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Nestle Company’s Group Dynamics and Performance

Abstract

This study explored the impact of group dynamics on the performance of individual employees, which in turn affects the total productivity of the company. The researcher used a total of 25 employees of the Nestle Company in examining the impact of group dynamics on their operations in the company. The researcher stratified the employees into blacks, Latinos, White Americans, women and men. The researcher then randomly picked five respondents from each stratum. These groups revealed that the stigma that exists among employees affects their productivity, though they feel the effect in different proportions depending on the appropriateness of the environment to them. The female employees felt the impact more than any other social group.

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Introduction

In many companies, employees come from different cultural backgrounds, families, countries and, sometimes, continents (Levi 9). Companies also employ people who belong to different sexes and age groups. Whenever people with various cultural orientations and attitudes come together, conflicts are likely to arise (Levi 10). The occurrence of conflicts in companies can cause drastic effects on the productivity of the company. When people from these categories work together, conflicts arise because of their differences. For example, many male employees drink, worry about how to treat their pregnant wives and share attitudes about women.

On the other hand, the women encounter problems that affect their performance. For example, they menstruate every month and get pregnant at some points in their lives. All these factors have serious implications on the productivity of the employees. Race and sex can also have a major impact on the productivity of the employees. In fact, this paper uses sex and race in determining the impact of group dynamics on the productivity of employees in a company. These two factors affect the way the employees relate with each other or their bosses. According to Jackson-Dwyer, dealing with a common problem requires cooperation and knowledge sharing among human beings (4). Therefore, divisions due to these factors will affect cooperation and the processes of sharing knowledge, which in turn lowers the rate of productivity.

Problem Statement

Relationships in any social setting are very important. They positively contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing as well as the longevity of people (Dwyer 4). However, they can create serious problems among individuals if they are not well managed (5). Nonetheless, human beings, being social creatures, cannot do without relationships. They need each other in order to create more resources. There are different types of relationships in human life (Jackson-Dwyer 5). Most of them are based on the social categories such as race, sex, class, position, religion and level of education. This study examined the impact of two of such social relationships on the productivity of a company. Precisely, it looked at the effect of race and sex on the productivity of employees in a company. The findings in this study were then used in making a general conclusion about the impact of social dynamics on the productivity of a company.

Hypothesis

Group dynamics, the different social categories and other shared traits, have an impact on the productivity of employees in a company. The impact on every employee in turn affects the productivity of the entire company because each employee’s performance contributes to the performance of the company at large. The following two questions were used for determining the impact of group dynamics on the productivity of the Nestle Company:

  1. Does the way people interact in a company affect their productivity?
  2. Do the different social categories and shared behaviors have any impact on the interpersonal relationship in a company?

Literature Review

Jackson-Dwyer argues that human beings share common problems and solving them is only possible through their sociality (4). By this statement, she means they must help each other in order to overcome the problems. He goes further to argue that each person’s adaptation to different physical environments is dependent on their cooperation and sharing of knowledge within and outside their generations (4). In addition, she argues that social groups create the spirit of sharing tasks and information, which she believes helps coordinate actions within the groups for the benefit of everybody in the group (5). Her argument implies that the sociality of human beings helps them overcome big problems through sharing them. Therefore, it is easier for them to handle big problems when they handle them together than when every person handles his or her problem individually. In a company setting, therefore, groups can help improve the performance of the company if the relationship among the members is well coordinated.

Kelley proposes three factors as important to the existence of interpersonal relationships (3). He argues that such a relationship depends on three factors which are dependent on each other in the “consequence of some habits, interacting in a manner that is responsive to the outcomes of the other partner and attribution of interactive events to dispositions” (Kelly 4). According to Kelley, people become more dependent on each other based on what they do for each other (4). He also argues that they sometimes drop their interests for the sake of their partners’ interests (4). Therefore, when people become close to each other to the extent of forming partnerships, they become more concerned with their partners’ interests than theirs.

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Longres indicates that the relationship within a group falls under the social process (7). He insists that many people interact with colleagues or create forums that are essential for the generation of ideas. He also argues that there is a high level of accomplishment among individuals who support group competency because they are always willing to listen to other people’s views. According to him, such people are not afraid of criticism. One of the key challenges facing individuals working for organizations is the complexity of tasks (Longres 8). However, with the help of groups, they can subdivide the tasks among themselves to ease the burden on individual members of the group. According to Longres, factors that impact constructive group dynamics may vary depending on the background of individuals and their relationship with their colleagues (8). In the context of a company, the background can strongly affect the working relations at the workplace as there is a thin line between home and workplace (11). Therefore, people can develop relationships similar to family relationships with fellow employees.

Method

The researcher used the survey method of data collection in gathering the information used for this study. The survey method was appropriate for the study because it was relatively easier to administer. More so, designing it required less time compared to other methods of collecting data. Other general advantages of survey include the possibility of carrying out surveys remotely via mobile devices, online, mail or email (Vogt 9). Using survey also makes the process of collecting data from many respondents easier because it helps handle huge populations using samples (Vogt 10). Standardized surveys are comparatively free from many types of errors. In addition, they can collect a wide range of data including the opinions of employees, their beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors (Vogt 11).

On the negative side, the drawbacks involved in using survey include discomfort among respondents when responding to questions that present them in a negative way (Vogt 8). Worse still, respondents may also lie to the researchers with the purpose of hiding some truths. This study addressed these problems by stratifying the respondents into groups that had common traits. The strata helped get rid of the discomfort among the respondents as all of them had similar traits and experiences, and talking about them in the presence of their colleagues was not a problem.

    1. Questionnaires were used to collect information from the respondents to reduce the amount of time spent on data collection. Since the study aimed at collecting information about the employees’ opinions about the impact of their social categories and their productivity in their companies, the researcher had to use both qualitative and quantitative research methods (Creswell 215). The questionnaires aimed at collecting data that could be represented using figures and data that could not be represented using figures (Babbie 24). The questions were uniform and close-ended, and the respondents only had to tick against the most appropriate options.
    2. The study used the stratified random sampling method with the purpose of selecting male, female, black, white and Latino employees of the Nestle Company. The employees did not have difficulties participating in the study. They readily accepted the researcher’s request to have them participate in the study. There were a total of five strata: men, women, blacks, whites and Latinos. Five people were randomly chosen from each of the strata to fill in the questionnaires. The employees were asked to fill-in their questionnaires during lunch breaks to avoid interrupting the operations of the company, and they finished the exercise by the end of the one-hour lunch break.

Findings

A total of 25 respondents were selected from the entire population of workers at the Nestle Company. Therefore, there were 5 black employees, 5 Latino employees, 5 white employees, 5 men and 5 women. 75% of the black employees said that their color affected the way they related with the other employees. They went further to report that the strained relationship between them and other employees in turn affected their rate of productivity. 10% of white employees reported that they did not comfortably interact with the employees who belonged to the other two races. None of them said the poor relationship affected their productivity. 40% of the Latino employees indicated that they did not relate well with employees from the other two races. 20% of them indicated that their relationship with the rest of the employees affected their performance.

80% of the female respondents indicated that their relationship with other employees negatively affected their performance. On the other hand, only 20% of their male counterparts indicated that their sex affected their productivity. The remaining 80% had no problems interacting with the female employees.

Analysis

The findings indicate that the different groups of employees were differently affected by their social category. 75% of black employees indicated that their color affected their relationship with the rest of the employees. This situation might have resulted from racial discrimination or their inferiority complex. Racial discrimination might have demotivated them, making them less concerned with working for the company. It might also have made them feel inferior before employees who belonged to the other two races. Feeling inferior might have made them underperform in whatever duties they had in the company.

On the other hand, only 10% of white employees felt uncomfortable relating with employees who belonged to the other two races. Furthermore, none of them believed that relating poorly with the other employees affected their rates of productivity. The reason for this situation could be the position of whites in the American society. History favors them: they always experience less stigmatization compared to blacks and Latinos. On the other hand, the slavery the Black-Americans went through disadvantaged them by making them inferior to the other races.

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The findings also indicated that 40% of the Latino employees experienced stigmatization. Out of this percentage, only half of them believed the stigma affected their productivity while the remaining 80% thought that it never affected their performance. The reason they experienced less stigma compared to the blacks could be the closeness of their skin color to the white Americans. The lack of an effect on their performance could be because the other races consider them as hardworking as the white Americans.

80% of the female respondents indicated that their sex affected their performance. The reason for this situation could also be stigma or abuse by their colleagues. Some men still consider women a weaker sex. As a result, they belittle and harass them using all possible means. Some of them go to the extent of touching them against their wish. Such mistreatment makes them uncomfortable while at work, and in the long-run, their productivity is also affected. On the other hand, only 20 % the male employees reported that their sex affected their productivity. This situation could have resulted from the treatment their female counterparts got from their seniors. Some bosses handle female employees better than men. This treatment could have made them feel discriminated.

Conclusion

Group dynamics have an effect on the productivity of employees. The nature of every group of people has its impact on the performance of the individuals. The reason for the impact the dynamics have on the productivity of the employees is their effect on personal relationships. Many of the social groups find it hard relating with each other. This study has examined the impact of race and sex on the productivity of employees in the Nestle Company. The samples the researcher picked had different opinions regarding the impact of their races and sexes on their productivity. Blacks and women recorded the highest number of individuals whose performance was affected by their social status. The impact on the Latinos was not as pronounced as that on the female and black employees. White employees felt a very negligible effect. Therefore, group dynamics have an impact on the productivity of employees and companies, but it depends on the social setting in which the employees work. If the setting favors them, then they will feel very little impact. If it does not favor them, a very great impact will be felt.

Works Cited

Babbie, Earl. The Basics of Social Research, 2010. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Print.

Creswell, John. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approach, 2013. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Print.

Jackson-Dwyer, Diana. Interpersonal Relationships, 2013. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. Print.

Kelley, Harold. Personal Relationships: Their Structures and Processes, 2013. New York, NY: Psychology Press. Print.

Levi, Daniel. Group Dynamics for Teams. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, 2001. Print.

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Longres, John. Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 2007. Itasca, IL: FE Peacock Publishers. Print.

Vogt, W. Paul. Data Collection. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2010. Print.

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