Groups vs. Individuals

Topics: Personality psychology, Psychology, Group dynamics Pages: 6 (1967 words) Published: January 9, 2011
Essay title:

‘Individuals will complete a task more efficiently and effectively than a group. And training in group dynamics, whilst interesting, has no practical value as a means of increasing the standard of group performance’ (Mullins, 2007, p296).


This essay is going to examine the main differences between the work of individuals and the work of a group. The perception of the author of the essay title basically states that there are more benefits than drawbacks in the individual work when comparing to the group work as well as that a given task can be completed more efficiently and effectively by an individual. The other part of the title discusses that there is no increase in group performance even though training in group is more interesting and appealing. In order to examine these two statements it is essential to consider every effect that might have an impact on the work of both individuals and groups. What often comes to people’s mind when discussing the advantages and disadvantages of working in a group is that the more people you have the more ideas you have and that the more people you have the faster the given task is completed. This essay will reveal that it is not as simple as many of us might think and that there are many complex elements of people’s behaviour that might have both positive and negative effect on the final task result. In what follows, we’ll have a look at these factors and give reasons why should the work of individual be more effective than group work or why not.

In this part of the essay we are going to have a look at how various individual differences affect individual behaviour in the workplace. Individuals in the organization explore five topics which are personality, perception, learning and motivation at work. All these five psychological aspects are very closely related to each other and they help us to understand behaviour in general as well as in particular but also to analyze the performance of work and the quality of working life.

We have chosen to focus on one of these five topics - Personality. Firstly, it is required to comprehend what actually personality is. Despite of the fact, (Bratton, 2007) that any universal definition of personality has not been accepted yet, we define personality as a relatively resistant way of thinking, feeling and acting which characterizes a person’s response to his or her environment. However, (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2004) there are some properties, which restrict our definition of personality, that are both stable and distinctive, depending on different situations and over time. In the case of stability, we are not interested in properties that are occasional and transient. For example, changes in person’s behaviour caused by the consumption of drugs or caused by some kind of illness are not considered as personality characteristics, unless they become permanent. However, there is one serious issue and that is the fact that personalities appear to be flexible. For example, a manager who appears to be very loud and emotionless in the office could be a caring and supportive parent in family life. In the case of distinctiveness, we must know that personality theory is related to properties that are unique to the individual and not to those that all or most other people share. For example, a man may be aggressive towards taxi drivers, friendly with waiters, loud at concerts and terrified of spiders. But the thing is that he may share some of these dispositions with a friend who breeds spiders. We also must know that, (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2004) the theory of personality relies on two main propositions. One of them is that behaviour does not change frequently even though is has both stable and distinctive features. The other one is that it must be accepted they only way how to compare the distinctive properties is by comparing them to the properties of others.

One of the many theories of personality is Eysenck’s three-factor...
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