Here is a term paper on ‘Group’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Group’ especially written for college and management students.
Term Paper on Group
Term Paper Contents:
- Term Paper on the Nature and Concept of the Group
- Term Paper on the Meaning of Group
- Term Paper on the Types of Groups
- Term Paper on Why do People Join Groups?
- Term Paper on Group Cohesiveness
- Term Paper on Group Decision-Making
- Term Paper on Team Building
Term Paper # 1. The Nature and Concept of the Group:
The concept of the group is fundamental to understanding the social system. Individuals from social and task groupings to satisfy some basic and powerful needs such as companionship, security, or task achievement. A great deal of work performed in organizations, is done by people working together in groups. This may be due to several variables governing the interrelationships between them and individuals—commonly referred to as group dynamics.
Group dynamics the social science field focusing on the nature of groups—the factors governing their formation and development, the elements of their structure and their interrelationships with individuals, other groups and organizations.
Group behaviour is not the sum total of the behaviours of all members; it is something more behaviours of all members; it is something more yet something less. The behaviour of each member is modified constrained, and directed into channels approved by the groups.
To understand the dynamics of groups and their influence on individual and organizational functioning, we must begin by raising some basic questions—namely what is a group, types of groups exist, why do people join groups, how do groups come into being?
Very few of us exist only, for or by ourselves. We are social beings; the basic need is the social need, belonging and being accepted. This need can be satisfied only through social activity, which requires other people.
Term Paper # 2. Meaning of Group:
Social scientists have formally defined a group as a “collection of two or more interacting individuals with a stable pattern of relationships between them who share common goals and who perceive themselves as being a group”.
Herbert Theodore defines group as “the largest set of two or more individuals who are jointly characterized by a network of relevant communications a shared sense of collective identity and one or more shared disposition with associated normative strength”.
Implicit in this definition is the notion that:
1. The real entity is group and is at the same time abstract.
2. We cannot identify a member of people as a group standard,
3. A group exists with shared sense of collective identity and relationships.
Robins refers to formal and informal groups and defines group as two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent who have come together to achieve particular objectives.
To understand better the definitions we can summarize the four key characteristics of groups:
1. Social Interaction:
Interaction among members of the group have some influence on each other.
Groups must possess a stable structure.
3. Common Interests or Goals:
Members share common interests or goals. For example, members of a club constitute a group on mutual interests; they try to achieve a common goal.
4. Recognition as being a Group:
Finally, to be a group the individuals involved must perceive themselves as a group. Groups are composed of people who recognize each other as a member of their group and can distinguish these individuals from non- members.
By defining groups in term of these four characteristics, we will now review the types of groups within organizations.
Term Paper # 3. Types of Groups:
Groups can be either formal or informal. By Formal Groups we mean those defined by the organisational structure and establish task or work groups.
In contrast Informal Groups are neither formally structured nor organisational determined. These groups are natural formation in the work environment that appear in response to the need for social contact.
Groups may be either command group, which is determined in the organisational chart is composed of the subordinates, who report directly to a manager.
1. Task Group:
Represent those working together to complete a job task. A Task Group boundaries are not limited to its immediate hierarchical superior. It can cross command relationship. Task Group members are responsible for particular goals or objectives to be achieved.
2. Interest Groups:
Are those working together specific objective with which each is concerned.
Groups are sometimes form out of affinity or social objectives. They are caned friendship groups.
3. Informal Groups:
Provide an important service by satisfying their social needs. Interaction amongst the members achieve certain specific goals or objectives.
Term Paper # 4. Why do People Join Groups?
People often join groups to satisfy their mutual interest and goals. Coming to the proximity with others allows us to achieve ends that would not be possible alone. In fact organisation can be thought of as collection of groups that are focussed towards achieving the mutual goal of achieving success for the company.
This is a kind of motivation that people have for joining groups.
There are other reasons:
1. Not only do groups form for the purposes of mutually achieving goal. They also form for purpose of seeking protection from other groups. Security is the main aim of the people to join the groups. There are professional association such as American Medical Association, Bar Association etc., for purposes of seeking protection against abuses by management and also for purposes of protecting people in their respective fields.
2. Groups exist because they appeal to a basic psychological need to be social. Human beings are social animals, they have a basic need to interact with others. Groups provide good opportunities for friendship to develop and hence for social needs to be fulfilled. If a group to which one belongs is successful, the self-esteem of all members may be boosted. Group membership provides opportunity for people to be recognised.
Term Paper # 5. Group Cohesiveness:
Effective work groups are cohesive. In this section we want to determine whether the cohesiveness as a group characteristics is desirable.
Meaning of Cohesiveness:
Degree to which group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the group.
According to H. Theodore cohesiveness has dimension along which we classify a group as cohesive. Cohesiveness relates to the strength of the inter-personal attraction among group members. A highly cohesive group is composed of members who value their associations with the group as a whole, as well as with other group members. In low degree of cohesiveness members are not dedicated to the group and each purposes.
What Makes a Group Cohesive?
Factors that influence degree of cohesiveness are stated below:
1. Time Spend Together:
If you really get an opportunity to see or interact with other people, you are unlikely to be attracted to them. The amount of time people spend together influence cohesiveness. If they spend more time together, they become more friendly. This opportunity is available, when group members are in proximity,
2. Severity of Initiation:
The competition to be accepted into a good institution(for e.g., medical school) that are highly cohesive , the initiation become so severe that entrance create or contribute to this cohesiveness.
3. Group Size:
The size of the group tends to create cohesiveness because of greater interaction with the members and the total ability of the group increases.
4. External Threats:
Most of the research support the proposition that a group cohesiveness will increase if the group comes under attack from internal sources. This is the cooperative spirit of the groups that can be developed, if there is cohesiveness.
5. There are other points which can be mentioned in regard to this cohesiveness.
The more alike the group members are the more likely they will be to see each other as similar to themselves. And the easier it is to identify with the others. Such perceived similarity can create a strong basis for mutual attraction.
We pointed out earlier that a requirement for a group to exist is opportunity to communicate. The more group members are able to communicate (interact) the stronger the sentiments and greater the interpersonal attractions among the members.
(iii) Status of the Group:
Individuals in high status groups display greater cohesiveness. Membership in such a group is more highly valued than membership of a group. That is widely held in contempt.
The Effects of Cohesiveness on Group Productivity:
Generally speaking group cohesiveness is increased when members spend time together and undergo a severe initiation, when the group size is small and predominantly female, when external threats exists and when the group has a history of previous successes.
The group cohesiveness is related to increase productivity. Because cohesive groups are more effective than those with less cohesiveness. High cohesiveness is both a cause and an outcome of high productivity. Secondly the relationship is moderated by performance—related norms.
Cohesiveness influences productivity and productivity influences cohesiveness.
Term Paper # 6. Group Decision-Making:
Many decisions in organizations are made by groups, teams or committee. In this section, we review group decision-making.
Group decision-making may be widely used in organization. Are these decisions preferable to those made by an individual alone? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors.
Group decisions have their strength but subject to situation.
The following are the advantages:
1. More Complete Information and Knowledge:
Members of the group bring more input into the decisions process.
2. Increased Diversity of Views:
This opens up the opportunity for more approaches and alternatives to be considered.
3. Increased Acceptance of a Solution:
People participate in group discussion and get at the consensus. They will be more likely to accept it and encourage others to accept it.
4. Increased Legitimacy:
The group decision making process is consistent with democratic methods, and ideals. Therefore may be perceived as being more legitimate than decisions made by a single man.
There are certain disadvantages in the group decision making—It takes time to assemble a group. The result is time consuming. There are social pressures in groups. Group discussion can be dominated by one or a few members. Responsibility is not fixed on any individual.
Effectiveness and Efficiency:
Both the terms are not same. Effectiveness is the result of efficiency (doing the things in a right way). In terms of accuracy or effectiveness, group decisions tend to be more accurate. On the average, groups make quality decisions than individuals. Though in terms of speed, individual decisions are superior, yet groups tend to be more effective and creative then individuals in case of decision making.
Groups offer an excellent vehicle for reforming many of the steps in the decision making process. Groups consist of individuals who come from different backgrounds, culture, knowledge etc. So it is very much possible to develop alternatives and select the particular course of action.
Group think when a group functions well, its result may be of high quality; free exchange of information among high-ability members.
Commitment to the task and university of viewpoints help action good results. Yet many different factors seem to conspire against the group. Members with high status, ability and experience may be more forceful, imposing their ideas on others and inhibiting free exchange.
What has been termed the risky shift’ phenomenon also operates to affect the nature of the group decision. Group decisions have been formed to be more rescues than the decisions made individually by the members of the group.
Janis adopted the term groupthink for a kind of consensus— seeking process that goes on in a cohesive group. Seeking consensus between an end in itself.
Under group think conditions a member of immediate consequences may be noticed.
They are the products of poor group decision-making practices:
1. Discussion is limited to only a few alternatives no attempt is made to determine all feasible choices.
2. A course of action, originally preferred but later rejected because of risks and drawback, is discarded rather than reexamined.
3. Little or no time is spend, trying to find ways to overcome the problems that have made rejected, alternatives seem undesirable.
4. Interest is shown only for those facts and opinions that support the consensus; contradictory or non-supportive facts and opinions are ignored.
5. No contingency plans are developed by which to cope with foreseeable difficulties that could endanger the success of the group’s chosen course.
To overcome group think tendencies, Janis recommends practices he found to be used in two successful group activities—the formulation of Marshall planned the handling of the Cuban missile crises:
1. The leader should formally assign each member responsibility for critical evaluation and encourage the airing of objectives and doubts.
2. An impartial noncommittal stance should be adopted; in these ways, group members are encouraged to explore and evaluate all of the feasible options fully.
3. Before final consensus is reached, each member should be required to discuss the group’s deliberations with the other members of .the organization and to report back her or his reactions.
4. Outside experts should be brought to the meetings to challenge and expand the views of the group members.
5. Before a final commitment is made to one alternative a careful review should be made to revive all doubts and rethink the entire problem.
So far we have discussed two-products of group decision making—Group think which is related to norms(over sides the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action).
The second phenomenon which is called group shift, indicates a change in decision risk between the group’s decision and individual decision can be either towards conservation or greater risk.
In comparing group decisions with individual decisions of members within the group, there are differences. In some cases, the group decisions are more conservative than the individual decisions. More often, the shift is towards greater risk. The group shift can be viewed as a special case of group think.
Techniques of Group Decision-Making:
1. Common form of group decisions making is face-to-face interacting groups.
An idea generation process that specifically encourages any and all alternatives while withholding any criticism of those alternatives. In a typical brainstorming session, the group leader states the problem in a clear manner. Participants/members suggest alternatives that are discussed and analyzed. Out of the several alternatives, selection of a course of action is made in the decision making process.
Normal Group Technique:
Restricts discussion or interpersonal communication during the decision making process hence the term nominal.
A group decision method in which individual members, acting separately pool their judgments in a systematic and in dependent fashion.
It does not require the physical presence of the group’s members. This technique of group decision can be applied through designed questionnaires. Each member unanimously and independently completes the questionnaire. Results are compiled at a central location and announced.
Delphi technique can be used for decision making among geographically scattered groups.
Term Paper # 7. Team Building:
Effective Team Building:
“A team is defined as two or more people who interact and influence each other towards a common purpose”. Traditionally two types of teams have existed in organizations; formal and informal. Today however, teams exist that have the characteristics of both.
“A team may be defined as a group whose members have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose or set of performance goal for which they hold themselves neutrally accountable”.
Group vs Team—a Comparison:
Groups may be distinguished from team in terms of the various characteristics:
1. Performance depends on the work of individual members. Performance (Groups) of a team depends on both individual contributions and collective work products—the going outcome of team members working in consort.
2. Group members usually do not take responsibility for any results, other than their own teams focus as both individual and mutual accountability—i.e., they work together towards outcome.
3. Group members are interested in common goals—Team members also share a common commitment to purpose.
4. Teams differ from groups with respect to the nature of their connections to management. Work groups are typically required to be responsive to demands regularly placed on them by management. Teams are generally self-managing—free to set their own goals.
There are many different kinds of team namely command team (a manager and employees) committee (formal organizational team created) taskforce or project team—(a temporary team formed to address a specific problem).
Some groups today have characteristics of both formal and informal teams. Super teams or high performance team (groups of 3 to 30 workers from different areas of corporation). Others are reference group and self-managed teams.
Team Building—Creating Team:
Building and creating a team is not easy so combination of skilled willing people is the precondition of team building. It involves four precondition of team building.
It involves four distinct stages:
B.N. Tuokman suggested five stages:
During the initial stage, the group forms and learns what sort of behaviour is acceptable to the group. Before teams are created a decision has to be made about whether or not a team should be formed—a stage known as pre-work. Certain things are to be considered namely what works need to be done are to be done objectives to be established.
As individual has desire to assert his personality, he would oppose the formation of a group. Further, it is also desirable to know the performance conditions— proper resources needed to carry out its work; (both financial and physical resources).
At this time, the conflicts that arose in the previous stage are addressed and hopefully resolved. Group utility emerges as members establish common goals, norms, and ground rules. Members begin to voice personal opinions and develop close relationships.
At this stage, the group begins to operate as a unit. The structure of the group, new supports and cases group dynamics and performance.
For temporary groups such as task forces, the focus of the group shifts from high task performance to closure. Tuckman does not suggest that all groups adhere strictly to such a framework.
Lastly for building a team:
(i) Managers should form boundaries, clearly establish who is and who is not a member of the team.
(ii) The members must accept the team norms—expectations about how they and the other members will behave. Norms are the methods of enforcing conformity. The measures of nonconformance are sarcasm, criticism, ostracism and such physical harassment.
(iii) Organizational officials should clarify the teams mission and responsibilities.
(iv) Once a team is functioning, supervisors may be needed to help the team to eliminate problems and perform later. The solidarity or cohesiveness of a team is an important indicator of how much influence the group has over its individual members. “Team cohesiveness is critical in helping the individual feel good about his or her contribution to the effort”.
It is no gain saying the fact managerial skill and hard work is required to create and manage teams effectively. Now-a-days we are led to believe that teams can produce impressive results in improving quality, customer service, productivity and the bottom line.