Effectiveness of Group Cohesion in an Organization Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Group Cohesion Within an Organization

We often hear much about "miracle" sports teams such as the 1986 New York Mets, U.S. Hockey's Soviet Union defeating team, and even this year's curse-destroying Boston Red Sox. Long after the individual exploits of individual players are forgotten, the team effort and lore will remain. Sometimes, the team stories will even build over time. For instance, today baseball fans will remember the 1986 New York Mets as an underdog team that surmounted insurmountable odds to capture the World Series. In reality, the Mets were heavily favored that year, and had to be saved by the opposing Boston Red Sox's errant play.

Why is the concept of team so powerful in history? Because it means so much in the present. Specifically, the "chemistry" by which a team is brought together contributes to a team's success more than any other single factor. Group cohesion means more to a team than rigid performance expectations, technology investment or even star team members.

In fact, group cohesion is the most studied area of human resources management at the masters in business administration level. Professors and leading managers alike have come to realize that their time is best spent fostering a cohesive organizational environment. Rather than individually motivate everyone at the organization, strive to create an environment in which they motivate one another, and your job is done.

One of the key components to creating group cohesion is empathetic leadership. Ken Blanchard and Marc Muchnick, authors of "The Leadership Pill," note group cohesion as the leading quality to seek in the "Effective Leader." And the most effective way to foster group cohesion is through the power of affirmation.

Blanchard and Muchnick implore managers and human resources professionals to work together to bestow awards and recognition whenever possible. "Each of us has the power to recognize the goodness in others," they claim. "The Effective Leader's team found that there were endless opportunities to award 'Here's a Salute to You' certificate to deserving [employees]." (Blanchard & Muchnick, 91).

A group is motivated by salaries and bonuses, yes, but as humans, we desire to work together in an environment where we are recognized in more social ways for the work we have done well. A leader wants to foster a situation in which each member of a group understands that he or she will get the credit for a job well done, and that their leaders will not pilfer the recognition. This generosity of praise will crate an organization that feeds off its own internal energy, and that is the most desirable outcome.

What is trickier, Blanchard and Muchnick note, is to provide affirmation to members of an organization who are not performing up to par. "The Effective Leader knew that underperforming individuals were still capable of doing a good job. Instead of focusing his energy on their poor performance, he redirected their behaviors to get them back on track. To do this, he sat down with them to establish revised game plans, assigned them to projects where their talents could be better utilized, or enlisted their fellow team members to serve as mentors. The Effective Leader then affirmed these individuals with praise when their performance improved." (Blanchard & Muchnick, 91)

Let us look at each of these individual steps in fostering a group cohesion environment. First, sitting down with team members to establish revised game plans. The first step to fostering a positive team environment is realistic expectations. A leader cannot expect results that are completely unrealistic, and if such goals are set, and underperformance results, more often than not, the problem is the goal itself and not the results.

That is why the effective leader must revise his or her own game plan to foster group cohesion. A team is only as powerful as its weakest link, as we so often hear, so we must work hard to ensure that the weakest link is up to speed.

Once the leader sits down with the weakest link, she assigns them to tasks they can actually complete and complete well. That is a critical understanding in group cohesion. In order for a group to work together and succeed, each member must work efficiently, and in order to do that, each member must be tasked to something he or she can actually accomplish. Teams will strive when they are reassigned to roles that they all can fill properly and with gusto.

The main group cohesion observation comes in the next step in reassignment. The effective leader assigns mentors to the underperforming and reassigned team members. This way, the team members do not feel that they are under constant scrutiny by the leader; they have peers to whom they can go with their problems and concerns. And, presumably, the peers are highly successful, so they can serve as roll models for the newly reassigned team members as well. All in all, this cohesion effort is key: Not only does it provide one more opportunity for team members to work together, it sets up a backdrop of poorer workers emulating stronger workers.

And finally, back to affirmation. Once the cohesion reassignments and mentoring work out -- i.e., the underperforming team members have improved, even if only slightly -- the leader must recognize their efforts. And not only the efforts of the underperforming workers, but the mentors and other group members as well who were involved in the reassignment process.

Another key component of group cohesion is in an area directly pertaining to groups: meetings. When members of a group are actually face-to-face, they have to have a means by which they can work together to foster group cohesion. That is what Patrick Lencioni tries to discover in his treatise, "Death by Meeting." He examines meetings in all their forms to determine what the most effective ways are to foster group cohesion in the meeting environment.

Lencioni suggests four types of meetings: the daily check-in, the weekly tactical, the monthly strategic and the quarterly off-site review.

First, the most critical: the daily check-in. Lencioni advocates a five-minute meeting daily to "share daily schedules and activities" among team members. (Lencioni, 249) The keys to success in these meetings are to not sit down, keep it administrative and not to cancel even when some people cannot be there. The purpose of the daily check-in is to simply foster that team spirit so no individual gets too far behind. If a team member is straggling, and there are no daily meetings, the straggling could go on for up to a week if that team member does not feel comfortable enough to ask a mentor or leader what to do.

With the daily check-in, the concept of team is really built. Team members know with whom they work, and build team chemistry, which as we discussed earlier, is one of the key components of group cohesion.

Then, the second: the weekly tactical: This is a 45 minute meeting in which the team "reviews weekly activities and metrics, and resolves tactical obstacles and issues." (Lencioni, 249) The keys here are to not set the agenda before the initial reporting as to where team members stand on projects, and to postpone any strategic discussions, regardless of how pressing they seem. That last step is quite hard to accomplish: Naturally our temptation is to tackle problems head on, but sometimes group cohesion is hurt in the process. Other member's issues cannot be brought to the forefront if all the time is spent discussing one set of strategic problems.

In the weekly meeting, the team will dictate the direction of the meeting based on its initial reporting. Allow the team members to ask for what they need to better their team environment, and see if others in the team can provide that information or help. Use this weekly meeting to truly build the team cohesion spirit.

Then there is the monthly strategic meeting, which Lencioni argues is the most important in building group cohesion. This meeting lasts two to four hours and allows team members to "discuss, analyze, brainstorm and decide upon critical issues affecting long-term success." (Lencioni, 249) Here is where team members work together to decide the direction their team is headed in. The strategic questions tabled in the weekly meetings are handled here.

In these meetings, effective leaders should allow team members to take the lead. Whenever possible, allow them to work together to define goals, as then they will feel more motivated to meet and exceed them. The trick here is to have the pressure build internally among the team, and not externally from the leader. And when success is achieved, affirmation is key again: The leader should use these monthly meetings to recognize overperforming groups or individuals, thereby fostering group cohesion yet again.

And finally, according to Lencioni, is the quarterly off-site review. Here, in a meeting that lasts one or two days, the team "reviews strategy, industry trends, competitive landscape, key personnel and team development." (Lencioni, 249)…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Effectiveness Of Group Cohesion In An Organization" (2004, November 06) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/effectiveness-of-group-cohesion-in-an-organization-57533

"Effectiveness Of Group Cohesion In An Organization" 06 November 2004. Web.8 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/effectiveness-of-group-cohesion-in-an-organization-57533>

"Effectiveness Of Group Cohesion In An Organization", 06 November 2004, Accessed.8 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/effectiveness-of-group-cohesion-in-an-organization-57533

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Group Cohesion Discussing Group Cohesion

    Individuals trust that agreement speaks something relating to the fact. Complying with the group norms hence fulfils our requirement relating to mastery. When individuals privately, show their compliance since they trust group norms represent fact, the group has the impact of information. At the time when the chances are high, individuals are more inspired to take correct decisions, and hence correspond even strongly. Going away from the agreement weaken

  • Cohesion and Team Success There

    "Reponses given were on a 5-point Likert scale anchored at the extremes by strongly disagree and strongly agree." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) the results reported "show a significant relationship between team members' perceptions of efficacy and each of the four sociogram factors, with correlations exceeding .30 in each case and in the hypothesized direction." (Marcos, Miguel, Oliva, and Calvo. 2009, p.1) Individual self-efficacy in relation to

  • Org Structure the Boardman Management Group Has

    Org Structure The Boardman Management Group has a simple organizational structure consisting of a single unit. All of the management is located in one facility, which is situated adjacent to the primary area of business. The group uses this structure because most of its business is the Baderman Island Resort. It is not known if the Group even manages the original portfolio of cottages and hotels, but there are some offsite

  • Group Dynamics Discuss the Functions of Formal

    Group Dynamics Discuss the functions of formal and informal groups. How does each contribute to the organization? with examples Formal groups are organizations that have a fixed set of rules, structure and have procedures that leave little room for interpretation, and must be followed. As well, they have status symbol, limit activities of individuals in the group, set objectives and policies and coordination between people. They have rules that are readily observable

  • Group Counseling Attitudes and Perspectives

    Group counseling helps to advance self understanding and awareness which may combat repressive tendencies. Teaching coping skills in a group setting can help participants to develop needed tools and stimulate psychological growth (Lambie & Sias, 2009). Participants in group counseling also learn positive interpersonal/social skills that can be generalized beyond the hospital setting and applied in daily living (Shechtman, 2004). Cancer patients learn to adapt to novel social situations and

  • Organizational Capacity in Non Profit Organizations

    The ability to transform an organization to the next level, through specific leadership techniques, and to have the vision to carry out the task, is called transformational leadership. Transformational leaders influence by becoming the teacher, mentor and/or coach -- or a combination, rather than a hierarchical tyrant. Key is the empowering of others to achieve and surpass their own goals. Communication is the basis for this theoretical model -- the

  • High Group Cohesiveness and Its

    In Worklife Report's (2002) survey study of the effect of socialization in work relationships, it was found out that "...workers who regularly socialize with their colleagues are likely to be happier at work, have stronger team working skills and stay in one job for a longer period of time" (14). This finding illustrates how unity among members of the organization leads to better working performance and environment. Of course,

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved