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ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR Lecture 7 – Chapter 7

HROB 502 Dr. Menatallah Darrag


Dependent Variables (Y)

Three Levels

Independent Variables (X)


DEFINING AND CLASSIFYING GROUPS
 A group is two or more individuals interacting and interdependent, who have
come together to achieve particular objectives.
Groups have 2 formats:

 Formal Groups
 Informal Groups

Formal Groups:
 They are defined by the organization’s structure with designated work assignments
establishing tasks.
 Team member behaviors should engage in & are directed towards the attainment
of organizational goals (task-oriented).

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DEFINING AND CLASSIFYING GROUPS
FORMAL VS. INFORMAL GROUPS
 Informal Groups are alliances, of two or more individuals; that are neither formally
structured nor organizationally determined (socially/relation-oriented).
• Appear naturally in the workplace in response to the need for social contact.
• Deeply affect behavior and performance.

At any given time, an individual can belong to multiple groups


simultaneously!
SUB-CLASSIFICATIONS OF FORMAL GROUPS
Command Group:
 A group composed of the individuals who report directly to a given manager.
 It is usually bounded/limited by the organizational chart (e.g. employees in one department/unit reporting to
the direct manager or head). Command groups are: formal groups determined by structure
Task groups: are formal groups organized for fulfilling specific tasks
Task Group:
 A group composed of those working together to complete a job or task in an organization but not limited by
hierarchical boundaries.
 It differs from the command group in its lack of limitation by organizational chart or direct reporting
relationships (e.g. investigations within organizations about an employee would require feedback across
departments ‘his manager & colleagues, legal affairs, CEO, etc.’)

All command group are task groups, as eventually groups are aligned to attain a goal!
But not all task groups are command groups, since task groups can cut across/or is
not restrained by certain organizational chart or structure!
SUB-CLASSIFICATIONS OF INFORMAL GROUPS
Friendship Group:
 It is composed of members brought together because they share one or more common
characteristics. They are those who enjoy or like each others’ company or where each fulfills a
special interest/objective of his/hers (e.g. chat groups).
 These groups satisfy the need for human interaction and social support.
Interest Group:
 It is more or less composed of members/employees coming together to attain a specific
objective with which each is concerned (e.g. coming together to support a colleague sick or fired,
or seek to improve working conditions, etc.).
 Managers should keep a close eye on these groups to identify what employees perceive
important and how they want/plan to react/behave towards it!

© Pearson Education 2012 7-6


WHY DO PEOPLE JOIN GROUPS?

So, what
drives you to
join a group?

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FIVE STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT
 Usually groups undergo five stages of development.
 Nonetheless, not all groups surpass the same pattern.
 There are two models, the below five-stage model for group formations (for permanent and
temporary teams) & another alternative model for teams or groups with deadlines.

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THE FIVE STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT
1. Forming stage:
 Members feel much uncertainty about group’s purpose, structure & leadership.
 Members ‘test waters’ to identify acceptable patterns of behaviors.
 It ends when members identify themselves as a part of the group.

2. Storming stage:
 Lots of conflict between members of the group (intragroup conflict)..meaning that as members
accept the existence of the group and identify themselves as members of it, they still resist the
constraints that groups impose on the individuality of each of them as well as conflicts arising to set
the leadership of the group.
 It ends when members had clearly set a hierarchy for the group, and clearly identified its leadership.

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THE FIVE STAGES OF GROUP DEVELOPMENT
3. Norming stage:
 Members have developed close relationships and cohesiveness (strong sense of team spirit &
group identity). So, groups grow more solid at this stage.
 It ends when members determine common set of expectations of what defines correct member
behaviors.

4. Performing stage:
 The group is finally fully functional and acceptable, as group energy had moved from getting to
know and understand each other to performing and fulfilling the task in hand.
 For permanent teams, this is the last stage; but for temporary ones they move to the adjourning
stage.

5. Adjourning stage:
 Teams (temporary ones) start preparing to break up.
 Attention is directed to wrapping up activities rather than concentrating at performance and task
accomplishment as the objective for this team’s existence had been accomplished or else
terminated.
CRITIQUE OF THE FIVE-STAGE MODEL
Assumption: The group becomes more effective as it progresses through the
first four stages.
Not always true—group behavior is more complex than this straight forward model.
 High levels of conflict may be conducive to high performance, so sometimes groups in stage 2
(storming) might outperform groups in stages 3 or 4(norming or performing)

 The process is not always linear, and several stages may occur simultaneously (e.g. storming &
performing at the same time).

 Groups may regress and not always successfully surpass all stages (e.g. fail in stage 2 of storming).

 The model doesn’t account for organizational context (e.g. time needed to get accustomed to the
working group for an expatriate versus the time needed for a cabin crew member to get
accustomed to the working group).

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AN ALTERNATIVE MODEL FOR GROUP FORMATION:
PUNCTUATED–EQUILIBRIUM MODEL
 Temporary groups with deadlines don’t follow the five-stage model.

 Rather, this model proposes that temporary task groups with time-constraints or deadlines
for task accomplishment follow a different model known as punctuated-equilibrium model.

 This model proposes that temporary groups go through a set of phases or transitions,
going through between inertia and activity—at the halfway point they experience an
increase in productivity and again towards approaching deadlines set; else they are in states
of inertia.

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AN ALTERNATIVE MODEL FOR GROUP FORMATION:
PUNCTUATED–EQUILIBRIUM MODEL
1. First phase:
 Setting group direction via meeting, where this is a no activity
stage or passiveness stage Activity
Inertia
2. Transition phase: Half-way point
Activity
 First phase of inertia occurs as the group uses up half of its Inertia
allotted time

 This transition initiates major changes

3. Second phase:
 Following the major transition, another time of no activity or
passiveness

 A second phase of inertia (with accelerated activity) follows this


passiveness towards the last meeting as the deadline closes in.
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GROUP PROPERTIES
 Work groups are organized groups of people; not unorganized ones; with specific properties that affects their
performance.

 From these properties:


 Roles Norms
 Norms Status
 Status Roles
 Size
 Cohesiveness
Group
Performance

Cohesiveness Size

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GROUP PROPERTY 1: ROLES
Role: A set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a group/social unit.
 All group members resemble actors in a play, where each has an assigned role that he/she should fulfill.

 As individuals assume membership in different groups, this means that each individual assumes different roles (on
and off the job) simultaneously and here comes the difficulty.

 As per the role an individual plays, he/she exhibit different behaviors that the role requires.

Role Identity:
 Certain attitudes and behaviors consistent with a role.
 People can change their identities swiftly as they recognize that the situation requires major changes (e.g. acting as
a friend and as a co-worker).
GROUP PROPERTY 1: ROLES
Role Perception:
 An individual’s view of how he or she is supposed to act in a given situation.
 This is based on perception of how we should behave in given situations, so it is received by external stimuli (e.g.
books, friends, family, personal experiences).

Role Expectations:
 How others believe a person should act in a given situation.
 This is highly dependent on how the role you play is defined in the context, so context sets out how individuals should
act in given roles.
 Psychological Contract: an unwritten agreement that sets out mutual expectations of management and employees. So, it
sets out behavioral expectations that fits each role (e.g. management should communicate clearly with employees and
work for their best interest; as well employees should demonstrate good attitude and show loyalty to organization).

Role Conflict:
 A situation in which an individual is confronted by divergent role expectations. It happens when compliance with one
role makes it difficult to comply with another role.

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ZIMBARDO’S PRISON EXPERIMENT
 Undertaken by psychologist Philip Zimabrdo, Stanford University in the US in the 1970s.
 The purpose was to simulate a mock prison context using student volunteers, being hired and paid for
participation to study roles and its effect on individuals’ behaviors.
 Students were randomly assigned to either guard and prisoner roles. All were emotionally tested and
stable students with average performance.
 To get it a real feeling instead of a mere experiment, local police department was involved. Students were
arrested, handcuffed and driven to jail with all of the alleged procedures involved.
 It was a 2-weeks experiment that was halted in only six days due to concerns as:
 Guards had dehumanized the prisoners.
 Prisoners were subservient.
 Fell into the roles as they understood them.
 No real resistance felt.
GROUP PROPERTY 2: NORMS
Norms
 Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group’s
members (e.g. don’t criticize your boss in public).
 Norms tell individuals what they should and should not do under certain circumstances.
 All groups, teams, communities & societies have their own norms, that differs
respectively.
 Accordingly, accepted groups norms act as a means of influence on individuals.
 Norms cover a spectrum of behaviors, as it has the following classes:

 Performance norms—level of acceptable work (e.g. how to get the job done?).
 Appearance norms—what to wear (e.g. dress code).
 Social arrangement norms—friendships and the like (e.g. who to befriend on the job or off the job; or
whom to lunch with).
 Allocation of resources norms—distribution and assignments of jobs and materials (e.g. distributing
difficult tasks).

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THE HAWTHORNE STUDIES
 A series of studies undertaken by Elton Mayo at ‘Western Electric Company’s Hawthorne Works’ in Chicago between
1924 and 1932.
 Hawthorne studies illustrated the importance of group norms in influencing worker behavior.
 Initial findings linking physical environment (e.g. lightning) and productivity came contradicting to basic researchers’
expectations!! No effect.
 A control group was introduced (with constant lighting illumination) versus an experimental group (with lighting intensity being
manipulated).
 As lightning increased with the experimental group, both groups’ productivity increased.
 As lightning decreased with experimental group, productivity continued to increase!
 Only productivity decreased as lighting was reduced to moonlight level!

 Conclusion was that group influences were significant on individual behaviors setting out worker output (productivity)
norm.

The group of workers determined the level of fair


output and established norms for individual work
rates.

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GROUP PROPERTY 2: NORMS AND BEHAVIOR
Conformity:

 Gaining acceptance by adjusting one’s behavior to align with the norms of the group.

 Groups can place considerable pressures on individuals to change their attitudes and behaviors to
conform to the group's standards (norms).

 Individuals tend to conform with their most important groups (as some of the different group norms
might be contradictory).
 Reference Groups: Important groups to which individuals belong or hope to belong and with whose norms individuals are likely
to conform.

 Thus, not all groups do impose equal conformity pressures on its members.

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ASCH STUDIES
Asch studies

 Developed by Solomon Asch to illustrate the effect of group pressures for conformity and its effect
on members’ judgment and attitudes.
 Groups of 7-8 were gathered & shown 2 cards (to the right) and the object was to set which one of
the 3 lines matches the standard single line. Experiment was repeated to identify group conformity
effects on respondents’ answers.
 In 75% of the cases, respondents gave an answer that conforms with what the group had identified as
the correct answer though these respondents were not convinced of the accuracy of the answer. They
simply conformed to the group.
 Demonstrated the power of conformance ‘peer pressure’, where an individual desires to be one of the
group & avoids being visibly singled out.
 This experiment was undertaken in the 1950s. Though conformity is evident in collectivistic cultures
rather than individualistic cultures; conformity to norms is still a powerful force in groups across
cultures. Current research identify the group conformity is culturally-based and declining in
importance.
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DEFYING NORMS: DEVIANT WORKPLACE BEHAVIOR
 Also called antisocial behavior or workplace incivility,
which is:
Voluntary behavior that violates significant
organizational norms and, in doing so, threatens the
well-being of the organization.
 It has negative implications as in reduced
employee productivity, job satisfaction &
increased turnover; where almost half of its
victims think of changing jobs!

 Group norms can influence the presence of


deviant behavior.
 Individual antisocial norms are shaped by the
group context that they work in.
 Being in a group allows individuals to hide—
creating a false sense of confidence that they
won’t be caught.
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GROUP PROPERTY 3: STATUS
Status is a socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others—it
differentiates group members.
 It is an important factor in understanding behavior, as it acts as a significant motivator as
individuals understand the difference between what they believe their status to be is and
what others perceive it to be.
Status Characteristics Theory
 Status derived from one of three sources:
1. The power a person has over others (via control on group resources)
2. An individuals’ ability to contribute to group goals (via critical contributions)
3. An individuals’ personal characteristics (via possessing positively valued characteristics like good looks,
intelligence, etc.)

 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.
GROUP PROPERTY 4: SIZE
Group size affects behavior
 Seven or fewer is a ‘small’ group, where they can be more effective in taking action and in using
data obtained (from large groups) in a productive way.
 Twelve or more members is a ‘large’ group, where they can be highly productive and fact finding.
 Smaller groups are faster in completing tasks assigned, so individuals should perform better in
small teams!

Social loafing
 The tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working
individually.
 Caused by either equity concerns (i.e. compare your input/output to others & reduce your input to match
theirs and hence have an equated output) or a diffusion of responsibility (i.e. existence of free riders: as there
is no clear attribution of responsibility of output per individual but it is rather the collective group’s
responsibility).
GROUP PROPERTY 5: COHESIVENESS
Cohesiveness is the degree to which group members are attracted to each other and
are motivated to stay in the group.
To increase 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.

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GROUP DECISION MAKING VS. INDIVIDUAL CHOICE
• It had been long debated that groups perform better than individuals in decision making.
“Two heads are better than one”
• Nonetheless, group decision making holds its strengths & weaknesses as follows:

Group strengths: Group weaknesses:


 Generate more complete information and  Time-consuming activity.
knowledge.
 Conformity pressures in the group.
 Offer increased diversity of views and
greater creativity.  Discussions can be dominated by a few members.

 Generally more accurate (but not as  A situation of ambiguous responsibility.


accurate as the most accurate group
member).
 Increased acceptance of decisions.

• Therefore, in some cases, individuals can be expected to make better decisions than groups.
GROUP DECISION MAKING PHENOMENON
• Two phenomenon can occur that affect the group decision making process, which by turn affect the
group’s ability to evaluate alternatives objectively & to reach quality decisions.

Groupthink
 Situations where group pressures for conformity deter the group from critically appraising unusual,
minority, or unpopular views.
 It can be labeled as a disease that affects the group performance and hinders it.

Groupshift
 When discussing a given set of alternatives and arriving at a solution, group members tend to
exaggerate the initial positions that they hold. This causes a shift to either a more conservative or a
more risky behavior. More often, the risk is toward greater risk.

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GROUPTHINK Minimize groupthink by:
 Reduce the size of the group to 10 or less.
 Encourage group leaders to be impartial.
Symptoms
 Appoint a ‘devil’s advocate’.
 Members apply direct pressures on those who express
doubts about shared views or who question the alternative  Use exercises on diversity.
favored by the majority.
 Group members rationalize any resistance to the
assumptions they have made.
 Members who have doubts or differing points of view
keep silent about misgivings or doubts or concerns.
 There appears to be an illusion of unanimity or
consensus.

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GROUP DECISION MAKING TECHNIQUES
• Frequently group decision making takes place in interacting groups.
• Interacting groups are typical ones where members interact/meet face-to-face and rely on verbal and nonverbal communication.

• These groups suffer from phenomenon like groupthink and group shift; as they monitor themselves and
pressure individual members towards conformity of opinion.

• Some techniques are proposed to avoid such phenomenon are:

 Brainstorming : An idea-generating process designed to overcome pressure for conformity, where it


encourages any and all alternatives while withholding any criticism of those alternatives.
 Nominal group technique (NGT): Works by restricting discussion during the decision making process. So,
members are physically present to pool their judgments in a systematic way, but operate independently.
 Electronic meeting (computer-assisted group): Uses computers to hold large meetings of up to 50 people,
which allows members the anonymity of their comments and aggregation of votes.

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EVALUATING GROUP EFFECTIVENESS
Type of Group
Brain-
Effectiveness Criteria Interacting Nominal Electronic
storming
Number and quality of ideas Low Moderate High High
Social Pressure High Low Moderate Low
Money Costs Low Low Low High
Speed Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Task Orientation Low High High High
Potential for Interpersonal Conflict
High Low Moderate Moderate

Commitment to Solution High N/A Moderate Moderate


Development of Group
High High Moderate Low
Cohesiveness

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GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS
Status and culture
 The importance of status varies with culture.
 Managers must understand who and what holds status when interacting with people from another
culture.

Social loafing and culture


 Found most often in Western (individualistic) cultures.

Group diversity

 Increased diversity can lead to increased conflict.


 May cause early withdrawal and lowered morale.

 If the initial difficulties are overcome, diverse groups may perform better.
 Surface diversity may increase openness.
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Thank you…