Key Dynamics and Issues about Group Experience
Since various groups pursue different interests, the dynamics that are witnessed in many sets of people are not new in terms of group experience, as discussed here.
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Task and Maintenance Roles
Mostly, group task and maintenance roles in the organization, whether in the form of routine or non-routine, are significant to the group development but could create conflict among the members or between groups. Here, task division is one of the ways of minimizing group conflict because each member would be entitled to perform a specific role (Scott, 2009). On the other hand, the non-routine tasks are the ones that need problem-solving since they do not occur on a daily basis. In addition, the uncertainty of the non-routine tasks means that the process of finding the solutions should be based on a definite set of procedures.
First, the group carries out problem identification where the members deliberate on the possible conflicting issues. Second, the group does problem analysis where the issues are discussed in detail about the factual information regarding each dilemma. Third, the group identifies the solution criteria through determining the standards of evaluating the decisions and the ones applicable to solve the problems (Oliver, Woodhouse & Miall, 2011). This is followed by solution suggestions, where all the group members extensively discuss the possible solutions to get the best alternatives. Once the group has completed this phase, it embarks on solution evaluation and selection to come up with the best option. Finally, the group does solution implementation. Therefore, group decision making is through minority rule and consensus (Hartnett, 2011).
Group Problem Solving
Here, problem-solving in the group is based on the kind of conflict experienced, meaning that the approaches to finding the solution would differ significantly.
Often, the different parties experience some struggles for domination and expression of incompatible interests (Dana, 2000). This necessitates a framework of conflict resolution that would make sure that the concerned parties remain satisfied. In this group experience, competent communication is very important while solving destructive conflicts, which include fighting and shouting within the groups. Communication
Communication is essential when it comes to group decision making. Notably, it is through communication that the group members interact, either in verbal, written, or electronic form (Rothwell, 2010). However, from this group experience, destructive or destructive conflicts and their resolution is made through communication.
Development Stages of the Group
According to Rothwell (2010), William Schultz identified the following development stages that a group goes through during its operations.
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Stage One: Inclusion
This forms the start of the group that is full of anticipation of the group’s acceptance among its members. The stage is important because it enables the members to accept each other and harmonize their differences.
Stage Two: Control
This follows once the group members have resolved the problem of inclusion, thus it paves the way for them to focus on the work that the group ought to carry out, its structure, and leadership. This is the stage that sees the contest among members for the various positions that would enable them to exercise control over others (Rothwell, 2010). The members also struggle to reduce the rigidity of the group structure to allow free participation.
Stage Three: Affection
At this stage, the members of a particular group increase emotional attachments among themselves. Here, each member will show his or her affection to one another in the best way possible, including sharing views, feelings, and thought, parting, expressing their fears openly, among others.
According to Rothwell (2010), Gerald Corey also theorized the four-stages of group development, which included the following.
Initial Stage: This is the beginning of a group and presents the stage of exploration where the members identify the specific goals that the group wants to achieve individual and collective expectations.
Transitional Stage: This presents the period for which the group struggles for power. In addition, the group members try their level best to define their destiny, structure, and order.
Working Stage: this is the stage of productivity and group cohesion, and all the members are expected to take up roles and perform them towards achieving the organizational goals. This is normally possible when the groups work in solidarity of purpose.
Final Stage: at this level, the consolidation of group members has been completed, and the group is finalizing its mandate. Similarly, the group leader ensures that the group members determine the strength that led to the successful accomplishment of goals and advises them to practice the same in other undertakings.
Approaches to Leadership
Trait perspective: this approach assumes that the leader is born with inherent traits of leadership that are not fabricated. Some of the traits include height, charisma, personality, weight, intelligence, and good looks, among others (Lewin, Lippitt & White, 1939). However, such characteristics do not translate to the effectiveness of the specific person to lead.
Functional Perspective: Scholars attribute leadership to a process of directing and organizing the people. It also entails planning the roles of each individual and supervising if they actually perform the task. In this regard, the traits might not serve the leadership roles if the person cannot perform the administrative duties, but the leader completes the work.
Communication Perspective: This approach views leader as those who are able to effectively communicate ideas and sell them to the people.
Autocratic: This style of leadership is a one man’s rule where the leader neither consults others nor the available institutions while making decision. Here, the leader assumes he/she is right in all perspectives, but insists on performance rather than leisure.
Democratic: Here, the people are involved in making key decision, thus the majority wins. Since decision under this system is based on consensus, the process is much slower that in one man’s rule (Hartnett, 2011). The leader focuses on the task and gives the people enough time for engaging in social affairs.
Laissez-Faire: In this system, the leader does not engage more in decision making, but the people themselves, making them responsible for the mistakes.
The strength of leadership depends on the team leader and the policies that the entire group implements (Lewin, Lippitt & White, 1939). In addition, the leader could actually propel the group to carry out the policies, which he/she considers useful and progressive, while discouraging the ones he thinks retrogressive for the group’s future. The leader’s commitment to the organisational goals also contributes to the group’s strength and that of the leader.
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Evaluation of the Group Process
In evaluating the group processes, the various routine activities, which the members perform on daily basis, are evaluated to determine if they promote integration and bring the required change to the system (Saaty & Peniwati, 2007).
Post Meeting Reaction
This is vital since such reactions help in solving conflicts through using a collaborative approach, where the disagreeing persons, within the group are brought together to strike a compromised accord that would end the wrangles. In case of value problems among the members, competitive conflict resolution mechanism would be the most appropriate as a post meeting reaction to the problem.
Group Growth Evaluation
This evaluation is done through measuring the group success in terms of members’ integration, role accomplishment and the group’s impact on the entire system.
Dana, D. (2000). Conflict Resolution. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Hartnett, T. (2011). Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making. Moncure, NC: New Society Publishers.
Lewin, K., Lippitt, R., & White, R. (1939). “Patterns of aggressive behavior in experimentally created social climates.” Journal of Social Psychology, 10(2), 271-299
Rothwell, J. D. (2010). In mixed company: Small group communication (7th ed.). Belmont, Ca: Thomson Wadsworth.
Oliver, R., Woodhouse, T. & Miall, H. (2011). Contemporary Conflict Resolution. New York, NY: Polity Press.
Saaty, T. & Peniwati, K. (2007). Group Decision Making. Houston: RWS Publications.
Scott, V. (2009). Conflict Resolution at Work for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: For Dummies Publishers.