Organizational Behavior The Relevance Of Understanding Group Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Organizational Behavior

The relevance of understanding group behavior as well as group properties cannot be overstated. This is more so the case for those keen on becoming effective managers and/or members of various groups. Managers who happen to be familiar with group behavior within organizations are more likely to fast track the accomplishment of the various goals and objectives of their respective organizations by amongst other things using groups more effectively.

Nature of Groups and Group Behavior within Organizations

Key Definitions

A group according to Griffin and Moorhead (2011, p.240) "is two or more people who interact with one another such that each person influences and is influenced by each other person." It is however important to note that apart from this definition, several other definitions of a group have been proposed by various authors.

Types of Groups

In basic terms, groups can be divided into two. On one hand are formal groups and on the other, informal groups. Formal groups according to Griffin and Moorhead (2011) are established by an entity for the performance of the said entity's duties or work. On the other hand, informal groups in the opinion of the authors "are formed by their members and consist of friendship groups, which are relatively permanent and interest groups, which may be shorter lived" (Griffin and Moorhead 2011, p.243). The key distinguishing factor between informal and formal groups is that while formal groups are established by the organization in question, informal groups are rather spontaneous. In that regard, the various roles members of formal groups perform are largely predetermined. Roles in informal groups are dependent on members' interactions.

2.3 Stages of Group Development

Group development takes time and in most cases, groups pass through a number of phases before addressing the purpose of their formation and consequently adjourning. In this section, I will address the various stages of group development identified...
...According to Martin (2005), Tucker originally came up with four basic stages and later on teamed up with Jensen to add the fifth stage.

2.3.1 Forming

This is the first stage of group development according to Martin (2005). In addition to getting to know each other, members of the group in this particular stage also seek to familiarize themselves with the task (s) at hand. Roles and hierarchy also begin to be defined during this stage.

2.3.2 Storming

According to Martin (2005), this stage marks the emergence of a formal structure. This stage is also often characterized by both conflict and competition as the confidence of group members begins to increase and as group members begin to present their own agenda to the group. As Martin (2005, p.233) points out, "if successfully handled, this stage leads to a more focused group…"

2.3.3 Norming

Cohesion is the main characteristic of this stage of group development. The stage in the words of Martin (2005, p.233) also "reflects the process of establishing the norms to be operated within the group."

2.3.4 Performing

It is during this stage that the group reaches its peak in regard to its effectiveness in addressing its various objectives. Not all groups are lucky enough to reach this stage though. As Martin (2005) points out, a group in this stage of development can be regarded mature.

2.3.5 Adjourning

This is the stage in which the group is broken-up, disbanded or 'unformed' after the accomplishment of the task which informed its formation in the first place (Martin, 2005).

2.4 Group Norms

A norm in the words of Griffin and Moorhead (2011, p.249), "is a standard against which the appropriateness of a behavior is judged." In that regard, norms in a group setting come in handy in the maintenance of consistency in behavior. Most groups use norms to control their groups and hence the relevance of norms when it comes to enhancing the viability of a…

Sources Used in Documents:


Griffin, R.W. And Moorhead, G. 2011. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. 10th ed. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Hellriegel, D. And Slocum, J.W. 2007. Organizational Behavior. 11th ed. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Martin, J. 2005. Organizational Behavior and Management. 3rd ed. Bedford Row, London: Thomson Learning.

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