Groups are very important in any organization since they help members in realizing their personal objectives, as well as institutional goals. A group is described as a team of individuals who are motivated to join hands with the aim of helping each other in performing certain functions. It involves the coming together of two or more people who interact frequently and are mutually dependent. A group might be either formal or informal, depending on the interaction of members. Formal groups follow the established organizational rules and regulations, while informal ones are formed based on friendships and social interactions.
This group is formal because it follows the regulations that the organization sets. Several factors inspired members to form it, one of them being propinquity, which means geographical proximity. Since all members work in the shipping department in the marine office, it was easier for them to come together to chat the way forward since each member reported to have encountered at least one challenge. Again, the activities that the departmental members conduct compelled them to team up to ensure that strategies are developed to cope up with the tasks. Through discussions, members realized that they share similar sentiments, and it was felt that ideas could be developed to help in resolving these issues.
According to the balance theory, groups are formed whenever members share similar attitudes as regards to lifestyles, work, and religion. For this case, the group was formed to accomplish the work, but not to realize religious goals. Similarly, exchange theory suggests that people would be comfortable forming groups in case they realize that they will benefit in one way or the other, what is popularly referred to as reward-cost outcomes. Before the group was formed, each member believed that something had to be achieved. The fear of standing alone is eliminated once people form a group because organizational issues would be dealing with a team. Therefore, a group makes an individual strength, and a chance of self-doubt is eliminated. Organizational managers are fond of issues empty threats whenever the objectives are not met, but harassment in the place of work is greatly reduced through group formation.
Type of Groups
Two broad categories of groups exist, one being the one based on the place of existence, which include family groups, friendship, functional, and task groups. On the other hand, groups might be based on formation and development, and these include primary and secondary groups, membership and reference groups, and finally, in and out-groups. The group that the shipping officers formed in the marine office take several forms because it aims at realizing both social and economic objectives. It is a primary group because members know each other very well, and the spirit of companionship, friendship, and trustworthiness is present.
The group can be said to be secondary since it follows an established formal structure of the organization, and the leader is appointed among the members while the rest are followers. Finally, the group is an in-group in the sense that like-minded employees came together to form it. In-groups are often cohesive and can contribute to the growth of the organization in case it is utilized effectively. The group has four main members, each with a specific role to play.
Functions of the Group
The group was created with several objectives, including friendship purpose, continued existence, protection, attachment, status formation, power achievement, control, and finally, goal achievement. Since boredom is known to demoralize members of any organization, the officials of the shipping department came to the realization that the group would resolve this problem. In case no group member is faced with a serious challenge, members will still meet to talk about other social issues, including the general performance of the organization, the leadership style currently espoused in the institution, and finally the personal achievement of members. Historically, human beings have wanted to form groups for purposes of survival and security because enemies will always be cautious once they realize that the opponent belongs to a stronger group.
For instance, the top management cannot threaten any member with the termination of contract because the issue has to be resolved peacefully and all members of the group have to be informed, as well as be involved in finding the solution. If a member belongs to a group, he or she feels secure and this has a potential of assigning a certain status to the member. Leadership is a very important aspect of management and members felt that this could easily be exercised in a group because each member is assigned a specific responsibility to accomplish. Any member who feels that he wants to exert power is given a chance to do so, as long as the opinion he suggests has a potential of promoting the interests of the group. Finally, an individual cannot achieve both individual and organizational goals and objectives in case he or she decides to work alone. Therefore, the formation of the group ensures that organizational, as well as individual goals are achieved collectively.
Studies indicate that the group cannot achieve its objectives in case it does not adopt particular characteristics. Based on this, the group drafted four features that are deemed critical as far as accomplishment of the organizational and personal tasks are concerned. First, interdependence has to be appreciated since an individual cannot be self-sufficient in the highly globalized environment. This means that the output of other members is important, as they give alternatives. For any goal to be realized be it personal or organizational, social interaction has to be embraced meaning that verbal and non-verbal communication is important.
Members agreed that they have to work as a group whenever addressing any problem because group perception is an important aspect of group work. Moreover, collective goal achievement cannot be a reality without the idea of adopting the idea of commonality of purpose. This implies that members have to favor the group in whatever they do, irrespective of whether they are acting in a formal or informal capacity.
The main managerial issue that the group aspires to deal with is related to leadership owing to the fact the top the management is used to issuing orders without making requests and does not try to explain the goals or the expected results of the organization to employees. Studies show that this issue can easily lead to employee disengagement meaning that workers will not be interested in performing their duties as expected. Since the group members consider themselves smart people, they have to devise ways through which the problem will be tackled and the best way is to form a group in order to speak with one voice.
The behavior of the top management is known to discourage the staff to an extent of leading to high turnover. Members of this team have their own career objectives to realize, as well as those of the organization, which means that they cannot quit instead they formed a group to deal with the challenges. One of the suggestions of the group is that the management has to articulate the goals clearly since this would allow each employee to understand his or her role. Many top officials of any organization are always in a hurry and they want instant results, which is not possible because they have to understand the context and put in place measures that would guarantee sustainable success. Surprisingly, the manager might be willing to disseminate information, but lack of organization makes people think that he is unwilling to share any form of information that would improve performance.
The group realized this aspect and decided to approach the problem as a team. Managers should understand the role that communication plays in maintaining good relations between the management and the junior staff. In this regard, the group plans to present a proposal to the management requiring the top managers to be open to feedback and ensure that one-on-one meetings are arranged in order to understand what really motivates workers in the organization. Each employee is motivated by something different and the role of the management is to understand each employee, as well as what motivates him or her.
Over time, the administrator has been unable to manage his time and ends up with several reports and so many business deals. Unfortunately, his ego is defective because he misjudges events and situations, which affects his relationship with employees. His behavior affects the morale of junior employees, which has a direct consequence to the performance of the organization in the sense that the results would not be achieved. The group will try to bring this issue to the attention of the manager by making him understand that his behavior is hurting the business. In fact, the manager would not take this lightly in case one employee presented the issue to him. Fortunately, he will not have any problem listening to the group.
Changes to be Introduced
For the group to be effective, it has to employ several strategies and introduce changes that are consistent to the expectations of the organization. Studies show that at least five factors play a role in ensuring that a group is efficient and achieves its desired roles, which include organizational context, group structure, and group process. First, organizational context entails all characteristics of the wider organization that have the possibility of interfering with the performance of the group, even though members do not have the power to change them. It is noted that the group does not exist in isolation given the fact that members have to interact with other employees in different capacities.
Based on this, the group has to formulate clear mission and vision statement by aspiring to answer the why does it exist (mission) and what it intends to achieve (vision) meaning that it has understanding it main purpose and situate it within the large organization. Another aspect of organizational context is the supportive culture, which entails the values and the belief system that workers of any organization share. Any group is expected to develop its culture, but it has to be consistent with that of the entire organization to avoid conflicting interests. The group has the potential of coming up with a reward system, which is known to motivate members to meet and surpass personal and organizational objectives.
However, the reward system has to be in line with the objectives of the organization. As explained in the first section, information circulation where feedback is provided encourages performance among group members and the group has to consider this factor when designing strategies for improvement. Members have to underscore the fact that they do not have adequate skills to realize the group objectives and this has to encourage them to undertake further training and consult widely to prevent any conflicts in the organization. Finally, technology has to be employed, especially when it comes to communication since it is known to improve group performance.
Analysis of group structure is another important aspect that the group has to take into consideration in case it intends to achieve its goals. The group has to develop stable characteristics, including membership and the criteria for inclusion, the main roles of each member, and the tasks to be accomplished. Many groups fail because they do not assign roles to their members, as some interpret this to mean dictatorship. Each member has to be assigned a motivating task in order to engage him or her. The results will be positive in case the task demands high-level skills. The roles assigned to members have to be defined clearly, even though members could be having several roles to play at ago. In one instance, a member might be a facilitator while in the other he or she might be a subordinate member. Time is of essence as far as accomplishment of tasks is concerned. This means that group members have to be given performance time, as well as process time. Under group structure, members have to operate under certain norms since these standards influence the behavior of members, as well as their expectations.
While the structure of the group focuses on what members intend to achieve and who is in charge of what, the process is focused on how the goals and objectives should be realized. For instance, the group has to come out clearly on how decisions are made, how conflicts are handled, and how information is distributed from one member to the other. To address these issues, five factors have to be analyzed and taken into consideration, one being decision-making. Any group will come up with decisions that define the mode of operation, especially as regards to work approach and selection of alternatives.
Members have to decide on whether decisions will be made through consensus or by secret ballot where the majority has their way. The group is encouraged to employ a systematic method of making decisions because research indicates that this would make it stronger given the fact that it employs a regimented way of assembling information and evaluation alternatives. Problem solving is an important factor to consider in any group because human beings will always have issues in life, but the ways these issues are addressed determine their success. A robust conflict management strategy has to be employed in the group because each party has to be involved in the process. Communication is another aspect of group process where members have to pass information using the established channels. Finally, members have to respect the privacy each other since this might be the source of conflict in case it is not handled with care.