After reading this article you will learn about:- 1. Concept of Group 2. Characteristics of Groups 3. Reasons for Formation of Groups 4. Structure 5. Types 6. Advantages 7. Disadvantages.

Concept of Group:

Groups are made up of individuals. Two or more individuals, just together, do not form a group, the force of relationship is a must to make them into a group. For example, twenty persons going in a bus do not form a group, they remain a mere aggregation. But, suppose, the bus goes out of order and all the persons have to push it to take it to a nearby mechanic, a group is automatically formed under the leadership of, say, the bus driver.

The group generates its own leader, develops its goals clearly and furnishes suggestions to its members for the accomplishment of goals. The group has its own properties, quite different from those of individuals who make up the group.

Individual behaviour of the members of the group need not necessarily represent the behaviour of the whole group and vice versa. Groups provide personal relationship in the work place as members talk to another about job or personal problems. Correct understanding of group dynamics permits the possibility that desirable consequences from groups can be deliberately enhanced.

Characteristics of Groups:


(1) Groups do exist.

(2) Groups are inevitable and ubiquitous.

(3) Groups mobilize powerful forces that produce effects of utmost importance to individuals.

(4) Groups may produce good or bad consequences in the organisation.

Reasons for Formation of Groups:


(1) The need for companionship.

(2) Identification:

Workers get more identified in small groups and so small groups tend to enjoy high morale.

(3) Understanding from friends:


The daily work routine creates frustration and tension. Under these conditions, it is always satisfying if one gets a sympathetic ear preferably from a friend or colleague who has similar experiences.

(4) Job satisfaction:

Working in group leads to higher motivation of the individuals. Many jobs which appear superficially dull and routine look interesting when working as group.

(5) Protection of members:


Groups help protect their members from outside persons, pressures or dangers. Need for help in solving work problems.

Structure of Group:

Every group develops a structure. The structure determines the relationship of members to one another. It also develops a system of communication, and a system of rewards and punishments. Group evolves its own goals reflecting the interests of its members rather than having a commitment to the organizational goals.

Groups also develop standards of behaviour to govern the behaviour of its members. Group standards protect the group members from real or imaginary outside dangers.

Types of Groups:

In every organization mere may be two types of groups on the basis of structuring:


1. Formal Group:

A formal group is a legitimate subunit of the organization which is duly established. A formal group is created by the management to carry out some of the specific work to achieve some goals of the organisation. Committees, project teams, task forces etc., are all examples of a formal group.

2. Informal Groups:

Informal groups are created due to socio-psychological forces operating at the work place. They arise spontaneously on the basis of friendship and like-thinking which may or may not be work related. Such groups are the creation of natural desire of human being to interact.

Advantages of Groups:


(i) A group creates a pleasant and satisfying environment for its members.

(ii) All needs and desires of its members are easily satisfied.

(iii) Work-performance becomes easier and better due to mutual cooperation.

(iv) Groups provide psychological support to its members.


(v) Need for close supervision is also reduced.

(vi) Groups lead to organisation development.

(vii) Group cohesiveness (degree of attachment of the members to their group) reduces turnover and absenteeism.

(viii) Individuals feel secured in a group.

Disadvantages of Groups:

(i) Groups often set production norms below the physical capabilities of their members.

(ii) Groups resist innovation and change in work methods.


(iii) Groups often oppose the management policies and procedures.

(iv) Groups often spread rumours affecting the smooth working of the organisation.

(v) Since the groups try to meet the social needs of their members, there is a natural tendency to produce role conflict,

(vii) Jurisdictional disputes among groups create problems for management.