A definition of the term group should strike a balance between being sufficiently broad to include most social aggregates that are true groups and being sufficiently narrow to exclude most social aggregates that are not true groups. The following formal definition meets these criteria: A group is (a) two or more individuals (b) who influence each other (c) through social interaction.
A group of people share a range of qualities and characteristics which signifies it from other groups. One facet of the group's entity is its emotional characteristics. Just as individuals have moods, emotions and dispositional affects, Groups possess similar attributes which influence aspects such as cohesiveness, performance and group members. These aspects, in their turn, also influence the group's emotional state
Our tendency to form groups is a persistent aspect of life. As well as formal groups, committees and teams, there are informal groups, cliques and cabals.
Formal groups are used to organise and distribute work, pool information, devise plans, coordinate activities, increase commitment, negotiate, resolve conflicts and conduct inquests. Group working allows the pooling of people's individual skills and knowledge, and helps compensate for individual deficiencies. It has been estimated that most managers spend 50 per cent of their working day in one sort of group or another, and for top management of large organisations this can raise to 80 per cent. Thus formal groups are clearly an integral part of the functioning of an organisation.
No less important are informal groups. These are usually structured more around the social needs of people than around the performance of tasks. Informal groups usually serve to satisfy needs of affiliation, and act as a forum for exploring self-concept as a...