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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summary - Group Behavior

A group may be defined as a collection of two or more people who work with one another regularly to achieve common goals. Groups can be of two types: Formal and Informal. Formal groups come into existence for serving a specific organizational purpose. Individuals’ behaviors in this type of group is aimed at achieving organizational goals. An informal group is neither formally structured nor organizationally determined. The Five-Stage Model of group development has five stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning.

Punctuated equilibrium model of group development proposes that temporary groups with deadlines do not seem to follow the model explained above. Rather, they follow it Phase I, transition and Phase II. All work groups are part of larger systems and organizations and therefore cannot exist or work in isolation. It is therefore influenced by mainly external factors which include organizational strategy, authority structures, rules and regulations, access to resources, physical work conditions and organizational culture and performance systems and reward structures. 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. A team is a small group of people with complementary skills, who work actively together to achieve a common purpose for which they hold themselves collectively accountable (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Team building is a collaborative way to gather and analyze data to improve teamwork (Schermerhorn et al 2002).

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