader Definitions of Groups
A Psychological Group is any number of people who (a) interact with each other, (b) are psychologically aware of each other, and (c) perceive themselves to be a group. Huczynski & Buchanan •A Group is defined as two or more individuals interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives. Stephen Robbins Types of Groups

Formal Groups: These are groups in an organization, which have been consciously created to accomplish the organization’s collective purpose and are defined by the organization’s structure, with designated work assignments and tasks. Formal groups may be:

Command Groups: A Command Group is determined by the organization chart and consists of individuals who report directly to a given manager. •Task Groups: A Task Group consists of individuals who are working to achieve a given common goal or complete a given project. A Task group may consist of people from across functions.

Informal Groups: An Informal Group is a collection of individuals who become a group when members develop interdependencies, influence one another’s behavior and contribute to mutual need satisfaction. Informal groups may be:

Interest Groups: People who may or may not be aligned into common command or task groups may affiliate to attain a specific objective with which each is concerned. Such groups are called Interest Groups. •Friendship Groups: Individuals who have common characteristics form social alliances that extend beyond the work place to form friendship groups.

Group Properties & Processes(Characteristics)
Interaction – Group members do things to and with each other. Most such interactions revolve around tasks that the group must accomplish.
Other interactions evolve from the socio-emotional side of group life (supporting, complementing, caring, etc) •Structure – group members interactions are organized and inter-connected, which reflect group structure – the stable pattern of relationships among members. •Structure involves roles – the behaviors expected of people in the group; norms – the rules governing individual behavior within the group. When norms are breached, conflicts arise. •Group Cohesion – refers to the strength of the bonds linking members of a group to one another. It reflects the group’s unity, oneness and solidarity. •Social Identity – reflects the shared perception of themselves as members of the same group or social category. •The collective identity reflects membership in all forms of social groups or demographic groups. •Goals – these represent the purpose of groups. Goals act as the foundation for the existence of groups. What Do Groups Do?

Joseph E. McGrath has classified group tasks (called the circumplex of group tasks) into four broad group goals, further subdivided into eight basic activities.
The following diagram shows the Circumplex of group tasks:

What is Group Dynamics
Kurt Lewin (1951) described group dynamics as the way groups and individuals act and react to changing circumstances. •Cartwright and Zander define Group Dynamics as “the field of inquiry dedicated to advancing knowledge about the nature of groups, the laws of their development, and their interrelations with individuals, other groups and larger institutions (1968) What is NOT Group Dynamics?

According to Cartwright and Zander, Group Dynamics is NOT therapeutic perspective of holding that psychological well-being can be ensured through participation in small groups guided by a skilled therapist; nor is it the communication of guidelines or rules that enable individuals to develop the skills needed for smooth social interactions; finally , it IS NOT a loose collection of maxims concerning...
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