Here is a compilation of term papers on ‘Group’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Group’ especially written for school and management students.
Term Paper on Group
- Term Paper on the Meaning and Definition of Group
- Term Paper on the Types of Groups
- Term Paper on the Theories of Group
- Term Paper on the Norms of Group
- Term Paper on the Elements of Group Cohesiveness
- Term Paper on the Stages of Group Development
Term Paper # 1. Meaning and Definition of Group:
A work group is collection of two or more individuals, working for a common goal and is interdependent. They interact significantly to achieve a group objective. For a manager it is difficult to manage group because of varied nature, personality traits, attitude of individuals and personal interest in the group job the group member’s display.
It is therefore important for managers to understand group member behaviour and deal effectively with the group because of the synergy they provide. Manager should be able to achieve not only group objective but should be able to fulfill individual objectives within the overall organizational frame work.
Group members should be able to achieve greater (volume and quality) than the sum total of individual contribution. This is achieved by joint idea generation, finding out various courses open, and selecting and implementing the best course of action. Because of the joint efforts of the group, it possible to use skill, knowledge and experience of group members to achieve quality decisions and achieve group goals.
Fred Luthans states that if a group exists in an organization, its members:
1. Are motivated to join
2. Perceive a group as unified unit of interacting people
3. Contribute to various amounts to the group processes
4. Reach agreement and disagreements through various forms of interaction.
A group is defined as “a set of two or more people who interact with each other to achieve a group goal.” While there are many types of groups we have been given three styles of groups to identify with; task groups, command groups, and friendship groups.
Due to the relatively low interaction of our group and its members, making an assessment of what kind of work group our team most identified with is near impossible. However, I will discuss the three types of work groups listed and identify the type of work group our team should have adhered to in order to best accomplish the tasks presented to us.
Term Paper # 2. Types of Groups:
i. Formal Group:
A typical group layout is given at Figure:
Formal group is designated work group defined by the organizational structure. It is collection of employees who work together to contribute towards achievement of organizational objective. For example aircrew. Formal groups are formed based on the work and human resources required by skill, knowledge and experience to achieve organizational task.
In a manufacturing unit, the organizational task is sub divided into groups and teams. Each group is composed of various members based on the human resource requirement. The members of the group report to a designated leader. They interact with each other on official level.
ii. Command Group:
It is formed to carry out a specific task. There is a leader in a group who is also designated by the organization. He receives orders from his superior and reports to him about group activities and performance. A task group is made up of individuals from across the functional areas. They work together to complete a job/task. Task group boundaries are not limited to its hierarchical superior. Once the task is complete the group members fall back to their respective parent groups/units.
The other form of formal group is committee. It can be of permanent or temporary nature. Planning committee, finance committees are of permanent nature, they keep working all along and have a designated authority to control the work.
There are temporary committees, which are formed to accomplish a one-time works like committees formed at district levels to issue identity cards to citizens. They are formed for specific work and disbanded once they have completed their work.
iv. Informal Groups:
Informal groups are groups that are not formally organized in the work system to get the job done but develop on their own randomly at workplaces because of common interest and mutual liking of the group members.
For example members of production department, body manufacturing department, HR department members and few individual from finance dept. may form a friendship group. This development takes place because of the interaction they have with each other during the official work. Members from within one group or members from different departments or even an organization can form an informal group.
The features of such groups are as under:
(a) Informal groups are formed by various members themselves, it has no official sanctity.
(b) These groups are formed based on commonality of culture, religious function, liking for each other and common interests.
(c) Their contribution for success of formal group is immense if properly handled by official authority.
(d) These groups evolve their own structure, elect their own leaders and have followers. They work based on group norms, social norms and code of conduct.
(e) They represent the human side of an organization.
(f) The group exist without any rigid rules. Their common interest is bond for existence.
v. Psychological Groups:
‘Emergent’ behaviour that is related to behaviour of group members in informal group and involving themselves in various activities, interactions and sentiments based on common interests, value system and social bondage they develop. When such informal group members develop highest level of sentiments or affinity among themselves and become aware of each-others needs and potential contributions to further group objectives, these groups are called psychological groups.
The distinct feature of such informal group is that the members become close knit, develops strong feeling of togetherness and get identified by the group. A feeling that ‘we’ belong to a particular group sets in deep into the behaviour pattern of all group members.
At times the strength of informal group identity becomes so strong that the members are more loyal to their friendship group as compared to their normal group. The managers restructuring the task activities and using appropriate group processes should channel the emergent behaviours in such a way that will help organizations to achieve its goal. This phenomenon can be used effectively for the betterment of organizations.
See figure below:
Term Paper # 3. Theories of Group:
i. Propinquity Theory of Group Behaviour:
Propinquity means affiliation which may be due to spatial or due to geographical proximity. Group Behaviour refers to activities, interactions and sentiments. In any organization, the behaviour of a group is analysed based on ‘required’ behaviour that refers to those actions the organization expects employees to perform effectively. It relates to the job that each group has to perform.
The instructions for job performance are communicated to the group by way of job description, meetings, instructions by supervisors to the workers and other formal instructions that may be used from time to time. The managers expect that the employees follow these instructions in letter and spirit.
While on the contrary, members of the group display an emergent behaviour. It refers to the activities the members get involved in the workplace which are of private nature and applicable to common interest of the members of the group. Whatever be the type of behaviour, each member is involved in various activities, carryout interaction with group members and develops sentiments.
Let us see as to how does this phenomenon occur? Activities are those behaviours when a group member is involved with other member or group to perform his duties as is laid down in the work schedule. More complex the job and critical nature of work, more will be the activities involved.
These are certain activities like chatting or taking coffee together is called emergent activities that the group often gets involved. Activities that are required to be carried out officially with the other members of the group involve interaction.
Group member also interact with other members on social platform, which may be called emergent behaviour that relates to feelings, beliefs and values held by group members. All these activities require interaction and exchange of knowledge, knowhow and ideas to perform.
Ore of such interactions develop a bond of friendship (or even hate) among the group members. Apart from official side there are certain impersonal side of organizational systems and process that must be promoted for better group member relationship for higher productivity and conflict free organizational work environment.
ii. Balance Theory:
Balance theory was proposed by Theodore Newcomb that states “persons are attracted to one another on the basis of similar attitudes and common interest relevant to some object or a group goal”. See Figure Below: related efforts are made by both to restore the balance by compromising. If that does not work the relationship breaks. Reasons for maintaining relationship is based on common interest in politics, religion, similar life style, authority etc. In the Organization interest, it is the responsibility of the manager to ensure effective functioning of the group.
iii. Exchange Theory:
Exchange theory is based on cost-reward relationship. Every individual before joining the group evaluates its outcome. If he feels that the outcome (reward) is greater than the cost he joins the group, he will form the part of the group.
It should be noted that an individual joins group if a minimum positive level of outcome exists in order to establish attraction and affiliation to take place. The cost of relationship or affiliation is measured in terms of outcome that relates to fulfillment of various levels of needs of an individual.
iv. Group Dynamics:
Group dynamics is concerned with interaction and forces between group members in a social situation. Concept of group dynamics was first evolved by Kurt Lewin in 1930s who viewed the concept from the perspective of internal nature of group, why they form, how other groups and the organization.
Term Paper # 4. Norms of Group:
“Norms of group are set of beliefs, feelings, and attitude commonly shared by group members. These are also referred to as rules of standards of behaviour that apply to group members”.
These are prescriptions of behabiour accepted and determined by the group.
As per the Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Norm is defined as:
“Acceptable standards of behaviour that are shared by the group members.”
All groups have established norms, that is – norms tell members what they ‘ought’ and ‘ought not’ to do a thing under certain circumstances. From an individual stand point, they tell what is expected of them in certain situations. When agreed to and accepted by the group, norms act as a means of influencing the behaviour of group members with a minimum of external control. Norms differ among groups, communities and societies, but they all have them.
A study conduct by P.C.De La Porte showed that:
“The group norms that are favourable to the organization were — organizational pride, team work, honesty, security, planning and customer relations. The norms about profitability and supervision were unfavorable to the organization.”
Behaviour of an individual as a group member must be acceptable to all the members, this will give an individual “Good standing” and recognition in the group. If norms are violated by an individual, corrective measures such as strokes are applied. In case the individual persist in his behaviour contrary to the group norms he will be totally neglected by other members and can even loose the membership of the group by way of total ignorance by other members of the group and thereby loosing status in the group.
Norms may differ from organization to organization, nature of work and the location.
Following norms are generally found and practiced by all the organization:
(a) Performance Norms:
Performance standard is set by the individual worker and approved by the superiors. These are general norms, industry standards prevailing in a particular type of industry and restricted to geographical limits. All the individuals are expected to fulfill their task within the stipulated time.
If some worker is slow and cannot cope up with the work load, is assisted by other group members. On the contrary if some worker produces more than what is required to do is reprimanded by the group members and discouraged to produce more than upper limits set by the organization so that management does not raise their expectations.
(b) Appearance Norms:
Appearance norms are related to dress code and code of conduct in the organization. In good organization dress while on work, dress for sports function or for dinner are laid down. In defence services such norms are inbuilt in the organizational culture. As regards to code of conduct, an individual is expected to be loyal and display total dedication to the organization he serves.
Workers are not expected to report about fellow workers to the superiors. In the same way members are not expected to divulge company secrets to any other organization, no matter how much tension prevails between workers and management. Group norms is a very powerful tool for high productivity and maintenance of peaceful relationship among the fellow workers.
(c) Behaviour Norms:
Guidelines for general behaviour are issued by the management so that all the employees display behaviour in an identical manner. These guidelines may cover various aspects relating to the work.
This may include time management, punctuality, salutation, showing respect to the views of other member’s behaviour while on shop floor and level of professionalism that an individual should possess. These norms eventually take the form of organization culture and are very useful for bringing down the conflict or stress level among the group members.
Norms are developed over a long period of time. They ought to have sufficient time for it to be formalized and called as norms that cannot be violated by group members. Explicit statement made by group members like “when going gets tough the tough gets going”. This may ultimately be a norm and members of a group would work overtime and utilize their full potential to resolve a critical situation and complete a job, which ‘as tough.
Critical events in the groups history may be called as norm. For example donation of blood by group member when required by another group member injured while on the work. Primacy refers to the first (initial) behaviour by one of the group members like ‘wishing smooth working on a turbine’ which has now become a norm and every member before going to the work wishes his fellow workers accordingly. Past experience is also important in forming a group norm, where a member brings with him good ideas from other organization like having lunch together.
Status refers to the official position enjoyed by an individual in an organization. It is ‘importance’ and ‘deference’ that people give to others. People at higher level who have devoted themselves and brought credit to the organization enjoy higher status.
They therefore exercise more control over their subordinates. Those who are more competent have more say in group decision making as compared to low status individual. All the members in a group do not enjoy equal status.
Standing of a person in a group depends on various factors as mentioned below:
1. Personal attributes
2. Charismatic disposition
3. Demographic characteristics
4. Educational level, experience, length of service in the organization
6. Proven track record in accomplishing group task.
In certain cultures female children are accorded low status. It has also been observed that in Indian culture, low status is accorded to the individuals coming from low caste system that is socially and legally incorrect. Influence of social, cultural and family background play a dominant role in according status to individual. Employee whose father is on the board of directors enjoys a special (high) status irrespective of his personal achievements.
Term Paper # 5. Elements of Group Cohesiveness:
Following factors contribute to group Cohesiveness:
It is a natural tendency that people want to remain together. When they interact they know each other better and are attracted by their nature and behaviour pattern. People share their happiness and hardships and a bond of togetherness is formed. In organizational setting, people on the same floor, department, residing in the same colony, bus stop friendship are attracted to each-other because of their close proximity.
It will invariably be found that the people who are closely associated by virtue of even seating arrangement in the work-place share their views and display more cohesiveness than those who are located away.
ii. Group Size:
Cohesiveness of a group depends upon the close interaction of the group members with each other. In a large group it not possible for the individual to communicate with each other hence there is likelihood of large group being less cohesive than the small group. In work environment small group is more effective.
If a group is large, there is also a possibility of formation of small sub groups within a large group. This will lead to delusions of group norms and power politics within the sub group, which is not desirable. Another interesting factor about group cohesion is the sex, whether the group composes of all male members of female members.
Studies showed that if all member were of the same sex then small group had better cohesion than large ones. In a mix group situation, even larger group has a better cohesion because people like to be a part of mix group and are more interactive with opposite sex that increases group Cohesion. What should be the optimum size for an effective group cohesion cannot be decided, as other factors like attitude of group members and demographic factors play a decisive role.
However 8 to 10 members could be an ideal group size for optimum group cohesion to be achieved. Beyond the above limit the cohesiveness of the group decreases gradually. Large groups are least cohesive.
iii. Entry Norms:
There are organizations whose membership is difficult to obtain. There are also clubs which are reserved for exclusive members of a particular background like Defence Services Officers club. Joining of such group elevates the status, position and members feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Because the membership of such clubs is exclusive. At times, there is also a long waiting list to join such groups. More exclusive the group more cohesive it will be. More difficult to get entry, more cohesive the group would be.
iv. Threat and Challenges:
Every group has its objectives. It has been experimented that whenever there is a threat to disturb the group norm or group objective, group members get more united to protect the group objective from the party threatening the same. It will be noticed that external threat brings higher degree of cohesion to the group.
In the fast moving world today, the importance of group has increased many fold. Employees have sacrificed their perks and privileges to ensure higher productivity by adhering to group norms. For example employees in a well-organized industry work beyond specified time to achieve group goals. Meeting higher challenges brings personal satisfaction to group members and higher level cohesiveness to the group they are part of.
v. Degree of Participation in Group Activities:
Participation in group activities is important as it leads to more frequent interaction between group members. Success in group activities also brings cohesiveness as each of the participants feels that he has been the contributor for achievement of group goals. For example participation in sports team and achieving the victory.
vi. Attitude and Value:
“Birds of the same feather flock together”. Group members having identically attitude and high level of value system will behave themselves identically and promote group norms and achieve Cohesiveness. In such situation decision making and implementation of group task is comparatively easy.
Conflict situations are avoided and a smooth sailing is achieved. Interest of the group is well protected due to cohesiveness of the group. Relationship between cohesiveness, performance norms on productivity Study of cohesiveness is important because it has an impact on productivity of the organization.
Relationship of group Cohesiveness, performance norms and productivity is given in Figure below:
Performance norms are those work and behaviour related activities that have been accepted as norm like Cooperation, Quality of output, interpersonal behaviour etc. A cohesive group will be more productive than a less cohesive group.
If cohesiveness is high and performance norms are low, productivity will be low thereby establishing the superiority of performance norms. If cohesiveness is low and performance norms are high, productivity will increase. When performance norms and Cohesiveness is low, productivity will fall.
To achieve group cohesiveness following suggestion are:
1. Small group have better Cohesiveness.
2. Encourage unilateral acceptance of group goals.
3. Time spent by members for group activities should be increased.
4. Increase status of group and group members.
5. Create an environment of perceived difficulty in attaining group membership.
6. Competition with other groups.
7. Introduce reward systems.
8. Physical Isolation of group increases cohesiveness.
Term Paper # 6. Stages of Group Development:
In the Forming stage, personal relations are characterized by dependence. Group members rely on safe, patterned behavior and look to the group leader for guidance and direction. Group members have a desire for acceptance by the group and a need to know that the group is safe. They set about gathering impressions and data about the similarities and differences among them and forming preferences for future subgrouping.
Rules of behavior seem to be to keep things simple and to avoid controversy. Serious topics and feelings are avoided. The major task functions also concern orientation. Members attempt to become oriented to the tasks as well as to one another. Discussion centers around defining the scope of the task, how to approach it, and similar concerns. To grow from this stage to the next, each member must relinquish the comfort of non-threatening topics and risk the possibility of conflict.
The next stage, which Tuckman calls Storming, is characterized by competition and conflict in the personal- relations dimension an organization in the task-functions dimension. As the group members attempt to organize for the task, conflict inevitably results in their personal relations. Individuals have to bend and mold their feelings, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs to suit the group organization.
Because of “fear of exposure” or “fear of failure,” there will be an increased desire for structural clarification and commitment. Although conflicts may or may not surface as group issues, they do exist. Questions will arise about who is going to be responsible for what, what the rules are, what the reward system is, and what criteria for evaluation are.
These reflect conflicts over leadership, structure, power, and authority. There may be wide swings in members’ behavior based on emerging issues of competition and hostilities. Because of the discomfort generated during this stage, some members may remain completely silent while others attempt to dominate.
In order to progress to the next stage, group members must move from a “testing and proving” mentality to a problem-solving mentality. The most important trait in helping groups to move on to the next stage seems to be the ability to listen.
In Tuckman’s Norming stage, interpersonal relations are characterized by cohesion. Group members are engaged in active acknowledgment of all members’ contributions, community building and maintenance, and solving of group issues. Members are willing to change their preconceived ideas or opinions on the basis of facts presented by other members, and they actively ask questions of one another.
Leadership is shared, and cliques dissolve. When members begin to know-and identify with-one another, the level of trust in their personal relations contributes to the development of group cohesion. It is during this stage of development (assuming the group gets this far) that people begin to experience a sense of group belonging and a feeling of relief as a result of resolving interpersonal conflicts.
The major task function of stage three is the data flow between group members: They share feelings and id as, solicit and give feedback to one another, and explore actions related to the task. Creativity is high. If this stage of data flow and cohesion is attained by the group members, their interactions are characterized by openness and sharing of information on both a personal and task level. They feel good about being part of an effective group.
The major drawback of the norming stage is that members may begin to fear the inevitable future breakup of the group; they may resist change of any sort.
The Performing stage is not reached by all groups. If group members are able to evolve to stage four, their capacity, range, and depth of personal relations expand to true interdependence. In this stage, people can work independently, in subgroups, or as a total unit with equal facility.
Their roles and authorities dynamically adjust to the changing needs of the group and individuals. Stage four is marked by interdependence in personal relations and problem solving in the realm of task functions. By now, the group should be most productive. Individual members have become self- assuring, and the need for group approval is past. Members are both highly task oriented and highly people oriented. There is unity: group identity is complete, group morale is high, and group loyalty is intense.
The task function becomes genuine problem solving, leading toward optimal solutions and optimum group development. There is support for experimentation in solving problems and an emphasis on achievement. The overall goal is productivity through problem solving and work.
Tuckman’s final stage, adjourning, involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion usually includes recognition for participation and achievement and an opportunity for members to say personal goodbyes. Concluding a group can create some apprehension – in effect, a minor crisis.
The termination of the group is a regressive movement from giving up control to giving up inclusion in the group. The most effective interventions in this stage are those that facilitate task termination and the disengagement process.