Whenever there maybe some change in an organization, some sort of new laws or rules are imposed; individuals generally don’t tend to accept them very easily. But when these same individuals meet as a group and when ideas are exchanged, and the new laws are discussed as to why it was formed? Etc, the thinking of the same individuals change and they become more accepting to changes in their organization. Another important thing which has been noticed about grouping individuals, that if two specialists are grouped together they will work together to achieve the goals of the organization.
But when the same individuals if working for the same department will always try to put each other down and try to compete with each other. There are lots of advantages of groups in an organization some of them are, greater enjoyment and satisfaction from joint work activities. Increased productivity and efficiency of work groups. Closer working relationships between people and work groups. Shared understanding of goals and support of actions needed to achieve them. People in a group can brainstorm and come up with new innovative ideas, which an individual may not think about.
“There are manifest social and psychological gains in working co-operatively with others, than an isolated tasks. Group tasks by their very nature tend to be based on complete operations and involve greater complexity and variety than fragmented tasks. Group can be self regulating, reducing the need for supervision and increasing member’s perception of control. It is easy to allow for job rotation and fair allocation of tasks within a group system of working – indeed it can be beneficial to allow group members to arrange this for themselves” (Principles of Organizational Behaviour – Robin Fincham ; Peter Rhodes pp299).
In a group people can focus on their core activities while joining thoughts and ideas together to arrive at a decision. Group setting assists organizations and their individual members to define and achieve success through collaborative goal setting and developing their abilities to achieve them. Most jobs in some form or another require people to work in groups to accomplish a specific goal. Whether it is doctors performing surgery or pilots flying a plane, groups are an essential part of the work place. Groups have very important consequences for organizational performance and effectiveness.
Much of what we know about groups started with the Hawthrone study. The Hawthorne Studies were conducted from 1927 to 1932 at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Chicago, where Harvard Business School professor Elton Mayo examined productivity and work conditions. Roethlisberger summarised the Hawthrone studies, in which he meant that the worker is not an isolated, atomic individual, he/she is a member of a group or groups. Within each of these groups individuals have feelings and sentiments towards each other, which bind them together in collaborative effort.
Moreover these collective sentiments can and do become attached to every item and object in the industrial environment – even to output. Material goods, output, hours of work, wages and so on cannot be treated as things in themselves. Instead they must be interpreted as carriers of social value. The application of grouping people at work has been encouraged greatly by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. Their interest in work groups began in the 1940s where one of their researchers Eric Trist noticed the failure of mechanisation in a coal mine.
Initially the miners were working in small groups and they were using less advanced techniques, they faced a lot of danger while they were working but these groups had become very cohesive socially and they provided some sort of psychological security to each other. This feeling changed due to introduction to new technology and a pay scale was introduced amongst the workers which lead to formation of status symbol. The entire feeling of a group had vanished and there was no improvement in productivity as expected. Trist recognised the problem and came up with the principle called the social-technical system.
Later A K Rice used this principle in an Indian Textile Mill, where with the introduction of modern techniques there was not much improvement in the production as expected, because the workers had now become machine minders from skilled labourers, which disrupted their work pattern. Then Rice introduced the system of group working amongst the workers, small group were established which were self led, self regulating and performing all the task on their own, which then led to improvement in output as well as the quality of cloth.
Thus one thing can be concluded that workers need to work in groups, instead of isolated members without any kind of interaction. They carry feeling and sentiments because of which they get emotionally attached to each other. “Once the group feel safe and secure in their groups they do their best to make the new system successful. ” (Principles of Organizational Behaviour – Robin Fincham ; Peter Rhodes).
Principles of Organizational Behaviour – R Fincham ; P Rhodes