Group Dynamics in Organizations Essay

Group Dynamics in Organizations Kirsten O’connell Mgt 415: Group Behavior in Organizations Steven Bedell May 3, 2010 Abstract ? well-managed organization needs adequate talent to achieve its goals. In addition, organizational leaders need to understand the individuals that are working for the organization. By learning how the behavior and culture of individuals affects the organization, leaders and organizations move one step closer to success. Organizational behavior is ? field of study devoted to understanding individual and group behavior, and organizational dynamics.

Organizational behavior leadership roles are essential to meeting the challenges and ambiguity that confront today’s organizations. Factors that influence the effectiveness of an organization are globalization, cultural diversity, technology advancement, competition, resources, instant communication, and ? profusion of information. The key areas of organizational behavior are understanding individual and group behavior pattern and attitudes. Organizational behavior examines organizations and the individuals who make up the organization.

The expressions or terms like organizational behavior, organizational culture, diversity, communication, organizational effectiveness and efficiency, and organizational learning will be defined in this paper. Group Dynamics One of the classifications that can be applied to ? team is that it is ? group of people. Group dynamics is defined as “the interacting forces within a small human group” (Merriam-Webster). These interactions are ? critical part of the success of any team. Fortunately, it is ? part that team leaders can influence (Johnson).

There are three main workings which can influence the way team members interact with each other: diversity, communications, and goals. Understanding how these components affect ? team allows ? leader to moderate their influence. The dynamics of ? team mostly affect its internal goals, but can influence how the team is perceived by others (Myers). We can identify the dynamics of a group by looking at the strategy of recruitment, determining leadership qualities and seeing the impact that diversity has on the successfulness of a group or team (Johnson).

How diversity affects the dynamics of teams can be ? complex question. To date, research proposes that diverse groups are inclined to be more creative as well as perform better on problem solving tasks than homogeneous groups, but they also appear to have fewer levels of social integration as well as higher turnover than homogeneous groups (Johnson). Communication is ? very important part of ? team. Effective communication maximizes the performance of the team. Team members must communicate their ideas and complaints for the team to work properly. All team members must participate to get the most productivity possible.

Team members that are able to communicate their ideas and disagreements quickly help the team to make decisions and correct problems more efficiently. When team members are working on ? goal they are all mutually accountable for achieving ? common objective. Team dynamics plays an important role in achieving goals. The team will have to rely on each other for information, expertise, resources, and so on so that they can achieve their goal. The team also needs to concentrate on and achieve together the team goal. Developing trust, ? common vision and ability to work well together will help the team to accomplish their objective.

This is very important in the agency that I currently work at. At Catholic Charities in Somerville, Massachusetts, everyone needs to work as a team because the goal is all inclusive. The goal is to provide quality childcare and services to those who are at the lower end of the financial spectrum and need help. This includes those who are recently unemployed, new immigrants legally in the country, and children who are in the states care that need child care. In many cases a licensed social worker is involved, essentially leading the case.

The child care is provided by licensed day care workers that are hired and supervised by myself and other home day care coordinators. There are behavioral specialists involved also, as needed for each individual case. We rely on each other to communicate effectively with each other. We rely on each others expertise in our individual specialties to create the harmonious environment that allows for these poor, unfortunate children to flourish in a safe environment at least part of their existence. Leadership Most people think that management and leadership is the same thing but there is actually quite ? difference between the two.

They are frequently used interchangeably but they are in fact two diverse concepts. Management is ? function that must be exercised in any business; leadership is ? relationship between ? leader and subordinates that can energize an organization. Leadership is one of the things that ? manager needs to be successful. Management needs to be good at using the four main functions that we have spoken about previously and those functions are: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The difference in perspective between management and leadership is that managers think incrementally, while leaders think radically.

Managers always do things by the book and follow company policies, while leaders follow the rules but also follow their own intuition, which may in turn be of more benefit to the company. This shows that ? true leader is more emotional than ? manager. ? leader is someone who people naturally follow through their own choice, whereas ? manager must be obeyed. ? manager may only have obtained his position of authority through time and loyalty given to the company, not as ? result of his leadership qualities. Some managers may not have very good leadership skills whatsoever but ? good leader will make ? good manager more often than not.

Management more often than not contains people who are knowledgeable in their field. ? manager knows how each layer of the system works and may also possess ? good technical knowledge. ? leader may not be experienced in their field and could be ? new arrival to a company who has bold, fresh, and new ideas. One thing that sets leaders apart from management is that leaders develop ? trust within their company or organization. Leaders develop trust by walking the talk, or practicing what they preach. Leaders can increase trust by promoting transparency and involvement with their employees.

Transparency means that the leader is clarifying reasons for decisions, and being open about compensation policy, business results and market information. Workers also would like to have ? say in decisions they are expected to implement. They want to be sure their views are heard and taken into account or consideration. Even when they are disappointed by the decisions, just knowing they have been heard increases trust, especially when the reasons are explained (Johnson). The situation at my position has both a manager and a leader. The manager makes sure we are doing everything by the book.

The state monitors what we do as well as the organization as well as other organizations that do the same thing we do. Our leader, who is our managers boss, allows us to be creative in getting our job done, he actually encourages it. He has always been a maverick in his field, inspiring others to think out of the box in order to achieve the goals of the organization. Valuing Diversity Managing diversity is seen as being the concern of all employees. Valuing diversity means valuing the differences between people and the ways in which those differences can contribute to ? richer, more creative and more productive business environment.

The basic premises of managing diversity is that if organizations are to manage heterogeneous workforce effectively that have to find the needs, desires and motivation of different people to the benefit of all. Diversity may have an inverse U-shaped relationship to group creativity and performance (Austin). Too little as well as too much diversity is disadvantageous for effective group performance. The former does not develop learning in group for enhanced overall problem solving. The latter overloads group members’ abilities to cope with new information and also lead to non-routine learning and less effective group performance.

Reasons for the emergence of diversity are: changing demographics. Older workers, women, minorities, and those with more education are now entering the work force in record number. Another pragmatic reason for diversity in today’s organization stems from legislation and lawsuits. The political and legal systems have compelled organizations to provide equal opportunity for all employees. Another reason is that organizations are beginning to realize that diversity can help them meet competitive pressure they currently face. The most talented and qualified person will feel that opportunities are better with these firms than with others.

Finally, organizations are entering the international arena and organizations will be accustomed to working with people who have different cultures, customs. Accepting others begins with accepting yourself. For members of the team to capitalize on there differences, they have to be allowed to have positive levels of interdependence (Johnson). The benefits of diversity include fair recruiting from ? wide range of talented candidates regardless of their background, ethnicity, accent, sex or the other individual characteristics. The ore diversity in the group or team, the better the production and the decision making will be (Johnson). The group identity should be such that the differences in the group should add to the education of the group as a whole. Learning from others differences can make the group or team to grow (Johnson). This theory holds true with what happens in my organization most days. Many of our clients are foreign born, forcing us to have case managers, social workers and coordinators to be multilingual, and have an idea of what kind of cultures we will be dealing with.

To add to the diversity of our particular organization, an important point needs to be made. In Child care organizations, it is almost unheard of to have a male leading the organization, but that is what we have. He brings a new dimension to the equation that typically is handled by women. It is a refreshing breath of different ideas of how to do things and measuring what is important to all aspects of the childcare and family building that we do as an organization. I, for one, am proud to have such a leader going to bat for us higher up in the organization.

Teams vs. Work groups The differences between teams and work groups are both subtle and extreme. A team is a set of interpersonal interactions between individuals structured in such a way as to achieve established goals. The work group is a group of individuals that agree to work together but see little benefit in doing so. Work groups are more individualistic and members tend to be more focused on their own goals and not the groups. The team holds each member accountable for their part in the process of achieving the goals (Johnson). There is a ig difference between achieving individual goals for self promotion and achieving the team goals in order for the team to solve the problems it was formed to address. Conclusion The study of organizational behavior has helped me realize the full potential group theory and group skills. It has also helped me and others realize just how important the workforce and how important diversity within the workforce is. The terms used when describing organizational behavior is sure to help anyone who wishes to be in management succeed in their organization.