Foundations of group behavior (Defining and classifying groups (Group…
Foundations of group behavior
Defining and classifying groups
individuals interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives
formal group: designated work group defined by an organization structure
informal group: neither formally structured nor organizationally determined, appears in response to the need for social contact
Why people form groups?
social identity theory: perspective that considers when and why individuals consider themselves member of groups
ingroup favoritism: perspective in which we see member of our ingroup as better than other people, and peope not in our group as all the same
Characteristics that make a social identity important to a person:
Uncertainty reduction: help people understand who they are and how they fit into the world.
Stages of group development:
The five-stage model:
Definition: the five distinct stages groups go through: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning.
Forming stage: much uncertainty (about group’s purpose, structure and leadership). Members ‘test the water’ to determine what types of behaviors are acceptable. This stage is complete when members have begun to think of themselves as part of a group.
Storming stage: intragroup conflict – accept existence of the group but resistant to the constraints the group imposes on individuality – conflict over who will control the group. When complete: clear hierarchy of leadership
Norming stage: close relationships and cohesiveness – strong sense of group identity and camaraderie. When complete: group structure solidifies + defined correct member behavior.
Performing: structure is fully functional and accepted. Group energy moved from getting to know and understand each other to performing the task at hand.
Permanent work groups stop at 4th stage. Temporary teams that have a limited task to perform => + adjourning stage.
Adjourning stage: prepare for disbandment – wrapping up activities
First meeting sets the group’s direction. Framework of behavioral patterns and assumptions – approach its project => written in stone, not re-examined throughout the first half of the group’s life.
First phase of group activity: inertia – locked into a fixed course of action, even new insights emerge – unable to act on these insights.
Transition at the end of the first phase – the group has used up its allotted time (happen precisely halfway between its first meeting and its official deadline). Midpoint – alarm clock – heightening members’ awareness of limited time.
A transition initiates major changes: dropping of old patterns, adoption of new perspectives => set a revised direction for phase 2.
Second phase of inertia: a new equilibrium or new perspective. The group executes plans created during the transitional period.
Last meeting: markedly accelerated activity to finish its work
Group properties: roles, norms, status, size, cohesiveness and diversity
Role: set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occypying a given positiion in a social unit
Role perception: individual's view of how they are supposed to act in a given situation
Role clarity: How clear are role expectations
Role expectation: how others believe a person should act in a given situation
Psychological contract: unwritten agreement that sets out what management expect from an employee and vice versa
Role conflict: situation where individual is confronted by divergent role expectations
Zimbardo’s prison experiment:
Standford University – psychologically healthy, normal students – assigned roles as guard and prisoner
They learn new roles: learned stereotyped conceptions of guard and prisoner roles from the mass media and their own experiences in power and powerless relationships (parent-child) (teacher-student)
Norms: acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group’s members.
Performance norm: how hard they should work, how to get the job done, what level of output should be …
Appearance norms: dress code, when to look busy
Social arrangement norms: with whom group members eat lunch, whether to form friendships on and off the job
Resources allocation norms: assign difficult jobs, distribute resources like pay and equipment.
The Hawthorne studies:
Examining the relationship between the physical environment and productivity: The group of workers determined the level of fair output and established norms for individual work rates that conformed to the output. To enforce the group norms, workers uses sarcasm, ridicule and even physical force to influence individual behaviors that were not acceptable to the group.
Solomon Asch studies: 2 cards: one with 1 line, the other with 3 lines, one of which is of the same length with the one in the other card.
Choose the right answer: USS know the right answer but conform with other pre-arranged participant (give wrong answer on purpose).
Conformity: the adjustment of one’s behavior to align with the norms of the group.
Reference group: important groups to which individuals belong or hope to belong and with whose norms individuals are likely to conform.
Deviant workplace behavior: voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and, in so doing, threatens the well-being of the organization or its members. Also called antisocial behavior or workplace incivility.
production: working speed
property: damage and stealing
political: favoritism and gossiping
personal agression: violence and sexual harrasment
Large group: >= 12 – gaining diverse input => if the goal is fact-finding: large group more effective
Small group: doing something productive with that input, more effective for taking action
Social loafing: the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually. – consistent with individualist culture not collectivist culture
Ringelmann effect: Declining performance on rope-pulling task
Prevent social loafing:
Set group goals
Increase intergroup competition, focuses on the shared outcome
Engage in peer evaluation
Select members who have high motivation and prefer to work in groups.
Base group rewards in part on each member’s unique contributions.
Tendency of groups to expend more effort when working collectively than when working individually
Weaker members exert additional effort on weight holding task
How collaboration affects effort depends on dispensability of effort:
Additive tasks: Outcome = sum of contributions. Individual contributions dispensable
Conjunctive tasks: Outcome = contribution of weakest member. Individual contributions indispensable
Status: A socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others – It differentiates group members
Important factor in understanding behavior
On Norms and Conformity:
High-status members are less restrained by norms and pressure to conform
Some level of deviance is allowed to high-status members so long as it doesn’t affect group goal achievement
On Group Interaction:
High-status members are more assertive
Large status differences limit diversity of ideas and creativity
Status and stigmatization:
Affiliating with a stigmatized individual can damage a person’s reputation
Affiliating with a high-status person can increase a person’s reputation.
Status inequity: creates disequilibrium -> corrective behaviors -> resentment
Status characteristic theory: differences in status characcteristics create status hierachies within group
Status tends to be derived 3 sources:
The power a person wields over others.
A person’s ability to contribute to a group’s goals
An individual’s personal characteristics (looks, intelligence, money, friendly…)
Cohesiveness: the degree group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the group
How managers can increase group cohesiveness?
Make the group smaller
Encourage agreement with group goals
Increase time members spend together
Increase group status and admission difficulty
Stimulate competition with other groups
Give rewards to the group, not individuals
Physically isolate the group
Diversity: The extent to which members of a group are similar to, or different from, one another.
Diversity increase group conflict, especially in the early stages of a group’s tenure
Surface-level diversity: race, age, gender
Deep-level diversity: attitudes, values and opinions.
Diversity: creative, innovative, problem-solving
Faultlines: the perceived divisions that split groups into subgroups based on individual differences such as race, sex, age, work experience and education.
Mere presence of others
Social facilitation: The mere presence of others can improve performance
Social inhibition: The mere presence of others can impair performance
Robert Zajonc (1965)
Inhibition vs. facilitation
Routine/simple versus complex/difficult tasks
Arousal as key mechanism
Group decision making
Group vs. the individual:
Strength of group decision making:
more complete information and knowledge
Increased diversity of views
Acceptance of a solution: members who participated in making decision are likely to enthusiastically support the decision and encourage others to accept it
Conformity pressures in groups
Group discussion dominated by one or a few members
Effectiveness and efficiency:
Accuracy: group more accurate than average individual but less accurate than most accurate member
Speed: individual better
Creativity: group better
Degree of acceptance of the final solution: group better
Efficiency: group generally less efficient than individuals
Group-think and group-shift:
Group think: a phenomenon in which the norm for consensus overrides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action
Rationalize any resistance to the assumptions they have made
Apply direct pressures on those who express doubts about the group’s shared views
Members who have doubts remain silent
Illusion of unanimity: if someone doesn’t speak, it’s assumed that they are in full accord.
Clear group identity, members hold a positive image of the group
Group who believe too strongly about the correctness of their course of action
Monitor group size: people grow more intimidated as group size increases ( > 10 people)
Leader play an impartial role: actively seek input from all members, avoid expressing their own opinion.
Appoint one member to play the role of devil’s advocate: challenge the majority position and offer divergent perspectives
Require members to first focus on the negatives of a decision alternative
Group-shift: a change between a group’s decision and an individual decision that a member within the group would make; the shift can be towards either conservatism or greater risk but it generally is towards a more extreme version of the group’s original position.
Group discussion tends to exaggerate the initial position of the group: conservatives become more cautious, more aggressive types take on more risk.
Often towards greater risk.
A special case of groupthink, the shift in the group’s decision-making is towards greater caution or more risk depends on the dominant pre-discussion norm.
Discussion makes members more comfortable => express extreme versions of their original positions
Diffuse responsibility: free member from accountability for the final choice => more extreme position can be taken.
Take extreme positions => demonstrate how different they are from the outgroup.
Group decision-making techniques
interacting groups: typical groups in which members interact with each other face-to-face
brainstorming: idea-generation process that specifically encourages any and all alternatives while withholding any criticis of those alternatives
Nominal group techniques: individual members meet face-to-face to pool their judgements in a systematic but independent fashion
Members meet as a group, before discussion takes place, each member write down ideas
Each member present idea
Discuss the ideas and evaluate
Group silently and independently rank-order the ideas.