The purpose of this essay is to set out the main arguments in favour of effective communication and its influences in management and in a working team. In our society, groups are playing a fundamental role, which affect our lives. We were created to live in community and we need to communicate to each other. We are different and each of us is unique, we have different ways of thinking, different languages, different cultures and different beliefs and therefore we need to look for a place where we can share what we are. 1. Formation
A group is formed by a common interest such as economics, politics, spirituality and social class. Within a group there may be working teams. These have increased dramatically in recent years and the main reason for this is because a team can deliver more than an individual, however this is not always true. Team working has its origins in the Hawthorne studies, carried out in Chicago between the late 1920s and early 1940s. This research describes the positive and negative qualities of group working and also has a profound effect in management thinking.
In general there are two basic ideas for a group formation, which are functional and psychological. The functional assumption is the formation of a group in terms of a face-to-face interaction where each member join together in order to work for a common goal. One example of this is the Williams- BMW Formula one team, which is formation of a group of five international companies, Hewell Packard, Williams, BMW, Petrolbrass and Michellin. All of them working together in order to design and perform a perfect a car that can adapt to different circumstances and conditions such as climate, temperature, type of track and so on.
The second assumption is the psychological formation where there is a perception of shared identity, personal beliefs and social ideas. In other words, it is where human needs have a place to be expressed. A good example of this is Christianity where millions of people around the world congregate together in order to express their dependence on God. Within a group, there are different aspects that may influence its performance and development. These aspects are its rules and structure. 2. Rules and Norms It is an official statement that tells us what we must or must not do in a particular situation.
Schools, clubs, sports, businesses and families all rely on rules. And countries have laws, which are merely an elaborate set of rules. We need rules to tell us what we can and cannot do. Without them, everything would descend into chaos. On the other hand, a norm is a situation or way of behaving that is usual or expected and also it could represent the expectations within the group for appropriate behaviour of group members. As a group, the Williams team have to submit to the FIA (Automobile International Federation) that is the institution in charge of the regulation in the whole competition.
In contrast the Christian Church submits to the principles in the Bible. Guirdham in 1995 suggest there are four stages that are generally present at work. However from my personal experience they do not always apply within group behaviour. Fairness. It is the way of treating people equally or according to the rules or norms. Sometimes we expect other group members to behave equitably. If they do not we try to make them very upset or unhappy. A good example of this was the problem that the Williams team had with its drivers.
Within the team race there should be a top driver (Ralf Schumacher) and a second driver (Juan Pablo Montoya). At the beginning of the 2002 season, there were two huge issues in the group. Firstly Juan P. Montoya did not accept that Ralf was the top driver and therefore Ralf never had a good relationship with his teammate. Secondly the top driver was earning 12 million and the second driver was earning 2 million. It was a considerable difference between them especially when the second driver ended the season in a better position than his teammate. Reciprocity.
It is the stage that involves two or more people or groups who expects to help each other or to behave in the same way towards one another. It is important to mention that Guirdham indicates that in the business setting the operation of this norm is problematic and this is because individuals can assume there are ulterior motives for other’s actions. Another example of reciprocity is the actions taken between the United States government and Iraq government where the United States government has the priority in setting up any type of business in Iraq for the supposed liberation of this country. Reasonableness.
In Spanish there is an expression that says, “After a storm the calm comes” and this is what happen in this stage where most people in business expect each other to behave in sensible and fair way. Role expectations. It is the kind of pressure that people made on individuals to behave as good as other they expected; force them to perform to their norms. How someone behaves is determined to a large extent by the role defined in the context in which he or she is acting. For instance, the role of a British judge is viewed as having propriety and dignity, while a football coach is seen as aggressive, dynamic, and inspiring to his players.
3. Group Structure The second aspect of a group is the structure that reflects the established patterns of behaviour that are distinctive within a particular group and it constitutes a distinctively social aspect of group life. The most important aspect of structure is the different categories of membership that are assumed for each member within the group. 3. 1 Group leader or Chairperson. This is the person or individual who emerges because he or she is perceived by other members as the most competent at the functional requirements of the leadership role.
He or she is typically identified by titles such as unit or department manager, supervisor, foreman, project leader, task force head or committee chair. 3. 2 Members These are individuals or groups of people who have accepted group goals as relevant and recognize interdependence with other group members in the achievements of these goals. However, sometimes an individual’s personal goals conflict with the group’s goals and if he or she is not prepared to modify his or her personal goals, dissatisfaction with the group becomes almost inevitable and he or she will be identified as a deviate.
A good example from work behaviour would occur when deviates resist group pressure and continue to reject group goals, the group will eventually give up on them and other group member leave them alone and they become isolated. It is important to mention that sometimes within a groups it is also possible to find others types of roles such as monitor evaluator, resource investigator, shaper, company worker, team worker and finisher member. 4. Group Cohesiveness Generally groups go through four stages, each with different process issues that members have to deal with.
4. 1 Group process – Forming This stage is about exploring and resolving the very fundamental parameters of the group’s existence. For example, goals and common ideas. Forming is characterized by a great deal of uncertainty about the group’s purpose, structure and leadership. Members are “Testing the waters” to determine what types of behaviour are acceptable. This stage is complete when members have begun to think of themselves as part a group. 4. 2 Group process – Storming The storming stage is one of intragroup conflict.
Members accept the existence of the group, but there is resistance to the constraints that the group imposes on individuality. At this stage, there may be a degree of conflict and this may also be destructive to the extent that the group does not survive. 4. 3 Group process Norming The third stage is one in which close relationships develop and the group demonstrates cohesiveness. There is now a strong sense of group identity and camaraderie. At this stage members develop a more positive orientation to the task and each holder and also there is a clear role among members.
Group process – performing At this stage, there is a full functionality among the members of the group. Divisions of labour emerge as members take on more specific functions. To share common interests or ideas makes the membership feel important and also it is an ingredient for cohesion within a group. Turner in 1982 concluded that competition with other groups causes group members to perceive others members as more similar than they actually are. 5 Group Innovation. An innovative group is the group that creates new ideas, things or ways of doing certain tasks.
In order to innovate within a group there should be four important factors. Vision. This is the ability to make important plans ahead by understanding the goals of the group. Participation. This is an important aspect that challenges members to take part or to become involved within the group’s goals. However it is essential that there will be encouragement for group members to provide ideas or suggestions. Commitment. This is the agreement or responsibility that is made with the group’s members in order to meet the aims of the group. The priority is to improve the actual stage of the group.
Support for innovation. To do whatever needs to be done in order to promote innovation processes within the group’s members. Some companies invest a lot of money in their employees such as training, motivation conferences, vouchers and sometimes bonus holidays. 6 Groupthink. Pilate said, “I find no basis for any charge against him. But it is your practice for me to set one prisoner free for you at Passover time. “Do you want me to set ‘the king of the Jews free? ” They shouted back ” No! Not him Give us Barabbas! ” Once more Pilate came out. He said to Jews.
“Look I am bringing Jesus out to you. I want to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him. The Jews replied, “We have a law, that says he must die. He claimed to be the Son of God. When Pilate heard that, he was even more afraid. Pilate said, “Do not you understand? I have the power to set you free or to nail you to a cross. ” From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free. But the Jews kept shouting. “If you let this man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who claims to be a king is against Caesar! ” When Pilate heard this, brought Jesus out.
“Here is your King”, said Pilate to Jews and they shouted, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him! ” Finally, Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be nailed to a cross. The last story is a good example of groupthink. Where the ability to make our own judgement can be affected by someone else’s decisions. However this type problem can avoid by an actively searching out information, irrespective of whether it is contrary to the group’s opinion. The next component of group behaviour that is within group communication is synergy. 1+7+ 2 does not necessarily add up to 10.
In group tasks for which each member’s contribution is not clearly visible, there is a tendency for individuals to decrease their effort. Social loafing, in other words, illustrates a negative process that may occur within a group. But group processes can also yield positive results. That is, groups can create outputs greater than the sum of their inputs. Synergy is a term used in biology that refers to an action of two or more substances that results in an effect that is different from the individual summation of the substances. We can use this concept to better understand group processes.