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Group Dynamics & Cohesion

Chapters 7 & 8

Lindsey Swanson

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Group Dynamics & Cohesion

Group Structure Roles Theories of Group Development What is a Group? Two or more people who interact and exert mutual influence on each other and share the following characteristics:
A collective sense of identity
Distinctive roles
Structured modes of communication
Group norms
Creating an Effective Team Climate Social support:
An exchange of resources between at least two people perceived by the provider and the recipient as intended to enhance the well-being of the recipient
Mutual respect and support enhance team climate
Provides appraisal information, reassurance, and cooperation. It reduces uncertainty in times of stress, aids in mental and physical recovery, and improves communication
Individuals in Groups While individual ability is important, the individual abilities of team members alone are not good predictors of how a team will perform

Steiner’s model
Actual productivity = potential productivity
Losses are due to faulty group processes (motivation/coordination)

The greater the need for cooperation and interaction in a task, the more the importance of individual ability decreases and the importance of group productivity increases Cohesion A dynamic process reflected in the tendency for a group to stick together and remain united in the pursuit of its instrumental objectives and/or for the satisfaction of member affective needs (Carron, Brawley, & Widmeyer, 1998)

Task cohesion:
The degree to which group members work together to achieve common goals and objectives

Social cohesion:
The interpersonal attractions among group members
Group Dynamics & Cohesion Development of groups is similar to the life cycle—birth, growth, and death

Emphasis is on the terminal phase of the group’s existence

As the group develops, it psychologically prepares for its own breakup

This model is especially relevant for groups and teams that last 10 to 15 weeks
Cyclical Perspective Shifts occur in interpersonal relationships during the growth and development of groups

Groups do not progress through linear phases

Stages of group development:
Differentiation and conflict
Resolution and cohesion
Differentiation and conflict
Pendular Perspective Linear Perspective Forming:
Familiarization, formation of interpersonal relationships, development of team structure

Rebellion, resistance to the leader and to control by the group, interpersonal conflict

Development of solidarity and cooperation; group conflicts resolved

Channeling of energies for team success Norms Group roles involve behaviors required or expected of a person occupying a certain position

Formal roles (e.g., coach, instructor, captain) are dictated by the nature and structure of the organization

Informal roles (e.g., enforcer, mediator) evolve from the group’s dynamics or interactions among group members

Role conflict exists when role occupant does not have sufficient ability, motivation, time, or understanding to achieve goal A norm is a level of performance, pattern of behavior, or belief

Leaders need to establish positive group norms or standards (especially standards or norms of productivity

Modifying norms:
The source of the communication is critical
Speaking in a rapid (versus slow, deliberate) manner increases persuasiveness
More effective when both sides of the argument are presented and there are multiple explicitly stated conclusions Proximity: Closer contact between members promotes team interaction

Distinctiveness: The more distinctive the group feels, the better the climate

Fairness—or a lack of it—can bring a group closer together

Greater similarity = closer climate Cohesion-Performance Relationship Cohesion is positively related to performance

Research has shown the cohesion–performance relationship depends on several factors:
Types of measures
increases in both task and social cohesion are associated with increased performance
Task demands
Original research argued that the cohesion–performance relationship was stronger with interacting teams (e.g., volleyball) and that no relationship existed with coacting teams (e.g., bowling)
More recent research is refuting this

Circular relationship: Increased cohesion leads to greater performance and brings teams together, which, in turn, leads to still more cohesion Other Factors Involved in Cohesion Team satisfaction
Social support
Group goals
Group status
Role clarity and acceptance
Group norms
Decision style
Collective efficacy
Gender Ringelmann effect is the phenomenon by which individual performance decreases as the number of people in the group increases

Social loafing is when individuals within a group or team put forth less than 100% effort due to loss of motivation Social Loafing Two Effects Conditions that Increase Social Loafing Eliminating Social Loafing An individual’s output cannot be independently evaluated
The task is perceived to be low in meaningfulness
An individual’s personal involvement in the task is low
A comparison against group standards is not possible
Other individuals contributing to the collective effort are strangers
Teammates or coworkers are seen as high in ability
Individual team members perceive their contribution to the outcome as redundant
The individual is competing against what he or she believes to be a weaker opponent Emphasize the importance of individual pride and unique contributions
Increase identifiability of individual performances.
Determine specific situations in which social loafing occurs
Conduct individual meetings to discuss social loafing
Appreciate each teammate’s responsibilities
Divide the team into smaller units Generate cooperative goals in the sport setting
Encourage young athletes to engage in their own problem solving rather than expect adults to solve problems for them
Enable athletes to engage in shared decision making
Design sport settings for small group activities and maximum participation
Select peer leaders on criteria other than athletic ability (e.g., leadership skills)
The desire for group success is a team-oriented motive or goal, the basis of which is the team members’ desire to derive pride and satisfaction from the team if it is successful in accomplishing its goals

Strategies for developing the desire for group success
Emphasize a pride-in-team approach with a unifying team goal
Ensure that each member’s contribution is valued and recognized by coach and teammates
Place strong emphasis on good leadership from the coach and captains
Actively work to develop both task and social cohesion
Encourage unified commitment to the team effort—reward the pursuit of excellence
Use effective communication to keep all members feeling part of the team Enhancing the Desire for Group Success Enhancing Peer Relationships Generating Success Building Cohesion Team-building exercises, clear and meaningful roles, team goals, communication, and personal sacrifice

Principles underlying cohesion:
Derive and clarify team mission
Assess team strengths and areas needing improvement
Develop action plans to improve effort and commitment
Systematic evaluation
Reflect, review, and revise group goals and plans MAPS Approach Strategies for Leaders Communicate effectively
Explain individual roles in team success
Develop pride within subunits
Set challenging team goals
Encourage team identity
Avoid formation of social cliques
Avoid excessive turnover
Conduct periodic team meetings
Enhance team efficacy
Know the team climate
Get to know others (enhance personal disclosure) Strategies for Members Get to know other members of the group
Help group members whenever possible
Give group members positive reinforcement
Be responsible
Communicate honestly and openly with leader
Give 100% effort at all times
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