Within any group, there are many roles making up the list generally included when considering group dynamics. All these roles are helpful to the success of the team, but there are some that are absolutely necessary for the team to accomplish its mission. These roles are being played out in many different groups. This paper will focus on teams in the workplace and the roles that are a necessity for success.
According to Benne and Sheats, there are two main categories of roles in group dynamics (1948, Functional Roles of Group Members). These are Task roles and Maintenance Roles. Task roles are helpful in making sure the group stays focused on the given assignment. Maintenance roles, on the other hand, deal with the connections and rapport that team members build upon and help keep the group cohesive. Each of these main categories contains subordinates. For Task Roles, there are: The Initiator, The Information seeker/giver, The Opinion seeker/giver, The Elaborator, The Coordinator, The Orienteer, The Evaluator, The Energizer, The Procedural Technician, and The Recorder. Maintenance Roles include: The Encourager, The Harmonizer, The Compromiser, The Gatekeeper, The Standard Setter, The Commentator, and The Follower. Although these ideas were set forth in 1948, they still hold true for today's group dynamics.
It is important in examining the roles in group dynamics to elaborate on each role. The Initiator is the person in the group who is going to bring fresh mental material to the table. This person is going to be of significant help in brainstorming sessions. The Information Seeker/Giver is the sage of the group, helping to simplify key issues. The Opinion Seeker/Giver brings to the group a sense of duty and standards. The Elaborator is the person who illuminates the others through illustration. The Coordinator is usually a well-organized person who will help "gel" the proposals of the team. The... [continues]
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