This article will guide you about how groups influence member behaviour.
1. Members of informal groups are guided by common social and cultural values. These values perpetuate their group goals and are further reinforced by interaction amongst group members.
2. They fulfill needs of interaction, recognition and acceptance by others. Members who are not recognised by their managers derive a sense of individuality as part of informal groups.
3. They help in solving work-related problems of the members in a friendly and supportive manner.
4. They promote communication, leadership and direction and make members eligible for promotions to higher posts.
5. They promote interaction amongst members and develop a cordial work environment in the organisation.
6. They promote inner strengths of the members and help them exploit opportunities for personal growth.
7. They develop group norms that help members learn self-control and supervision.
8. They improve motivation and morale to contribute to group goals and organisational goals.
9. They provide an outlet to members to overcome their stress and frustrations by providing them friendship, love and support.
Negative Aspects of Group Influence:
Though groups satisfy members’ social and psychological needs, they may also prove to be counter-productive for organisations:
1. Social control helps in forming norms which are accepted by all the members of the group. Conformity to these norms hinders creativity of group members to contribute towards organisational goals if group norms (or goals) are different from organisational goals. Members are reluctant to act differently for the fear of losing group approval.
2. Negative attitude of group leaders promotes their vested interests as against interests of the organisation or group members.
3. If group goals are different from organisational goals, members pursue the group goals. This develops conflict between their formal and informal roles.
4. Since informal groups do not follow official channels of communication, they may spread false information or rumours. This is counter-productive for formal organisational activities.
5. If group norms and values are carried too far, they resist changes in organisational working. Groups become overprotective about their group values and lack of desire to deviate from these values or norms becomes obstructive to introduce changes in the organisation structure or functions.