Groups and Group Effectiveness (Byte Size)
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Groups and Group Effectiveness (Byte Size)

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Taylor suggested that workers were fundamentally economic animals. He also suggested that systematic soldiering, where workers came together to hold down production, would be cured when managers began to do their jobs properly, that is, to relate directly to each worker and satisfy his or her personal self-interest. For, as Watson (1987) put it, Taylorism suggests that each worker is ". . . a self-seeking, non-social individual who prefers the management to do their job-related thinking for them."

There has been a volte face in management thought on both counts. Indeed, it has been observed that the writings of Mayo created a cult of the group. We are now able, however, to put the importance of groups into their proper perspective while still recognising that they are an essential feature of organisational work patterns. One of our purposes in this session is to make this clear. Work is a social activity. There are many organisational goals that cannot be achieved by members acting independently. Given this, most individuals spend a great deal of their organisational time working with others in groups.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • define a group.
  • distinguish between formal and informal groups. 
  • list the types of formal groups.
  • explain the main purposes for which individuals use groups.
  • list the major organisational purposes of groups and teams.
  • evaluate the notion that groups develop in stages.
  • explain the major determinants of group effectiveness.
  • understand Belbin's notion of team roles.
  • identify the symptoms of groupthink.
  • show an awareness of the importance of group task and maintenance functions.