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This is a research on how groups play an important role in a person's behaviour and attitude within a management or an organisation. In this research, different tools, theories, models, classroom activities and lecture notes are considered for the research review. The first step is to understand the type of group in which the individual is in and then we consider research on literature. People driving together towards collaboration can be considered as a Group. A Groups collaboration is to finish the task on which they are assigned on. A Team of humans cannot be considered as a group but a team is a group of people who are worthy to be trusted and can be depended highly in order to accomplish a work assigned for the convenience of the administration or to achieve a common goal. Group can also be defined as a number of people having a unified relationship with a unified understanding among each other. A person within a group should always be committed not only in his personal growth but in the growth of other members in his team. A team should do more than what is expected and should outperform a group. Guiding a team member can also help more in the performance of the team.
These groups can be split into formal and informal groups. The formal groups are formed by managers in order to organise and delegate the work load within an organisation. Informal groups are formed by personal preferences for satisfying psychological and social needs (Mullins, L. 2005).The formal group includes the policies, systems, rules and regulations that show the relationship between individuals are effectively to be in place so that work can be achieved effectively with better productivity. Informal group can also be defined as a team of people who have common work experience which can lead to inter personal development in relationships. This can lead to values beyond work environment (Palazzolo, C.S. 1981). Informal groups are grouped by common interest, friendliness and in some cases group goals. Leadership plays an important role in both the groups in the form of Formal leader's variables and Informal leader's variable.
According to Bowers and Seashore (1967), there are four dimensions to be an effective leader:
Supportive- This is a functional behaviour for maintaining or increasing an individual's importance in an activity within a group.
Interactive facilitation- This is a functional behaviour for maintaining or creating a good interpersonal relation among the individuals in a group.
Goal Oriented-This behaviour is a functional type and is concerned with creating, clarifying or helping the group members achieve their goals.
Work Assistance-This is the last functional behaviour and this behaviour helps in creating effective work strategies and methods for achieving group goals. The groups are supported and assisted in their every task by their leader.
According to Muti (1968) there are variables for being an effective informal leader:
Achievement of personal goals- Before you be a leader, success is nothing but growing yourself but when u become a leader then success is all about making others grow.
Development of norms*- An informal leader should be a well abled person who can develop and change the group's objectives or goals. When a leader speaks, the group listens and then get influenced. But, if a leader expect things to change very fast then it can risk their position.
The above literature is a detailed explanation on the main concept of the assignment in which a group and the types of group are defined. Now let's consider the activities, theories and concepts that helped me to develop as a confident leader describing my role when I was put in the class activity.
This group activity consisted of six members in a team. I was assigned as the observer for this task in my group. My role was to closely observe the activity and then create a report which I had to be handed over to the task head. The activity was a priority type based on a cave case study where priority has to be chosen. The restriction in this case study was that only one person can be rescued every hour. On the flip side, the level of water was rising and would drown most of the people if not acted quickly and this can affect the rescue operation. Each groups were provided 45 minutes for this activity. Flight and fight theory was related to this activity as each individual had to deal with psychological stress. After my close evaluation of this activity, it was discovered that every group member was supporting different person in the priority list and each member had number of reasons for supporting their person. I was surprised as there were no common ground on the priority and I felt that it was due to behavioural issues among the group members or due to lack of communication as many conflicting questions rose and there was difference in opinion among each members.
As an observer, I noticed that instead of speaking in a group of six there were groups of two in the same team thinking indifferently. The whole activity began to show that there was a difference in opinion in each member's body language and this made it easy for me to relate it to the behaviour of self-defence. Because of this difference in opinion, the group's income had a negative impact. In my opinion, it was the lack of communication that ruined the entire activity. It could have been a better platform if all the opinions were built in a group conversation instead of sub group conversation and if there were was one leader to take charge of all the opinions.
The reason for the conflict was due to lack of listening and reading skills between two members of the group, things were just assumed and the activity sheet was not read well by the members. They did not have any questions to the other members of the group but they were willing to submit ideally to the group's discussion as they thought that their answers would be wrong if they expressed their views. The team's confidence was affected as the activity was dominated only by two people rather than the whole group and only lack of knowledge was shared among the members, all this attitude can lead to the execution of wrong results and best practises can go un noticed. The main draw back in this study was directly related to the mismanagement of the group as most of the members friend were in other groups which made it uneasy for them to interact with the members with whom they have never communicated, lack of communication among the team members and there was no participative measures executed by the members of the group which led to negative outcomes by the group. This behaviour as a whole can be blamed at the individuals of the group as there was no relation among the members before and the character of each members are unknown among each other and it was the first time they worked as a team. Defensive mechanism can be linked to this behaviour. The duties, responsibilities and the group structure can be also considered as a reason for this situation. Ethnic background and experience also play main reasons for stage fears and the option of considering if their views would be right or wrong.
Lack of time management played an important role in the activity as none of the members bothered about the time and more time was taken to solve the conflicts of the members than the time taken in the rescue operation.
The group should have elected a leader who would listen to their views and then later bring all ideas together and then discussed on the priority which could make the members feel convinced or bring into more ideas. This could have resulted in the generation of talents and ideas and can help in the quick completion of the rescue operation in a timely manner. Difference in opinions among the members can be addressed by the leader through which positive productivity can be gained and good results can be shared so that the six people who are trapped in the cave can be rescued faster. Individual decision making should be discouraged instead every members decision should be viewed together in the form of discussions and then tool of communication and convincing skills should be considered in order to bring their options regarding a successful rescue operation.
The Flight or Fight Response is the tool that helped me to understand the concept of group behaviour without working on common grounds. If the group leader identified the term motivation then it would have played an important role in the activity. Decisions of the group members should be respected among each members before it is contrasted, this can help in evaluating the pros and cons of the options they have chosen and then the views can be communicated effectively inorder to convince a person's option as positive or negative. This activity has helped me to understand how to score individual behaviour with different emotions from different ethnic groups and their nature of working in a group. The members have also felt that they could have maintained their time management more effectively through effective communication skills and attentive listening. At the end of this activity we ended up killing one person in the cave as the water level rose in the cave but the other five persons were rescued.
There is an external force that balances the formal and informal groups which can be related to group dynamics. The next activity is more about group dynamics. A group presentation associated with groups of both formal and informal members was to be executed on the St. Anne's charity hospice shop which is located in Newport. The whole activity is related to the formal group activity. I am linking this whole activity the Johari Window concept of four blocks. The first block is a free or an open area in which the skills, views, thoughts, behaviour, knowledge and experience of a person are known by himself or by a group. The second block is a blink area in which the facts of a person are known by the others in a group but unknown by the person himself. The third block is a hidden or a self-disclosed area in which the personal facts that are known to a person are not revealed to others. The fourth block is considered as an unknown area or as an observatory area in which information, feelings, aptitudes, unrecognized experiences and childhood memories are unknown to the person himself and to others in a group. The Johari Window helps in illustrating and improving self-awareness. This tool can also help in improving the interpersonal relationship for an effective behavioural response and for settling disputes or arguments that can arise in an organisation or in a day to day life.
The activity was related to a charity organisation and had a team of four members. A leader was chosen by the group so as to guide them in the execution of the task. We never though that leadership would play an important role in this task until the tasks completion. The task was divided into different parts among the four members and each member of the team took responsibility for completing the part of work on which they were assigned and agreed to meet with the results in five days time. During the five days of research that were undertaken, the behaviour of each members were completely different from that I have seen during the normal lecture hours.
Member 1 was an over confident person who felt that he knew everything even before he could understand the task that was given to him. When we consider this person in the Johari window model, we can relate his behaviour to the Johari block 2 - blind spot or the blind self. In this block, a person's behaviour is unknown to himself but is known to the others in a group. The main aim in this block is to increase the open area and self-awareness by reducing the blind spot of an individual through the feedback solicited from others and this can lead to group progress. This behaviour of the member 1 was recognized during an interaction among the group members at regular intervals.
Member 2 was a person who had knowledge regarding the task but was not willing to share his ideas or bring his talent into practice. In the Johari window, this persons behaviour can be related to Johari block 3 - hidden area or hidden self. In this block, the individual keeps his information hidden from others in the group as he fears that he might get rejected by others for sharing his thoughts, feelings and perception about the group or the members in a group. The hidden area can also include secrets and hidden agendas anything personal that he does not want to share.
Once this behaviour was identified during the interaction of the activity, the individual moulded himself and began to share his knowledge and his feelings. He was aware of this behaviour but no one pointed out to him to change. This activity helped in improving his relationship with the team and was so much appreciated. It also helped the team to complete their task more effectively. Later, feedbacks were accepted and implemented from the groups informal leader. This exercise helps a leader in knowing more about his sub-ordinate.
Member 3 was a smart individual who suited well into the Johari block 1 - open self or free area. In the beginning of the preparation of the presentation he admitted that it was his first time to work under this situation and also told us what his strength and weakness. But, he assured that even though he did not have any previous experience in such situations he was a quick learner and the situation will be easy for him to adapt and learn new things from it. From his constant exchange of conversations and ideas among the group members, the members considered him as a positive vibe and a motivational factor in their activity. The Johari block 1 talks about an individual's behaviour, feelings, emotion, knowledge, experience, views, etc. the open area or 'the arena' is an area where good interaction and communication can occur that is free from confusion, conflict, mistrust and misunderstanding. All these actions affect the progress of a group activity and this can in turn affect an individuals performance.
Member 4 was no one else but me in the environment of Johari block 4 - unknown self or unknown area or an unknown activity as I am an individual who is not very communicable with the public and not well in offering suggestion. I found out that this behaviour of mine was related to feeling of being rejected due to false and unknown information, lack of knowledge and experiance regarding the activity. The group identified my behaviour based on the feedback but still the group had trust in me that I could do the presentation without any fault. The block 4 is largely related to people who have no experience and those who self belief.
Mullins, L (2005) (7th Edition) Management and Organisational Behaviour Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Edinburgh
Palazzolo, C.S. (1981), Small Groups, Nostrand Company. New York