Group Dynamics Week 4 DQ Essay

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Group Dynamics

Week 4 DQ 1. Recently, a conflict came about in on a business trip. The conflict related to plans that were supposed to have been made, but were not. Clear lines of responsibility were not drawn, and the task was simply not done. The conflict became personal. Ultimately, the conflict was resolved the same day. The conflict arose because of a crisis. The resolution came about from the resolution of the initial crisis. This allowed the group leader to soothe the emotional damage to the parties involved. By tackling one issue at a time (solving the problem, then dealing with the damage) the leader was able to successfully manage the conflict. This accommodation strategy was the right one for this conflict, but future conflicts may require different solutions.

DQ2. Creative thinking in groups can be enhanced through exercises to job creativity. Taking people out of their comfort zone may force them to utilize new methods of thinking, or ones that they are not accustomed to using.

The organization can place barriers that limit creativity, such as procedures and chains of command. The organization's culture can also be a barrier to creativity, in particular if creativity is generally discouraged. Rules and regulations can also be a barrier as can explicit systems for problem-solving.

Controversy can lead to the need to make a decision, and this in turn can result in increased creativity as people are forced into taking the steps necessary to find solutions to their problems.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Group Dynamics Week 4 DQ 1. Recently, Assignment

Week 5 DQ1. One of the most important cultural differences between a team and non-team environment is that the team environment has elements of interdependency, a higher need for communication, and there are ongoing relationships that need to be fostered and built. A high performance team is one that share the following essential elements not normally present in ordinary teams: shared vision, strong time orientation, strong communication skills, a zone of concern, a consistent reviewing of quality, the involvement of the entire team, self-directed work and a willingness to celebrate success. The environment is one where not only is the course of change determined but that change is also implemented, so the team typically has an environment focused on trust, support and respect.

Week 5 DQ2. I agree with this statement. I believe that the common vision is essential to the success of any team because it allows and compels the team members to be accountable to each other. The common purpose ensures that the team members are oriented towards the team's outcomes rather than their own personal outcomes. The High Performance Team website shows that trust, respect and support are critical team elements. The common purpose is what drives team members to show support and to build trust and respect -- they are all on relatively equal terms working towards a common objective.

Final Paper

This paper will examine the fundamentals of group dynamics and will argue that understanding group dynamics is a critical element to achieving the highest level of group output. It is important to understand group dynamics in today's business world because of two main factors. One of these is the importance of group work today. It is inevitable that workers and companies will need to work collaboratively either within their own organization or with other organizations. This introduces the group dynamic to the workplace. It is critical, therefore, that today's managers understand the ways in which groups work so that they can build teams that are able to leverage the unique capabilities of the team and achieve success. The other reason why it is important to understand group dynamics is because of the high level of specialization that we see in business today. Both individuals and organizations have become highly specialized, a concept that derives from the theory of comparative advantage. In order to achieve a higher level of outcome, groups and organizations must utilize the skills of a large number of individuals. Managing this process effectively requires a strong understanding of group dynamics, so that each member's contribution to the group's output can not only be maximized on an individual level, but can maximize the group's output overall.

It is this element -- the interdependence of group members -- that is the most difficult and the most important to manage effectively. If each group member worked independently, the individual outputs might be optimized, but they might not deliver a total group output that is maximized. By introducing systems of mutual support, group members can become more oriented towards group outputs rather than individual ones. It is the support that can raise the level of individual outputs by providing expertise and resources to a worker that, if they were not provided, might have reduced that worker's output level. The combined output given a system of mutual support is likely to be higher than the combined output without mutual support. This renders the team members dependent on one another for the achievement of the highest levels of output.

It is said that some research regarding group dynamics is not always relevant or valid because each group has its own dynamic, defined by its purpose, its composition and its resources. However, group theory has identified some key elements of group success that are near-universal and it is on those elements that This paper will focus.

Group Effectiveness Vs. Individual Effectiveness

The key to the value of understanding group dynamics is that it allows the members of the group to, when their total output is measured, to exceed the maximum total output of the members' combined individual efforts. The simple act of placing individuals in a group together will not guarantee superior results, however. In fact, the results may be inferior to individual results. Superior results come when the group dynamics are shaped in ways that foster a strong degree of interdependence, trust and support among the team members.

Cohen and Bailey (1997) showed that group dynamics covers a wide range of different variables, each of which are essential to fostering superior team function. These variables are function of task, function of group, organizational design, environmental factors, internal processes, external processes and group psychosocial traits. Individuals working independently can succeed on the basis of task function, environmental factors and external processes. The group dynamic introduces the other variables. For example, the function of the group encompasses a common purpose. This common purpose will impact the structure of the individual task as well, since some group members will play a supporting role and therefore not be responsible for final output. One of the earlier examples in business is the comparison between the assembly line and the individual factory worker. The specialization of task means that the assembly line workers have a high degree of interdependency and trust. The workers' individual tasks support each other towards a common goal. In doing so, workers are able to achieve a higher degree of individual task excellence than they otherwise would. The result is that a team of hundreds of workers can produce a car more quickly and effectively than a single individual, who would face downtime producing a car himself and would have variable degrees of competency at the individual tasks as well. The assembly line in a basic team with simple tasks, but the underlying theory can be applied to today's complex teams and tasks.

Group psychosocial traits are another critical element that must be addressed in order for group output to be superior to individual output. People's behavior in group settings is unique, and is not always positive. For example, Groysberg et al. (2010) showed that high-status individuals can decrease group performance. Star individual performers can become oriented towards tasks that increase their star status rather than increase group output, which ultimately detracts from group performance. This example indicates a fundamental truth about group dynamics -- the way the team works together is critical to group success. The stronger performers benefit from the support provided by weaker performers, but those weaker performers also learn to improve their performance with the assistance of the stronger performers. Without interdependence, this interaction may be limited, which will reduce group effectiveness.

On the whole, however, when the group is managed effectively, the group's output will be higher than the collective individual outputs of the group members. That this output is dependent on task organization, maintaining an optimal psychosocial dynamic and the design of the group illustrates the importance of understanding group dynamics to achieving the superior performance for which groups have the potential.

Group Cohesiveness

Group cohesiveness can be understood as the degree to which the group works towards the common purpose. Group cohesiveness is important because it is what allows the group to achieve superior outcomes to individual performers. Interdependency is critical to building group cohesiveness, as is attention to the psychosocial elements of group behavior. Transformational leaders, for example, are able to realign followers' values to create a more cohesive group, allowing for an improvement in group effectiveness (Jung & Sosik, 2002).

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