Causes of Formation and Effects of Groups

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 8: Group Dynamics

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Causes of Formation of Group

1. Affiliation

It involves the need to be with other people. Man is a social animal and he wants to be with other people, talk to them and express his feelings and emotions with others.

2. Identification

Many people have the desire to be identified as a member of a social group, thus providing them recognition and status. E.g. people join religious cults, sports clubs, social service society etc to be linked to these groups and be identified socially by them.

3. Common interests and goals

People who have common interest and goals form groups to share and improve upon their interest and also to attain the goal. E.g. musical bands are formed for this reason.

4. Emotional support

People who need emotional support also join groups.

5. Personal characteristics

Skills, attitudes and personality characteristics permit members to be attracted to one another and form groups.

6. Goal accomplishment

As different people have different knowledge, skills and resources, it helps in the achievement of goals by careful division of labour among group members.

7. Security

People join groups for security, also to reduce the insecurity of “standing alone”, feel stronger and more resistant to threats. Be it a group of society or in an organization, a group gives a sense of security and safety to its members from external forces.

8. Monotony

Informal groups in the organization are formed to remove monotony and boredom caused by the nature of their job and to refresh themselves.

9. Assignment

In the work place the most common reason for joining groups is that employees are assign to them. Groups may be formed with or without the consent of the workers in organizations where work is assigned to a group of people. Committees, departments etc. are the result of such group formations.

Effects of Groups

1. Achievement

Effective groups achieve high levels of task performance, member satisfaction, and team viability.

2. Synergy

With synergy groups accomplish more than the total of the members’ individual capabilities. Synergy is necessary for organizations to compete effectively and achieve high performance in the long term.

3. Social loafing as a performance problem

Social loafing is the tendency of people to work less hard in a group than they would individually. Reasons for social loafing are 

a. Individual contributions are less noticeable in the group context.

b. Some individuals prefer to see other carry the workload.

4. Social facilitation as a performance problem

It is the tendency of a person’s behaviour to be influenced by the presence of others. It results in positive effects on the performance when a person is proficient in the task. Also, it has been found that performance of simple, routine tasks tends to increase in the presence of others. It results in negative effects on task performance when the task is not well learned or when the task is more complex and requires more attention.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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