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Foundations of Interpersonal

and Group Behavior

Groups to which you
may belong

An Overview
A reminder to business leaders of the continuing
value of hands-on management and face-to-face

“Without meaningful personal

interaction and doing ‘real’ work
together, it is hard to build trust,
understanding and accountability.”
The Interpersonal Nature of
Interpersonal relations and group processes
pervade all organizations and are vital in
managerial activities
Interpersonal Dynamics: Types of Interactions
• Between individuals
• Between groups
• Between individuals and groups
Outcomes of Interpersonal Behaviors
• Primary source of need satisfaction
• Base for social support
• Source of synergy
• Conflict
What is A Group?

A group is two or more

people who interact with one
another such that each
person influences, and is
influenced by, each other
What is Dynamics?

Dynamics - the ‘forces’ that

produce change in any field or
The Nature of Groups
Members of a group may identify a little or not at all
with the group’s goal.
Members may satisfy needs just by being members.
The behavior of individuals both affects and is
affected by the group.
The accomplishments of groups are strongly
influenced by the behavior of their individual
The work group is the primary means by which
managers coordinate individuals' behavior to achieve
organizational goals.
The behavior of individuals is key to the group’s
success or failure.
Three-Phase Model - GD
Phase 1 – reasons for forming the group will
determine what type of group it will be.
Phase 2 – a four-step process of group
development occurs. The precise nature of
these steps depends on four primary group
performance factors.
Phase 3 – a mature, productive, adaptive
group evolves and pursues organizational
[See Figure 9.1, page 233]
A General Model of Group
Why Study Groups?
To understand the behavior of people
in organizations, we must understand
the forces that affect individuals as well
as how individuals affect the

The behavior of individuals both affects

and is affected by the group [soldiering, all-star
player added to a team, etc.].
Why Study Groups? [continued]

Managers must be aware of individual needs

and interpersonal dynamics to manage
groups effectively and efficiently because the
behavior of individuals is key to the group’s
success or failure.
The work group is the primary means by
which managers coordinate individuals’
behaviors to achieve organizational goals.
Managers direct the activities of individuals,
but they also direct and coordinate
interactions within groups.
Group Formation
People join groups for personal satisfaction
– they expect to get something in return for
their membership in the group.
An employee may join a group to get or keep a
Individuals may form an informal group or join an
existing one for many reasons: attraction to
people in the group, to its activities (such as playing
cards, running races, gardening, etc.) or to its goals.

Some people join groups for companionship.

Group Formation [continued]

Groups are formed to satisfy both organizational

and individual needs.
They form in organizations because managers
expect people working together in groups to be
better able to complete and coordinate
organizational tasks [improving productivity or quality].
Managers are better equipped to manage certain
kinds of conflict that arise in groups in
organizations when they understand why groups
Types of Groups - Formal
Formal Groups – are formed by an
organization to do its work.
Command Group – is a relatively permanent
group with functional reporting relationships and
is usually included in the organization chart. [HR
Dept, Quality Assurance Dept, Cost Accounting Dept, etc.]
Task Group – is a relatively temporary group
established to do a specific task. [Task Force, Focus Group,
Affinity Group – is a collection of employees from
the same level in the organization who meet on a
regular basis to share information, capture
emerging opportunities and solve problems.
[Executive Committee]
Types of Groups - Informal
Informal Groups – are established by
its members.
Friendship Group – is a relatively
permanent group which draws its benefits
from the social relationships among its
members. [gardening, cooking, book clubs, etc.]
Interest Group – is a relatively temporary
group organized around a common activity
or interest of its members. [women’s networking, etc.]
Classification Scheme for Types
of Groups
Stages of Group Development
Four-Stage Process
for Development of a
1) Mutual Acceptance
2) Communication and
Decision Making
3) Motivation and
4) Control and
Stages of Group Development [continued]

Stage 1: Mutual Acceptance –

members share information about
themselves and get to know each
other. Trust is built.

NOTE: If members already know each

other, this stage may be short.
Stages of Group Development [continued]

Stage 2: Communication and

Decision Making – members
discuss their feelings more openly
and agree on group goals and
individual roles in the group.

Note: Members begin to develop

norms of behavior.
Stages of Group Development [continued]

Stage 3: Motivation and

Productivity – members
cooperate, help each other and
work toward accomplishing tasks.

Note: The group is accomplishing its

work and moving toward the final stage
of development.
Stages of Group Development [continued]

Stage 4: Control and Organization

– the group is mature; members
work together and are flexible,
adaptive and self-correcting.
Note: Not all groups reach this stage.
Some become frustrated because they
may have skipped a stage; some
Stages of Group Development [continued]

As working conditions and

relationships change, either through a
change in membership or when a task
is completed and a new task is begun,
groups may need to re-experience one
or more of the stages of development
to maintain the closeness and
productivity of a well-developed group.
Stages of Group Development
Group Performance Factors
Four Basic Group
Factors Affecting
Group Performance
Group Performance Factors [continued]

Group composition – is the degree of

similarity or difference among group
members on factors important to the
group’s work
Homogeneity: Degree to which members are
similar in one or several ways that are critical
to the group’s work
Heterogeneity: Degree to which members differ
in one or more ways that are critical to the
group’s work
Group Performance Factors [continued]

Variables relating to group composition:

Type of task
Organizational diversity
Cultural traits – difference in the
importance placed on group
membership, how they view authority,
uncertainty; may cause distrust and
Group Performance Factors [continued]

Group size – is the number of members of the group

Affects the number of resources available to perform the
Affects degree of formalization of interactions,
communication, participation
Can increase the degree of social loafing, the tendency of
some group members to put forth less effort in a group
than they would working alone
Ideal group size is determined by:
group members’ ability to interact and influence each other (maturity
of the group)
the maturity of individual group members
group tasks
the ability of the group leader to deal with communication, conflict,
task activities
Group Performance Factors [continued]

Group norms – are standards against which

the appropriateness of a behavior is judged.

Result from the combination of members

Personality characteristics
The situation
The historical traditions of the group
Purpose of norms in organizations
Help the group survive
Simplify and increase predictability of expected behaviors
Help the group to avoid embarrassing situations
Express the group’s central values for membership
Group Performance Factors [continued]

Group cohesiveness – is the extent to

which a group is committed to staying
Results from forces acting on the
Attraction to the group
Resistance to leaving the group
Motivation to remain a member of the group
Factors Affecting Group Cohesiveness
and Consequences of Group
Group Cohesiveness, Goals, and
Intergroup Dynamics
A group’s contribution to an organization
depends on its interactions with other
groups as well as on its own productivity.

Primary factors that influence intergroup

Group characteristics
Organizational setting
Task and situation bases of interaction
Factors Influencing Intergroup
How Groups Make Decisions
Group polarization: The tendency for a
group’s average post-discussion attitudes to
be more extreme than its average pre-
discussion attitudes.
Occurs when individuals discover during
discussion that other share their opinions.
Persuasive arguments can encourage
Members may believe that because the group is
deciding, they are not individually responsible for
the decision.
How Groups Make Decisions
Groupthink: A mode of thinking that occurs
when members of a group are deeply involved in
a cohesive in-group and the desire for unanimity
offsets their motivation to appraise alternative
courses of action.
Conditions which foster development of
The leader’s promotion of his/her preferred solution
Insulation of the group from experts’ opinions
The Groupthink Process

Gregory Moorhead, Richard Ference, and Chris P. Neck, “Group Decision Fiascoes Continue: Space
Shuttle Challenger and a Revised Groupthink Framework,” Human Relations, 1991, vol. 44, pp. 539-550.
How Groups Make Decisions
Symptoms of Groupthink
Illusion of invulnerability
Collective efforts to rationalize/discount warnings
Unquestioned belief in the group’s inherent morality
Stereotyped views of “enemy” leaders
Direct pressure on a member
Self-censorship of deviations
Shared illusion of unanimity
Emergence of self-appointed “mind-guards”
Prescriptions for Preventing
How Groups Make Decisions
Group Problem Solving
Techniques to stimulate group problem-
solving capabilities
Used in the idea-generation phase of decision
making that assists in development of numerous
alternative courses of action.
The Nominal Group Technique
Group members follow a generate-discussion-vote
cycle until they reach a decision.
The Delphi Technique
A systematic gathering of judgments of experts for
use in developing forecasts.