Foundation of Group Behaviour
There is a positive relationship between role perception and an employee’s performance evaluation. The degree of congruence that exists between an employee and the boss in the perception of the employee’s job influences the degree to which that employee will be judged as an effective performer by the boss. To the extent that the employee’s role perception fulfills the boss’s role expectations, the employees will receive a higher performance evaluation.
Norms control group member behavior by establishing standards of right and wrong. The norms of a given group can help to explain the behaviors of its members for managers. When norms support high output, managers can expect individual performance to be markedly higher than when group norms aim to restrict output. Similarly, norms that support antisocial behavior increase the likelihood that individuals will engage in deviant workplace activities.
Status inequities create frustrations and can adversely influence productivity and the willingness to remain with an organization. Among individuals who are equity-sensitive, incongruence is likely to lead to reduced motivation and an increased search for ways to bring about fairness (that is, taking another job). In addition, because lower status differences among members are likely to inhibit input from the lower status members and to under perform their potential.
The impact of size on a group’s performance depends on the type of task in which the group is engaged. Larger groups are more effective to fact finding activities. Smaller groups are more effective at action taking tasks. Our knowledge of social loafing suggests that if management uses larger groups, efforts should be made to provide measures of individual performances within the group.
We found that cohesiveness can play an important function in influencing a group’s level of productivity. Whether or not it does depends on the group’s performance related norms.
Satisfaction: As with the role perception-performance relationship, high congruence between a boss and employee as to the perception of the employee’s job shows a significant association with high employee satisfaction. Similarly, role conflict is associated with job induced tension and job dissatisfaction.
Most people prefer to communicate with others at their own status level or a higher one rather than with those below tem. As a result we should expect satisfaction to be greater among employees whose job minimizes interaction with individuals who are lower in status than themselves.
The group size satisfaction relationship is what one would intuitively expect; larger groups are associated with lower satisfaction. As size increases, opportunities for participation and social interaction decrease, as does the ability of members to identify with the group’s accomplishments. At the same time having more members also prompts dissension, conflict, and the formation of subgroups, which all act to make the group a less pleasant entity of which to be a part.
Groups generally pass through standardized sequence in their evolution. We call this sequence five-stage model of group development. Recent studies, however, indicate that temporary groups with task-specific deadlines follow a very different pattern. In this article, we describe the five-stage general model and an alternative model for temporary groups with deadlines.
The five-stage group development model characterizes groups as proceeding through five distinct stages:
Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjouring.
This is the initial stage of putting the team together where individuals learn about each other and the team requirements as well as the challenges, expectations, and the organizational structure of the team. This is also the information gathering and exploratory stage. If you have ever been put into a team or have been asked to form one then you are most definitely familiar with this phase and should be able to relate to it.
This is probably the more tumultuous phase during which the members of the team all have their own ideas and directions that they want to go in. Oftentimes team members debate, critique, and confront each other to decide on the best course of action. I’m sure my business partner can attest to the fact that we have definitely gone through our storming phase (or a few of them!). Bruce explains that this phase can be a bit uncomfortable and/or unpleasant but it’s still quite necessarily for the growth and development of the team. Usually companies go through serious problems when they cannot leave this phase thus making the entire relationship very tense and difficult for everyone.
This is the phase where the team really starts to function and work together as a team. Individuals start to understand each others work habits and ethic and everything seems much more natural. Responsibility and roles are much more clearly defined, expectations are set, and collaboration is in full swing. Most people are familiar with this and oftentimes we refer to this as being in the “zone.”
According to Bruce not all teams will reach this phase but those that too are the high-performing teams which have grown to become both knowledgeable and efficient at what they do. Supervision goes down as individuals are now capable of making appropriate decisions. This is essentially where your team really starts shining and delivering superior results.
- Adjourning and Transforming
These are two additional phases that Bruce later added to his team development. Adjourning refers to the team breaking up after the task has been completed. Transforming involves the team not breaking up but instead moving onto other tasks and objectives (from what I understand).
I found these stages of team development quite relevant. As Bruce mentions, these stages can be cyclical once changes occur, such as the introduction of a new team member or the change of some other team variable that can modify how the team works. Some of you may be familiar with this model of group development but for those that aren’t I highly recommend that you take these phases into consideration and explore them within your current organizations. I especially see these phases applicable towards Enterprise 2.0 initiatives where many companies are introducing new teams and strategies to help make the initiatives worthwhile.