After reading this article you will learn about the determinants and consequences of group cohesiveness.
Determinants of Group Cohesiveness:
There are factors that increase and decrease group cohesiveness.
1. Factors that increase cohesiveness:
Members of a cohesive group share common goals, remain attached to one another, conform to the group standards and unitedly work to achieve the goals.
The following factors increase group cohesiveness:
(a) Similarity in attitudes, values, beliefs and interests of members increases group cohesiveness, facilitates communication and develops understanding amongst group members.
(b) Inter-group competition, where two groups compete to reach a common goal increases cohesiveness of each group. A basketball championship, for example, will increase cohesiveness of each team to win the match.
(c) Personal liking and attraction for each other increases group cohesiveness.
(d) Success in achieving group goals leads to group cohesiveness.
(e) Size of the group also determines cohesiveness of a group. Smaller groups are generally more cohesive than bigger groups.
(f) Increase in interpersonal interaction increases attraction of group members to one another and increases cohesiveness of the group.
(g) Consensus amongst group members on group goals increases group cohesiveness.
(h) Dependence of members on each other to achieve the group goals increases group cohesiveness.
Factors that decrease cohesiveness:
When members are not strongly attached to each other and do not work with a spirit of cooperation, it leads to decline in group cohesiveness.
The following factors are detrimental to group cohesiveness:
(a) Large size of the group decreases group cohesiveness.
(b) When members have conflicting opinion about group goals, group cohesiveness will decline. If some members want group goals to be complementary to organisational goals while others want them to be contradictory to organisational goals, group cohesiveness decreases.
(c) While inter-group competition increases cohesiveness, intra-group competition decreases cohesiveness. Intra-group competition (competition amongst members of the same group) promotes individual goals at the cost of group goals.
(d) If less dominant members of the group surrender to the viewpoints of the dominant members, this causes group cohesiveness to decline.
(e) Unpleasant group interactions, dissimilarity amongst attitudes, beliefs and values and lack of enjoyable group activities decreases group cohesiveness.
(f) Involvement of group members in activities outside the group and threatening internal environment where members compete for resources within the group reduces group cohesiveness.
(g) Heterogeneous groups with members from different age groups, job responsibilities, education and status decease the group cohesiveness.
Consequences of Group Cohesiveness:
Highly cohesive groups lead to following consequences:
1. Group goals and group norms can be achieved effectively.
2. If there is high compatibility between group goals and organisational goals, people perceive management as supportive of group goals and, therefore, perform better than less cohesive groups.
3. Members communicate with each other frequently and understand the feelings of others.
4. Members achieve higher job satisfaction than members of less cohesive groups.
5. It leads to friendly competition amongst work groups that perform similar activities and do not depend upon each other to get the work done.
6. It affects willingness to innovate and change. Changes can be introduced if they are accepted by members of the group.
Group cohesiveness leads to positive consequences when group members unitedly agree to organisational goals and make desirable changes in the organisational policies. This increases organisational productivity and efficiency. Group norms are high, resistance to change is low and members even subordinate group goals in favour of organisational goals.