Introduction to Organizational Behavior


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Pages : 484; Paperback;
210 X 275 mm approx.

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Pages : 271; Paperback;
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Introduction to Organizational Behavior, Management Textbook, Workbook

Foundations of Group Behavior : Chapter 14

The work group is usually the primary source of social identity for employees, and the nature of the group can affect their performance at work as well as their relationships outside the organization. There could be many reasons why people form groups. The propinquity theory of group formation attempts to explain why some people come together to form groups. Yet another popular theory of group formation is the exchange theory.

According to the exchange theory, the reward-cost outcomes of interaction are the basis of group formation. In reality, groups and their formation are much more complex than just the affiliation between two people (a simple dyad group). Groups can be classified into formal and informal groups, task groups, command groups, interest groups, and friendship groups. There are also some generally recognizable stages of group development. Two theories that analyze these steps are (a) the five stages model and (b) the punctuated equilibrium model. The structure of a group helps the management predict individual behavior within the group and the performance of the group itself. Some of the structural variables are formal leadership, roles, norms, group status, group size and the composition of the group. All these variables affect the functioning of groups. The style or behavior of the group leader tends to be imitated or repeated by the members of the group. As everyone is required to play a diverse set of roles within and outside an organization, one of the tasks in understanding behavior is grasping the role that is currently being played by a person.

Group members share some acceptable standards of behavior among themselves, and once they are established, they become norms. Status also has major behavioral consequences when individuals perceive a disparity between what they believe their status to be, and what others perceive it to be. Research has shown that small groups are faster at completing tasks than large ones, whereas large ones are good for obtaining diverse inputs from members. The composition of a group may sometimes, prove to be a critical factor in its total performance and turnover.

The processes that go on within a group - the communication within the group, behavior of the leader, power dynamics and conflict within the group - are crucial for understanding group behavior. Process gains can be maximized by training people for simple tasks in groups, and for complex tasks in individual practice sessions. The tasks that a group undertakes can moderate the impact of group processes on its performance and member satisfaction. The effectiveness of group performance is to a great extent, affected by the level of conflict among group members and the quality of their communication.

Chapter 14 : Overview

Nature of Groups
Various Types of Groups
Formal Groups
Informal Groups

Stages of Group Development
The Five-Stage Model
The Punctuated Equilibrium Model

Group Structure

Formal Leadership

Group Tasks
Group Processes