Factors Affecting Group Performance

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 8: Group Dynamics

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Factors Affecting Group Performance

Several variables influence group performance and satisfaction:

1. External conditions:

  1. Organization strategy (to reduce cost improving quality at spending market share or drinking the size of its overall appearance)
  2. Authority structures (example: who will report to whom, who makes decisions and what decisions individual or group are empowered to make)
  3. Formal regulation: the more regulations, rules, policies imposed the more the behaviour of work group will be consistent and predictable
  4. Organization resources (tools, equipment, facilities)
  5. Reward system
  6. Organizational culture (honesty integrity)
  7. Physical work setting

2. Group Member Resources

a. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

The performance of a group may be influenced by the intellectual abilities of each of its members. Individuals, who have task related abilities for attaining the group’s task tend to be more involved in activities of the group, generally contribute more and more likely to emerge as the group leaders, and are more satisfied if their talents are effectively utilized by the group.

b. Personality of Group Member:

Employees who are emotionally stable, have urge to learn and perform, are open to experience etc. are better suited for group performance.

3. Group structure:

Groups have structure that shapes the behaviour of members and that makes possible to explain and predict a large portion of individual behaviour within the group or as well as the performance of the group. They include:

a. Formal leadership

b. Group Roles

i.e., position to every individual. Role played by the member affects the performance of the group. Factors which determine the role of its members are role identity, role perception, role expectations, role inaction, and role conflict.

c. Group Norms

Acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that are shared by the group members. Group norms are a set of beliefs, feelings and attitudes commonly shared by group members. These are also referred to as rules or standards of behavior that apply to group members.

4. Status

5. Group Size

Groups of small sizes perform best as they are more cohesive. Large groups have lower productivity, less coordination and low morale. Groups with 5 numbers of people are considered to be best.

Ideal group size is 5 to 7 members. size has impact on productivity, bigger the size lesser the productivity.
a. Less than 5 members result in
     i. Fewer people to share task responsibility
     ii. More personal discussions
     iii. More complete participation
b. More than seven members results in
    i. Fewer opportunities to participate
    ii. More member inhibitions
    iii. Domination by aggressive members
    iv. Tendency to split into subgroups

6. Composition of Group

Diverse ability and information leads to higher performance

7. Group Cohesiveness

Cohesiveness refers to the extent of liking each member has towards each other and how far everyone wants to remain as a member of group or we can say the interpersonal glue that makes members of the group stick together. Group cohesiveness is the extent to which group members trust one another, are committed to accomplishing a team goal, and share a feeling of group pride. 

8. Group Homogeneity

Homogeneity is the extent to which its members are similar. A homogeneous group contains members who are similar in some or most ways.

9. Stability of Membership

The greater the stability of the group the greater the cohesiveness. Thus, groups in which members remain for long periods of time are more cohesive and performs better than groups that have high turnover.

10. Isolation

Physical isolation is another variable that tends to increase a group’s cohesiveness. Groups that are isolated or located away from other groups tend to be highly cohesive.

Relationship between Group Cohesiveness, Performance Norms and Productivity

  1. If group norms or attitudes are favourable a cohesive group will be more productive. The more cohesive the group, the more productive its members will be.
  2. But if group norms are unfavourable to organization (low output, resistance to change, non-cooperative attitude) a cohesive group will be less productive.
  3. When cohesiveness is low and group norms do not support organization goals, cohesiveness does not exercise much influence on productivity.

Thus, when group norms are supportive of performance, cohesive groups are highly productive.

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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