Evolution of the Group
A group is defined as “a set of two or more people who interact with each other to achieve a common goal” (Gliddon, 2009). Group C was formed randomly by Professor Charles at the beginning of the term to complete various tasks as a unit throughout the MGT 5020 course. The Group consisted of eight (8) members, three (3) males and five (5) females with distinctively different personalities, ages, ethnic backgrounds and experiences.
As a group we went through the evolution and dynamics of any random collection of individuals working together. Group C could be described as a Task Group as our main objectives for formation were to complete three assignments that require diverse inputs, different creative ideas, a cohesive unit presentation and workload sharing. Evolution of the Group Throughout the term our group transitioned through the five stages of development. The initial stage was the Forming, where we were placed in groups selectively by the professor.
During our initial meeting everyone was introduced and discussions were generated to break the ice as it was the first time we would all be working together. Informal rules and expectations were communicated during this initial meeting. At the second and third team meeting, the group went into the Storming Stage of development where we started to brainstorm the topics to choose and the type of leadership role we wanted to establish within the group. Arguments developed and a few advices were shared but at the end the group’s hierarchy started to take shape.
By the middle of the term, as a group we started to work more effectively together as we could feel the cohesiveness growing between us. All members felt comfortable with each other and discussions and advices were freely welcomed and given as we all knew a little more about each individual’s personality and how to react in certain circumstances. We had transitioned into the Norming stage of our evolution. Finally towards the end of the term we were performing together as a team and the culture, hierarchy and group norms were perfectly in place.
Group C was relaxed and we became more social than before often times laughing about one another’s experiences at group meetings and trending sometimes off the topic we initially had a meeting about but never the less we were focused on accomplishing our goals as an efficient unit. Our final stage is the Adjourning Stage of development and this is where we are preparing to disband. Most Group tasks have been completed and some of us have made valuable connections and friendships during our time working together. Some members might be depressed over the loss of cohesiveness in the future.
Group Dynamics Group dynamics describes the behavior of the group, different types of groups and the attitudes of various individuals involved in the group. As earlier noted, our group was more identified with that of a task group since we were all brought together to complete a few task for a short period of time. There were eight members who each had different personalities so not every idea that was put forward by the group did some of its members agree with. There were clash of personalities and even clash of gender between two members.
On one meeting occasion a female member had conflict with one of the males about his style of conversation as she felt disrespected by comments he made, however, it was later rectified as a miscommunication between both individuals and it was dealt with accordingly. A few discussions even lead to members suppressing their ideas and even withdrawal. Social loafing became an imminent issue as the group was large enough for persons to “slip through the crack” and there were instances where conflicts erupted because members were thought not to be pulling their weight and completing their tasks that were assigned by the group itself.
Group members tend to show strong favoritism toward their own ideas in the manner by which information is processed and evaluated, thus guaranteeing their ideas will win out. Certainly, some level of group cohesiveness was necessary for us to get the task completed. After getting to know each another’s personalities and skills we assigned tasks in the area each individual had valuable experience in. For instance Chelsea was good with reviewing projects so she was assigned to correct all grammars and errors when projects are completed. We communicated well as individuals through emails and blogs members created online.
If there were any changes to assignments it was sent in real time and as an implied rule of thumb between members it was addressed to reflect the new addition. Physical Group meetings allowed for us to brainstorm and groupthink and all members made efforts to be on time at specified location for meetings regardless of their personal schedules. Group Structure Within any group, some type of structure evolves over a period of time. The members of Group C were differentiated on the basis of factors such as age, experience, aggressiveness, creativity etc.
Regardless of these factors each member occupied a position within the group. We established that since Jared was the only one within the group that had the most time and was savvy with computers he would assume the role of leader, while we supported him with the task since all other member worked and had tighter time constraints. The group would operate as a fully democratic unit where every idea and input from members was taken into consideration. However, though he was initially elected, later on Richard became our charismatic leader as he was structured, detailed and had the experience to compliment his style.
The remaining members of Group C all played equal roles by sources information for the assignments and helping to put the projects together. We communicated openly and tried to find common traits amongst each other to build our cohesiveness to function at the optimal level as a group. Intergroup/Intragroup Conflict Our Group had eight members with eight different distinctive personalities and whenever this situation arises there has to be some type of conflict which can either be good or bad.
Good conflict adds value to a group as more is learnt about individuals and future discussions or decisions would be made with these new found personality traits in mind. Because of the multiplicity of role and role sets, members may face a complex situation of simultaneous role requirements where performance of one role precludes the performance of the others. Intrarole conflict occurs when different individuals define a role according to different sets of expectations, making it impossible for the person occupying the role to satisfy all of them.
We elected Jared to be the group leader and there were certain implied conditions that we thought came with that designation, however, after a few weeks in the position some group members were unhappy with Jared because they thought he was not fulfilling all the roles as a leader. Arguments surfaced and we began to have group division which led to alliances being formed within the group for who was with or not with Jared based on these implied assumptions.
Interrole conflict can result from facing multiple roles. It happens because members simultaneously perform many roles, some with conflicting expectations. Fortunately for Group C we didn’t face this type of conflict as we created a structure where roles were specifically defined and each member knew exactly what was expected with each tasks. To say the least there were members who had issues with other members’ roles and this created a very awkward environment at times when we met to discuss tasks.
Summary Overall, being apart of this group during the term has shed a better light on why are they so important within an organization. Practically, I got the chance to experience that the productivity of a group starts with each individual and the factors that affect them at any given time during the group’s stages of development. Group C performed at an optimal level when the cohesion between us members were high and each person played the roles assigned to the efficiently and effectively.
Collectively we achieve more in a shorter time span the individually given the same time constraints and we can link this to the organizations that emphasizes group production to meet their specific goals. Our Group was divers in ethnic backgrounds which created fertile grounds for discussion and ideas based on how each individual looked at a situation from the standpoint of their own culture. Friends were made and tensions brewed but overall the experience was great being apart of group C.