2. Group Dynamics
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the
only thing that ever has.”
• The social process by which
people interact and behave in a
group environment is called group
• Group dynamics involves the
influence of personality, power,
and behaviour on the group
4. To identify and analyze the social
processes that impact on group
development and performance.
To acquire the skills necessary to
intervene and improve individual and
group performance in an organizational
To build more successful organizations by
applying techniques that provide positive
impact on goal achievement.
5. TYPES OF GROUPS
1. Primary groups
2. Secondary groups.
3. Planned groups
4. Emergent groups.
5. Informal Groups
6. Formal Groups
6. PRIMARY GROUP:
• Primary groups are clusters of people
like families or close friendship circles where
close, face-to-face and intimate interaction is
• There is also often a high level of
interdependence between members.
• Primary groups are also the key means of
socialization in society, the main place where
attitudes, values and orientations
are developed and sustained.
• E.g. Families, close friends.
7. SECONDARY GROUP:
• Secondary groups are those in
which members are rarely, if ever, all in direct
• They are often large and usually formally
• Trades unions and membership organizations
such as the National Trust are examples of
• They are an important place for socialization,
but secondary to primary groups.
8. Planned groups
• Planned groups are specifically formed for some purpose – either
by their members, or by some external individual, group or
• It is of two type:
Concocted: Planned by individuals or authorities outside the group
e.g. military units, professional sports teams.
Founded: Planned by one or more individuals who remain within the
group e.g. Study groups, small businesses, clubs, associations.
9. Emergent groups
• Groups that form spontaneously as individuals find
themselves repeatedly interacting with the same
subset of individuals over time and settings.
Circumstantial: Emergent, unplanned groups
arising when external, situational forces set the
stage for people to join together, often only
temporarily, in a unified group.
E.g. Waiting lines (queues), crowds, mobs,
• Emerge when interacting individuals
gradually align their activities in a cooperative
system of interdependence.
• Example: Study groups, friendship cliques in
a workplace, regular patrons at a bar.
11. INFORMAL GROUPS
• These groups may get formed within
an organization or outside an organization.
• They do not necessarily follow the rules and
guidelines of the organization.
• They informally follow the guidelines of the
• These groups are called interest groups,
friendship groups, reference groups etc.
• For e.g. All employees of a section meet and
discuss how to improve and beautify office
12. FORMAL GROUPS
• These groups are formally created in
an organization and follow the rules and
guidelines prescribed by the organization.
• There are three types of formal group:-
Task groups or task forces
13. COMMAND GROUPS
• They are explained by formal
organization structure and depicted on
the organizational chart.
• A company’s organization network starting with
the chairman of board of directors through its
various levels of managers right down to the
workers is a typical command group example.
14. TASK GROUPS OR TASK FORCES
• People working together to achieve a common
task form a task group or a task force.
• Members are grouped together either from the
same department or cross-functionally to
complete some specified goals on a timeline.
• These task forces are appointed for a specified
periods and disbanded after the goals are
15. FUNCTIONAL GROUPS
• Functional group is created to carry out
specific functions in an organization.
• These are normally on-going departments
of an organization and are permanent till re-
structuring of organization is undertaken.
16. Some benefits of groups:
• Groups offer people the opportunity to
work together on joint projects and tasks.
• They can be significant sites of socialization and
education – enabling people to develop a sense
of identity and belonging.
• They can be significant places where
relationships can form and grow.
17. Some benefits of groups:
• They can be significant places where people
can find help and support.
• These are the significant settings where
18. DANGERS OF GROUPS:
• The socialization offer by groups might be
highly constraining and oppressive for some
of their members.
• They can foster interpersonal conflict.
• The boundaries drawn around groups are
part of a process of excluding certain people
and creating inter-group conflict.
• Groups can impact upon individuals in ways
that warp their judgements and that lead to
damaging decision making.
19. SOME KEY DIMENSIONS OF GROUPS:
• Group interaction
• Group interdependence
• Group structure
• Group goals
• Group cohesion
20. Formation of Groups
• Individuals sharing common sentiments,
purpose and activities start interacting and
form a group.
• When individuals perceive that they can
expect beneficial exchanges explicitly or
implicitly by forming the group, they do so
and become part of the group.
• When individuals believe that they can get an
identity, belongingness, self-esteem or
prestige by affiliating to a particular or
significant or prominent group, they do so.
21. Group Size
• To express individual viewpoints
• To develop social relationships
• To ensure everyone participates
• For individual recognition
• Larger groups increase the possibility of conflict due to
the variety of viewpoints, few opportunities for the
development of social relationships, a decrease in
participation levels, and lack of opportunity for individual
Issues to be considered include opportunities:
22. Group Structure
• Individual skills and performance must be a consideration
in forming a group.
• Diversification is a factor in both group development and
• A more diverse group may take longer to reach peak
performance due to the number of cultures, language
differences, and interpretation of the task to be completed,
but once they do develop, diverse groups are equally
23. Group development
• Organizational experts and practitioners have observed that
new groups go through a number of stages before they
achieve maximum performance.
• Each stage presents the members with different challenges
that must be overcome before they can move on to the next
• These stages have been identified as
• At this first stage of development, members are
preoccupied with familiarizing themselves with the task
and to other members of the group.
• This is sometimes referred to as the dependent stage, as
members tend to depend on outside expertise for
guidance, job definition, and task analysis.
• At this stage, the group encounters conflict as members
confront and criticize each other and the approach the
group is taking to their task.
• Issues that arise include identification of roles and
responsibilities, operational rules and procedures, and the
individual need for recognition of his or her skills and
• Lack of skills, ability or aptitude can also contribute to their
inability to get beyond this stage.
• At this point, members start to
resolve the issues that are creating
the conflict and begin to develop
their social agreements.
• The members begin to recognize
their interdependence, develop
cohesion, and agree on the group
norms that will help them function
effectively in the future.
• When the group has sorted out
its social structure and
understands its goals and
individual roles, it will move
toward accomplishing its task.
• Mutual assistance and creativity
become prominent themes at
• During this phase, the group
will resort to some form of
closure that includes rites and
rituals suitable to the event.
These may include socials and
parties, or ceremonies that
exhibit emotional support or
celebration of their success.
30. Group Functions
Three functions that
influence the effectiveness
and productivity of groups
are task functions,
maintenance functions, and
31. Task functions
• This is the primary reason for the establishment of a group to
achieve the task, they must have members that fulfil some or all
of the following roles:
a) Initiating: by proposing tasks or goals, defining problems and
suggesting procedures for a solution;
b) Information seeking: by requesting facts, seeking relevant
information, and asking for suggestions or ideas.
c) Information giving: by offering facts, providing information,
stating beliefs, and giving suggestions or ideas.
32. d) Clarifying ideas: by
interpreting and clarifying input,
indicating alternatives and giving
e) Bringing closure: by
summarizing, restating, and
f) Consensus testing: by
checking for agreements and
sending up ‘trial balloons’.
33. Task behavior
• Each group needs social-emotional support to be effective.
Some members of the group will take the lead in providing
this support which consists of the following:
a) Encouraging: by showing regard for other members and
providing positive response to their contributions;
b) Improving group by expressing group feelings, sensing
moods and relationships, atmosphere: and sharing feelings;
c) Harmonizing: by reconciling differences and reducing
d) Compromising: by admitting errors and looking for
e) Gate-keeping: by attempting to keep
communications flowing, facilitating the participation
of others, and suggesting procedures for sharing
f) Standard setting: by reminding members of group
norms, rules, and roles.
35. Self-interest Behaviour
• It generally takes away from group performance and affects task
achievement at the expense of the group. Activities that identify
self-interest behaviour are as follows:
a) Dominating and by displaying lack of respect for others, cutting
them off, controlling: not listening, and restating other members’
suggestions with a different meaning;
b) Blocking: by stifling a line of thought, and changing the topic
either away from the point of view or back to his or her own
36. c) Manipulating: by providing self-serving information, or a
single point of view
designed to achieve a decision that is consistent with their
d) Belittling: through put-downs, sneering at other’s point
of view, or making jokes about another member’s
e) Splitting hairs: by nit-picking, searching for insignificant
details that delay a solution, or undermining another
person’s point of view.
37. Group Norms
• Social standards and
• Collectively held expectations
of group functioning;
• Provide regularity and
predictability to group
38. Types of Norms
• Work performance/attendance;
• Rearranging personal space;
• Assisting co-workers;
• Dress codes;
Standards related to:
Assigned roles - chair, secretary, manager,
Emergent roles - confidant, group clown, gossip,
40. Factors That Impact Effectiveness
Role Ambiguity - worker
is unclear of job definition;
Role Conflict - worker
experiences job overlap.
42. Affected by the ability of the group to:
Work as a unit, share tasks, recognize member
Conflict, role ambiguity, lack of motivation;
High performers, opportunists, achievers;
Group size, cliques, acts of protest, self-interest behavior