COM 425 Communication in Organizations
18 Jul 2010
Organizational Group Behavior and Communication
People are an organization’s most important and valuable resource. How they interact and communicate can be one of the most important aspects of an organization’s success. The knowledge, skills, and abilities people of today possess offer limitless opportunities to maximize work center effectiveness. People not only come in all shapes and sizes, but they come with different motives, values, and personality types as well. They are individuals, with as many similarities from one person to the next as they have differences. It’s these similarities and differences that make up a group’s dynamic. Group dynamics are the interactions that influence the attitudes and behavior of people when they are grouped with others through either choice or circumstance. Group dynamics is impacted by individual needs or goals which affect interpersonal relationships within the group. One of the realities of organizational behavior is that we must work in and with groups to accomplish objectives. No matter how much we value and protect our individuality, almost everything achieved in organizations is accomplished as a member of a group. Group dynamics is inherent within any type of organization or team. Individuals are grouped together to achieve an objective or goal and these individuals bring their own motives, values, and personalities to a group. Individual behavior affects group dynamics. Sometimes these behaviors cause friction within a team and other times further a team.
Positive interdependence is an important part of a cooperative work group which can help to achieve a group’s mutual goal. When created correctly, positive interdependence results in people recognizing that their individual success is linked to the success of every other member of the group.
Research about groups is not always valid. This is due to the fact that it must be decided if the decision of a group is of high or low quality. It is also hard to objectively measure the success or failure of groups.
The greatest campaigns and battles were not won by individuals, but by teams made up of individuals. The same goes for a work center. As leaders, we must understand why developing a cohesive team is so critical to maximizing work center effectiveness. How cohesive teams are developed depends on a couple of factors. First, a good understanding of the types of teams you can use to perform the task is essential. Second, the five stages every team experiences must be understood in light of the interaction that occurs as team members work on accomplishing their tasks. Third, filling the role as a leader and knowing how to deal with team roles and responsibilities to accomplish goals and objectives. Finally, knowing how to identify influences impacting team needs is a must.
A group’s cohesiveness depends on three things; task needs, individual needs, and maintenance needs. Task needs deal with what it takes to get the job done. These needs drive certain behaviors toward the task at hand. In order to meet the task needs of the team, team members assume or take on specific roles. These roles involve certain behavior patterns and are referred to as task behaviors. This is where informal leadership arises helping the team to satisfy the task needs of the team. For example, individualteam members step up and perform unassigned functions directed toward goal accomplishment. Task needs must be the focus of the team, but individual and maintenance needs can’t be overlooked because they influence the task needs.
Being part of a team often requires individuals to work with people they normally wouldn’t associate with. This dynamic can often cause feelings and emotions ranging from excitement to fear. Fulfilling an individual’s needs will be helpful, depending...