PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology
Chapter 8: Group Dynamics
Three functions that influence the effectiveness and productivity of groups are task functions, maintenance functions, and self-interest functions.
This is the primary reason for the establishment of a group. To achieve the task, they must have members that fulfil some or all of the following roles:
a) Initiating: By proposing tasks or goals, defining problems and suggesting procedures for a solution;
b) Information seeking: By requesting facts, seeking relevant information, and asking for suggestions or ideas;
c) Information giving: By offering facts, providing information, stating beliefs, and giving suggestions or ideas;
d) Clarifying ideas: By interpreting and clarifying input, indicating alternatives and giving examples;
e) Bringing closure: By summarizing, restating, and offering solutions;
f) Consensus testing: By checking for agreements and sending up ‘trial balloons’.
Each group needs social-emotional support to be effective. Some members of the group will take the lead in providing this support which consists of the following:
a) Encouraging: By showing regard for other members and providing positive response to their contributions;
b) Improving: Improving group by expressing group feelings, sensing moods and relationships, atmosphere: and sharing feelings;
c) Harmonizing: By reconciling differences and reducing group tension;
d) Compromising: By admitting errors and looking for alternatives;
e) Gate-keeping: By attempting to keep communications flowing, facilitating the participation of others, and suggesting procedures for sharing discussion;
f) Standard setting: By reminding members of group norms, rules, and roles.
This third function displayed by some individuals, members generally takes away from group performance and affects task achievement at the expense of the group. Activities that identify self-interest behaviour are as follows:
a) Dominating and by displaying lack of respect for others, cutting them off, controlling: not listening, and restating other members’ suggestions with a different meaning;
b) Blocking: By stifling a line of thought, and changing the topic either away from the point of view or back to his or her own interest;
c) Manipulating: By providing self-serving information, or a single point of view designed to achieve a decision that is consistent with their position;
d) Belittling: Through put-downs, sneering at other’s point of view, or making jokes about another member’s contribution;
e) Splitting hairs: By nit-picking, searching for insignificant details that delay a solution, or undermining another person’s point of view.