Group Productivity

Topics: Sociology, Group dynamics, Conflict Pages: 8 (2510 words) Published: December 14, 2014


Group Productivity

25 January, 2014

Introduction
A research study has been requested on the productivity of a group’s productivity within a well-known and successful retail store. Every group will have problems, but it is important to understand that the problems can be identified and corrected if proper steps are taken. This paper details how the research was conducted, the observations that were noted as being subpar to great teamwork, how those things affect the productivity of the group, and recommendations on what can be done to fix these problems. Researching the Group

A description of the group is needed to understand the roles each one plays in productivity for the company. The head of each of the following departments was present at each meeting; advertisement, product placement, ordering, finance, website development, and market research. Of these members, three are women and four are of a race other than Caucasian, producing a gender and racially diverse team. The leader of the group, which was assigned by the CEO of the company, is the head of the financial department. To best study the productivity of the group, participant observation research was the method utilized (Losh, 2011). The observer was located in the same room as the working group for three weeks before any notes were taken. The purpose for this initial three week period was to offset the group recognizing a new person watching them, causing them to act differently than they normally would. Four weeks had been planned for allowing the group to become used to this extra person being in the group, but after three weeks it was determined the group behaviors had already changed from when the observer first integrated herself. Group members were talking freely about personal and professional lives during breaks and including the observer in conversations, indicating they had become comfortable with the new presence and able to act as they normally would. At this time, detailed notes were taken while observing the meetings. After two weeks of studying the way the group interacted with one another, interviews were then conducted in a less structured way to continue the comfortable feelings the group members had with the observer. Working hypotheses were used due to the fact that the researcher was unable to determine structured deductive hypotheses from the lack of knowledge of what the researcher might observe (Losh, 2011). Observations

There were four problems identified as a hindrance to the productivity of the group. They are as follows: Role conflicts within the group, communication problems among the group members, lack of cohesiveness among the diverse members, excessive intergroup conflict. Each one will be further described to depict how these determinations were made.

Role conflict was observed after witnessing members from departments attempting to play roles that would include them in other departments. For example, the head of ordering often had plans for how the financial department could shift funds in different ways in order to provide more money to order a product. Another observation made quite often was the confusion of roles between the product placement department and the advertisement department. It appeared that each person serving these departments concerned themselves often of how the other department was doing their job. “Frequently role conflict arises when these expectations about how to play a role or set of roles are inconsistent in some way (Losh, 2011).”

Communication problems among group members were also noted. Once conflict had arisen, it was clear to those outside of the situation that unresolved situations led to emotions hindering the ability for all involved to communicate effectively. In some cases, one of the affected members would remain silent when input was needed from their department, while...


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