All groups have norms – “acceptable standards of behavior that are shared by the group’s members.” Norms serve as a guideline for members detailing what they ought and ought not to do under certain circumstances. Though a work group’s norms are unique, yet there are still some common classes of norms. They are:
Ø Performance norms which comprise the following (Robbins 2003):
a. Explicit cues on how hard they should work, how to get the job done, their level of output, appropriate levels of tardiness, etc.
b. These norms are extremely powerful in affecting an individual employee’s performance.
Ø Appearance norms include things like appropriate dress, loyalty to the work group or organization, when to look busy, and when it is acceptable to goof off.
Ø Social arrangement norms come from informal work groups and primarily regulate social interactions within the group.
Ø Allocation of resources norms can originate in the group or in the organization.
Enforcement of Norms: To function effectively, groups enforce their norms in various ways.
i) The group may increase communication with a non-conforming member.
ii) If that does not work, the group may ignore the non-conforming member and exclude him or her from activities.
iii) In extreme cases, group members may resort to physical coercion or expulsion.