Why Do We Need to Understand Group Dynamics to Understand Organizational Management and Organizational Behavior ?”

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I.Introduction

To understand Organizational Behavior and Management, we must study three different levels. The first is the individual level, because every individual has its own unique perception of the world and what surrounds him. Individuals behave following how they interpret this and their environment. Each individual is different from the next one, because of its personality and characteristics. However, it’s possible to organize them by categorizing their perceptions. Categories such as Appearance, Social behavior and Status are often considered. Individual’s motivations must be analyzed to understand the next level : the Group. A Group is composed by 2 or more individuals, who come together to accomplish a particular task or goal, which is why their behavior is very important and has to be studied first. A manager leading a group will have to take into account each of the individual characteristics in order for it to work. As individuals join and create a group, shall it be a formal or informal one, we slowly change focus. The individual needs, perceptions and motivations get absorbed and the Group creates its own norms of acceptable behavior for all the individuals to follow for as long as they are part of the Group. They don’t, however, chance the individual itself when he is by himself. As Groups develop its own norms and statuses, its behavior evolves. The third level, is Organizations. That level is different from the Group one because it involves systematic efforts and organizations are engaged in the production of goods and services. It’s also different from the sum of the individuals perceptions because it can impact how individuals behave with each other, thus influencing their perception. An organization though, is comparable to an individual because each is unique and has its own culture. Moreover, if the values of the organization match the values of the individuals, they will enjoy being part of it more than if it’s not the case. The second level, Group Dynamics, is the one that will be focused on in this report.

II.Group Characteristics.
a)Formal and informal groups.
There are different kind of groups, but they can mostly be split into two categories : Formal and Informal. Formal groups are groups officially planned and created by the organization to do a specific task. At ESSEC, we could compare them to the individuals who, in groups, did the OB presentations. They were officially planned in the course to do a presentation. In an organization, a formal group could be the Marketing (or any other) Department. In a formal group, there is a structure. Often, individuals are given specific tasks to complete within the main final task. Sometimes, there is a hierarchy and written rules.

Informal groups are not official per say. They are natural social formations established by individuals rather than organizations, and unplanned. In a workplace, it could be a group of employees meeting once a month for dinner to discuss their Fishing hobby. At ESSEC, it could be an unofficial football team made especially for a tournament within the school. The purpose of an informal group can be pursuing a special interest, be social, or even just have fun.

b)Group effectiveness
Group dynamics concern how groups form, their structure and process, and how they function. Some groups are more successful than others. Why ? A common mistake would be to say that if your group members or employees are hard working, happy, competitive or smart, the group only can function well. But as a matter of fact, that doesn’t mean they are honest, productive, loyal or creative. However, teamwork and communication between members is capital. Managers can help increasing a work group’s performance when they create it by taking into consideration the characteristics of members they assign to particular groups. The members should have tasks assigned to them according to their domain of expertise and appropriate...
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