Characteristics of Group and Group Behavior

Topics: Sociology Pages: 5 (1459 words) Published: September 18, 2015


What are the characteristics of a group?

A group is basically a collection of individuals contributing to some common aim under the direction of a leader, and who shares a sense of common identity. Groups also provide Stimulus, Protection & other Psychological requirements to its members.

The characteristics of a Group are as follows:

• Members engaged in frequent interaction;
• Those involved define themselves as group members;
• Others define members as belonging to a particular group; • They share common norms and mutual interests;
• They identify with one another and share values;
• They feel a sense of collective responsibility;
• They act in a unified way towards the organisation.

What are formal task groups?

Those groups set up by the management of an organization to undertake duties in the pursuit of organizational goals.

• They are created to fulfill specific goals or undertake specific tasks. • They have a formal status and role conferred by the organisation. • They have definite structures with prescribed leadership and established rules, processes and roles. • They tend to be permanent.

What are informal groups?

Informal groups

Those grouping which the employees themselves have developed in accordance with their own needs. Every organization has these kind of groups Researches say these are very important to organisation’s effectiveness.

• They are created by the individual members for the purpose of sharing a common interest or meeting a shared need.

• They emerge from organisational interactions and may be contained within formal task groups.

• They exist for as long as they serve a common interest or fulfill a common need.

• Communication tends to be flexible and rapid and within and between groups is known as the grapevine. - GOSSIP

• An example would be ABE students who meet at Oxford College socially.

• Elton Mayo in the Hawthorne studies demonstrated the potential power of the informal workgroup.

What are group task roles?

• Initiating tasks and defining group problems;
• Information/opinion seeking;
• Information/opinion giving, e.g. beliefs, ideas or facts relevant to the group problem;
• Clarifying, e.g. identifying issues and alternatives arising and interpreting contributions;
• Summarising, e.g. bringing group ideas together and offering conclusions and potential decisions;
• Consensus testing involving ‘trial balloons’ to test agreement.

What are group maintenance roles?

Group maintenance roles are focused on promoting and maintaining group relationships by:

• Encouraging, i.e. being friendly and responsive to others and accepting their contributions;
• Expressing group feelings;
• Harmonising, i.e. reconciling disagreements and encouraging members to explore differences;
• Compromising, i.e. being prepared to give ground to maintain group cohesion; • Gatekeeping, i.e. facilitating the participation of others; • Setting standards for the group to achieve and applying them in assessing group performance.

What are the group functions?

May be divided into two types and a balance of both is required:

Task functions – required to achieve the group’s purpose and objectives and include:

Formulating objectives and setting targets
Seeking opinions and exchanging information to facilitate task achievement Reinforcing, confirming and clarifying information
Assessing brainstormed ideas and selecting ideal solutions

Maintenance functions – of the viability of the group by establishing norms, and a sense of Purpose

Conflict resolution and ensuring harmonious relationships
Creating opportunities for participation and member contribution Assessing group effectiveness and initiating any required remedial action

What are group norms?

Group norms are the set of rules governing appropriate behaviour, opinions and attitudes.

Exert considerable influence...
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