Many people say that the characteristic feature of the contemporary business world in western countries is individualism and competitiveness. However, group work is still essential for organizations of any kind as the vast majority of processes presupposes the involvement of groups of people. It has also been acknowledged that an effective leader should be able to manage large groups and bring people together to work on certain tasks efficiently (Verba 2015). Therefore, it is vital to understand the major concept of a group as well as the most common problems that occur while working in groups.
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Major Concepts of a Group
One of the central features of the group is the major goal that unites people (DeTombe 2015). This goal is often the reason why the group is created. In simple terms, people unite to work together to achieve certain aims. Furthermore, groups are characterized by a certain distribution of power. There can be a leader and followers, or there can be a stricter hierarchy (Alessio 2016). There are also particular roles assigned by a leader or chosen by group members.
Each member of the group can have a particular role, or there can be roles taken by several members of the group. Another feature of any group is a set of communication channels. Thus, people within the group communicate to make sure that each member of the group completes their tasks properly. To operate effectively, there should be a diversity of ideas and backgrounds but homogeneity in values and goals. Unfortunately, these two features can be difficult to establish.
Working in groups is of paramount importance for organizations, but it is often associated with numerous issues. One of these problems is the lack of understanding between the group members, which can be caused by peer pressure, different values, and interests (Rose 2011). Researchers often note that self-interest and the desire to achieve some personal (rather than organizational) goals can be regarded as some of the major issues affecting the performance of the group (Verba 2015).
The lack of understanding can also be a result of improper communication channels existing within the group. People fail to share knowledge properly, which leads to the lack of trust, collaboration, or even the development of the so-called “group hate” (Burke 2011). Thus, many people are unwilling to work in groups due to their negative experience of group work in the past. As has been mentioned above, diversity is a good feature when it comes to people’s backgrounds. However, working in such groups may require additional training or, at least, coaching as many people do not have the necessary skills to work effectively in such formations. Cultural and emotional literacy can be crucial for working in such groups.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the major features of the group are the focus on specific aims, the existence of certain roles, some power distribution, and communication channels. The most common problems associated with working in groups include the lack of understanding and effective communication, focus on personal interests, and ineffective leadership. It is clear that groups are still an indispensable part of human society, and it is important to make sure that people can collaborate effectively. This collaboration translates into discoveries and achievements for individuals, organizations as well as the entire society.
Alessio, J 2015, Social problems and inequality: social responsibility through progressive sociology, Routledge, Oxon.
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Burke, A 2011, ‘Group work: how to use groups effectively’, The Journal of Effective Teaching, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 87-95.
DeTombe, D 2015, Handling societal complexity: a study of the theory of the methodology of societal complexity and the COMPRAM methodology, Springer, London.
Rose, JD 2011, ‘Diverse perspectives on the groupthink theory – a literary review’, Emerging Leadership Journeys, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 37-57.
Verba, S 2015, Small groups and political behaviour: a study of leadership, Princeton University Press, Princeton.