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Foundations of Group Behavior


James Smith

on 25 February 2011

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Transcript of Foundations of Group Behavior

You will have 4 minutes to work with your group to solve 2 puzzles. When you’re done, or when the 4 minutes are up, write your group’s answers on the handout, fold it concealing the answers, and hold it in the air. Any group to correctly solve both puzzles within the time constraint will win 1 free coffee (or preferred beverage), per group member, brought to them in our next class on Monday. Foundations of Group Behavior Why do we have groups? Five Stages of Group Development Cohesive Groups Group Effectiveness Diversity Size Forming Storming Norming Performing Adjourning Large Groups: Group Experiment Puzzle #1: Connect all 9 dots using only 4 straight lines and also without lifting your pen/pencil from the paper. Puzzle #2: How many squares are there? Small Groups: Peoples’ individual performance tends to be higher when in a smaller group. Smaller groups tend to be much quicker at accomplishing tasks then larger groups and they tend to be more productive. Larger groups are more focused on figuring things out. They are much better at problem solving then smaller ones, due to their diverse nature. Social Identity Theory: When someone is emotionally attached to the success and failure of a group. Forming is the first of the five stages of group development. It generally consists of one or two people with common interest. At this point there is no goal or task, just common interest. Aesthetically the group, if even a group yet, looks very unstructured. It is a time of introduction and getting to know one another. Storming is the second stage of group development. This is when people begin to realize that:
1. There actually is a group, and
2. That they are a part of it. Threatened for their individuality, the storming stage can cause group conflict. The storming stage is where the group shows the first signs of structure. By the end of the storming stage, the group should have a clear chain of command. People in this stage tend to look nervous or uncertain; fighting to make sure that they have a specific purpose in the group. The norming stage is the third stage of group development. This is where majority of groups reside. The group itself has specific goals and member expectations. The group as a whole finally begins to move in one specific direction. You will see in the norming stage a shift from focus on the self, to focus on the group. There is a positive camaraderie amongst the members. The fourth stage of group development is performing. For permanent groups this is the last stage the group will reach. In the performing stage the group is working at top efficiency. It is clear that group members have established a strong bond of trust between each other. Everyone is focused on accomplishing their specific tasks for the group in or to reach the final goal, no one is worrying about another member’s performance. For temporary groups, the adjourning stage is the fifth and final stage. This is when the group has accomplished all the goals it intended on finishing. This is where you will see members leaving the group and moving on to their next group or individual goal. Positive:
If members within a group get along and work well together, generally their performance is going to be higher. Smaller groups tend to have stronger relationships than larger ones, simply because they have more face to face time. Negative:
That being said, a cohesive group might in some cases be detrimental to accomplishing the group’s goal. It is pretty common for group members to feel that they can work less hard than they normally would individually because they think that since their group works so well together it will be able to accomplish more anyway. Another way having a cohesive group can be bad thing is because of a group phenomenon called groupthink. Groupthink:
This is when a group that has a very specific ideology ignores or puts down alternative methods from within the group, regardless if they seem like the right method. Members in the group feel as if they have to go with the unanimous consensus of the group, causing them not to speak up when they should. N.A.S.A.: Challenger & Columbia N.A.S.A. holds itself as an elitist group that can essentially do no wrong. This has inevitably caused the group to make some tragic mistakes. Technology is the newest medium for groups to collaborate Negative Effects:
In the short run, diversity can actually hinder a group’s performance. Because of everyone’s different backgrounds, culture, and opinions it generally leads to greater group conflict. If diversity is introduced to the group from the very beginning, there is a good chance the group will not make it past the “storming” stage. Positive Effects:
If a group can hold out long enough, and conquer their differfences, diversity in a group can be a very good thing. The more diversity in a group, the more likely a group will be more accurate at problem solving. 1. CEO and Owner: Luke Visconti
2. Website Founded: 1998
3. Print Magazine Founded: 2002
4. Focuses on providing knowledge and education for top-management officials in the business world on diversity. They are most popularly known for their “DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.”
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