Although Working Groups Can Be Very Productive They Can Also Be Difficult to Manage and Changes to Their Membership Can Lead to Reduced Performance

Topics: Group dynamics, Group development, Psychology Pages: 6 (2436 words) Published: October 12, 2008
As the structure of organisations has changed and improved, in the recent times, the necessity of creating relationships, communicating and working in groups, has become an integral component of everyday life. Important companies invest in team building programmes in order to improve their team-working abilities. Working in groups can increase the productivity of an organisation but also destroy it. The well functioning of groups in organisations depends on their leaders and members willingness to work together. However, people frequently join groups to achieve aims that they are not able to achieve themselves, which lead to a decrease in groups performances. Moreover, their behaviour in groups can be influenced in a negative way by different factors, such as: size, structure, communication, environment, wages and group objectives. Furthermore, this essay is going to explain why groups are difficult to manage and why people behaviour can reduce the group performance.

Before explaining why groups are difficult to manage and changes to their membership can reduce group performance, the definition and types of groups is important. Two types of groups can be differentiated: an aggregate of individuals and psychological groups. An aggregate is a considerable number of people who meet in a certain place for a specific period of time. For example students who are living in a hall of residence they act independently and not as a group. According to the definition, there are some characteristics which define psychological groups. First of all, the members have to interact with each other, they have to share ideas and not act independently. Furthermore, every individual has to participate in group activities in order to fulfil their tasks. Also each member has to have a specific role such as secretary or computer programmer; so everyone knows what has to be done. Moreover, groups are led by a leader who sets norms and rules. Psychological groups can be a band of boys, employees in a factory, who have to communicate and work together to achieve their goals. ( Huczynzki A.A. and Buchanan A.D., 2007 )

Groups can be difficult to lead, if they do not have a solid structure. This must be understood by all the members of the group before they want to join. The leader is the one who has to inform his group about their tasks, roles and rights. He has to be a positive example for all the members because his behaviour influences the individuals. The leader has to use his power effective, to distribute tasks, to supervise the individuals and to solve the group problems in order to satisfy the organisation’s needs.

Groups aren't created spontaneously. Members have to follow some processes (stages) in order to become a group. Some groups, or group members may not pass all of them. Homans, seeks to illustrate that although a certain group is directly influenced by the environment in which it exists, it tends to influence the environment as well. According to Homans’ model of group formation, the background factors influence the design of the business. The required activities, interactions, norms and sentiments are imposed by the managers and the emergent activities, interactions, and sentiments by organisation. Productivity, satisfaction and personal development are the outcomes of the group and represent the last stage of group formation. In Homans’s theory, interaction is the key to a successful group development. Through interaction the individuals exchange ideas, norms and develop strategy; without which a group cannot succeed. As a consequence, the internal system (emergent and actual behaviour) and external system (background factors, required and given behaviour) are in a very strong relationship and dependent on one another. However, Homans was not the only one who studied groups formation. Bruce Tuckman (1965) mentioned that individuals, before forming a psychological group, have to complete five stages of development: forming,...

Bibliography: Aubé, C. and Rousseau,V., (2005) “Team Goal Commitment and Team Effectiveness: The Role of Task Interdependence and Supportive Behaviors.” , Educational Publishing Foundation, New York, 2005 Sep Vol 9(3) 189-204 , Available at:, (Accessed:12 November 2007 )
Douglas, T. (1976) , “Groupwork practice”, Tavistock Publications, London
Huczynzki A.A. and Buchanan A.D, (2007) “Organisational Behaviour”, 6th Ed., Prentice Hall, England
Kyle L. et al., (2007), “Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes”, Department of Management, USA , Volume 103, Issue 2, July 2007, Pages 159-178, Available at:, (Accessed:12 November 2007 )
Wilson, A. et. al, (ed.) (1998), “Handbook of science communication”, Chapter: Working in groups and team , pp. 141 – 157, Institute of Physics Publishing, London, (1999-2007) “Group Dynamics: Basic Nature of Groups and How They Develop”, (Accessed:12 November 2007)
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Who Can Lead a Change? Essay
  • Raising A Child Can Be Very Difficult Essay
  • The Can Can Research Paper
  • Essay on Can Leaders Really Manage Change
  • Essay about can food drive experience
  • how can aggression be reduced? Essay
  • Failures Can Be Productive Essay
  • Can People Change Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free