Working groups are not unorganized mobs. The workgroup has properties that shape the behavior of members and make it possible to explain and predict a large portion of the individual be hax for within the groups as well as the performance of the group itself. Some of these properties are roles, norms, status, group size and degree of group cohesiveness.
The role is a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit.
Attitudes and actual behaviors consistent with a role, and they create the role identity. People have the ability to shift roles rapidly where they recognize that a situation and its demands clearly require major changes. For instance, when reunion stewards were promoted to supervisory positions it was found that their attitudes changed from reunion to management within a few months of their promotion. When this promotion had to he rescind later because of economic difficulties in the firm, it was found that the demoted supervisors had once again adopted their pro-union attitude.
Activities of managers and workers alike are guided by their role perceptions, that is, how they are supposed to act in their own roles and how others should act in their roles.
Roles expectations are defined as the way others believe you should act in a given situation. It can be helpful to look at the topic of role expectations from the perspective of the psychological contract-an unwritten agreement that exists between employees and their employer.
If management is derelict in keeping up its part of the bargain, we can expect negative repercussions on employee performance and satisfaction.
When others have different perception or expectations of a person’s role, that person tends to experience role conflict. Such conflict makes it difficult to meet one set of expectations without rejecting another. A company president faced role Conflict, for example, when she learned that both the controller and the personnel director wanted her to allocate the new organizational planning function to their departments.
When the role is inadequately defined or is substantially unknown, role ambiguity exists, because people are not sure how they should act in situations of this type. When role conflict and role ambiguity exist, job satisfaction and organizational commitment will likely decline. On the other hand, employees to be more satisfied With their jobs when their roles are clearly defined by job descriptions and statements of performance expectations.
Norms is an acceptable standard of behavior within a group that are shared by the group members. It tells the member what they ought and ought not to do under certain circumstances. From individual subpoint, they tell what is expected of you in the certain situation. When agreed to. and accepted by the group, norms act as a means of influencing the behavior of group members with a minimum of external control .norms differ among groups .communities and societies but they all have them.
Common Classes of norms: There are some common classes of norms that appear in the most workgroup. Such as:
- Performance norms: Here workgroups typically provide their members with explicit cues on how hard they should work. how to get the job done.
- Appearance norms: A second category encompasses appearance norms. This includes things like appropriate dress. loyalty to the workgroup or organization, when to look busy, and when it is acceptable
- Arrangement norms: These norms come from informal work groups and primarily regulate social interactions within the group.
- Resources norms: A final category relates to allocation of resources norms. These norms can originate in the group or in the organizational and cover things like pay’. assignment of difficult jobs, and allocation of new tools and equipment.
The status that is, a socially defined position or rank is given to group or group’s member by others permeates every society. Evan the smallest group will develop roles, rights, and rituals to differentiate its members. Status is an important factor in understanding human behavior because it is a significant motivator and has major behavioral consequences when individuals perceive a. the disparity between what they believe their status to be what others perceive it to be.
The size of a group affects the group’s overall behavior. The impact of size on a group’s performance depends on the type of task in which the group is engaged. In an organization, the group can be formed either large or smaller.
In smaller groups- those are faster at completing tasks that are large ones and that individuals perform better in smaller groups than in large ones. Those are better at doing something productive with that input.
Large groups- those with a dozen or more members- are good for gaining diverse input. So if the goal of the group is fact-finding, large groups should be more effective. However, for groups engaged in problem-solving, large groups consistently get better marks than their smaller counterparts.
One of the most important findings related to the size of a group has been labeled social loafing. Social loafing is the tendency for ‘individuals to expend less effort when working collectively when working individually.
Group differs in their cohesiveness- that is, the degree to which members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the groups. For instances, some work groups are cohesive because the members have spent a great deal of time together, or the group’s small size facilities high interaction, or the group has experienced external threats that have brought members closer together. Cohesiveness is important because it has been found to be related to group productivity.
Studies consistently show that the relationship between cohesiveness and productivity depends on the performance-related norms established by the group. If performance related norms are high (for example, high output, quality work, cooperation with individuals outside the group), a cohesiveness group will be more productive than will a less cohesive group. But if cohesiveness is high and performance norms are low, productivity will be low. If cohesiveness is low and performance norms are high, productivity will increase but it increases less than in the high cohesiveness. When cohesiveness and performance related norms are both low, productivity tends to fall into the low-to-moderate range. To encourage cohesiveness suggestions are given below:
- Make the group smaller.
- Encourage agreement with group goals.
- Increase the time members spend together.
- Increase the status of the group and the perceived difficulty of attaining membership in the group.
- Stimulate competition with other groups.
- Give a reward to the group rather than to individual member.
- Physically isolated the group.