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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Group Dynamics in the Business World

You are to write a persuasive final paper (7 to 9 pages not including cover and references) that links the following questions and underlying theories as they relate to your understanding and personal practice in groups. Students should use the text and outside research to review the material for this final paper. Focus of the Final Paper The paper should answer the following questions: 1. Why is it important to understand group dynamics in the business world? How does positive interdependence help to achieve mutual goals? Why is it said that research about groups is NOT always valid and relevant? 2. Are groups OR individuals more effective in work environments? 3. What is group cohesiveness? Is group cohesiveness important? How do group cohesive forces affect group processes? What can you do to increase cohesiveness in your group? 4. How does social influence/interaction affect decision-making? How can you encourage/promote and discourage member's acceptance of proposals in the workplace? 5. Are leaders an important aspect of groups? Can leaders emerge from groups? How? What is the importance of group members' perceptions about leadership and why is this phenomenon important as it pertains to group outcomes? 6. Why are teams more effective than work groups in certain situations? Identify these situations where teams are more effective than work group and provide examples. Writing the Final Paper The Final Paper: 1. Must be seven to nine double-spaced pages in length and formatted according to APA style as outlined in your approved style guide. 2. Must include a cover page that includes: • Title of paper • Student's name • Course name and number • Instructor's name • Date submitted 3. Must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis statement. 4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. 5. Must conclude with a restatement of the thesis and a conclusion paragraph. 6. Must use APA style as outlined in your approved style guide to document all sources. 7. Must include, on the final page, a Reference List that is completed according to APA style These are examples of what has been studied & discussed: Chapter 13 deals with Team Development and Team Training. A team is a set of interpersonal interactions structured to achieve established goals. Teams may be differentiated from working groups. A team’s performance includes team work products that require the joint efforts of two or more members as well as individual work products. Teams may be classified in a number of ways, such as by the setting in which they are used (work, sports, learning), their use in an organization (problem solving, special purpose, self-managing), or what they do (recommend, make or do something, run things). Through the use of modern technology, teams can consist of individuals who are separated geographically. Chapter 14 deals in the Epilogue of the textbook and lists seven guidelines for creating effective groups. Week Five Assignments Your written assignment for this week is to submit the Final Paper by Your first discussion board is High Performance Teams. You will need to use the text readings and the High Performance Teams website to address the following (keep in mind that the website has numerous links for you to follow): Describe the cultural differences between a team and non-team environment. What is a High Performance Team (HPT)? What are the benefits to the employees, customers and management for using such teams? Describe the conditions necessary to create a HPT environment. Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings. Chapter 7 deals with Decision Making. Groups rather than individuals make more effective decisions, because groups create the possibility for social facilitation, risk taking, member commitment to the group, appropriate behavioral and attitudinal patterns being adopted, and the likelihood that the task is better done in a group. Once a group is given the responsibility for making the decision, it can follow any of seven methods, ranging from letting the member with the highest authority decide to averaging individual opinions to group consensus. In using the decision-making methods, components such as positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual accountability, social skills, and group processing must be structured carefully. Chapter 8 deals with Controversy and Creativity. By definition, all decision-making situations involve some conflict as to which of several alternatives should be chosen. Within decision-making groups, that conflict takes the form of controversy. Controversy exists when one individual’s ideas, information, conclusions, theories, and opinions are incompatible with those of another, and the two seek to reach an agreement. Such intellectual conflict among individuals may be avoided and suppressed or it may be structured and encouraged. Conflicts among ideas, conclusions, theories, information, perspectives, opinions, and preferences are inevitable. Key to the successful use of controversy and creativity in problem solving is how open-minded or closed-minded the group is. Chapter 9 deals with Managing Conflicts of Interest. Conflicts of interest will occur frequently among members of effective groups. Conflicts often, but not always, involve indirect or direct aggression. They may have constructive or destructive effects on the group, depending on how members manage them. There are five basic strategies for managing conflicts of interest: withdrawal, forcing (distributive negotiations), smoothing, compromise, and problem solving (integrative negotiations). The occurrence of conflicts may be controlled through controlling triggering events and the entry states of disputants. Negotiations involve participation, information, and outcome interdependence and result in both primary and secondary gains. Chapter 5 deals with Leadership. Small group leadership may be defined in a variety of ways. It has been defined as a set of traits, a personal style, the ability to influence others, a role in an authority hierarchy, or the situational fulfillment of functions necessary for achieving the group’s goals and maintaining effective working relationships among members. Organizational leadership involves a process of challenging the status quo, inspiring a mutual vision, empowering members through teams, leading by example, and encouraging the heart to persist. Chapter 6 deals with Using Power. Power is the capacity to affect the outcomes of oneself, others, and the environment. Power is constructive when it enhances group effectiveness and destructive when it interferes with group effectiveness. Although the dominant view of power focuses on its potential destructiveness, exerting power offers many potential positive outcomes. In fact, the positive use of power is essential for group effectiveness. Power may be based on the ability to deliver rewards, the ability to deliver punishments, a legitimate position of authority, being a referent for others, being an expert, or having needed information. When the distribution of power is unequal, both the high-and low-power person experience difficulties. Although the use of power is ever present in relationships, it is during conflicts that individuals become most conscious of its use. Attached is a portion of previous paper submitted for this same class - for a reference in writing style: What makes our group effective? My group is composed of various professionals in the IT department of a leading internet service provider in the country. This group has computer scientists, software developers, as well as, technicians who work in various capacities to ensure that the computers and systems of the firm are running efficiently day-in-day-out. Over the years, this group has received quite a number of awards for exemplar teamwork and success posted each year such that we can describe the group as not only effective but also efficient. The key dimension of our group that has contributed to the effectiveness is delegation and formulation of clear group policies whereby every participant is expected to follow and adhere to a set of rules. These policies call for everyone in the group to carry out their designated duties promptly to avoid inconveniencing the next person on the line or else to prevent any form of delays and disruption to overall workplace activities. An exception is given to those who are mandated to carry out extremely strenuous and time-consuming task such that they are requested to seek assistance from others. This policy was formulated to create proper roles for each and everyone such that the roles and responsibilities of various personnel were not overlapping (Chang and Huizenga, 2005). Delegation and formulation of clear goals, as well as, expectations of the group have been equivocal in attainment of group effectiveness as every member of the group is aware of their responsibilities. This reduces conflict of interest, as well as, redundancy because there will be no occurrence of some members being overworked while others are “on holiday”. Consequently, the goals and objectives of the group are part and parcel of the everyday activities of the group such that everyone is requested to play their part so that the goal can be attained. The head of department single handedly cannot attain company goals but with the assistance of other group members they are achieved (Griesinger, 1993). The other key point that has led to effectiveness of the group is appreciation of each member’s contribution towards success of the company. This has been a key principle and policy of the group since its inception where all members of the group are recognized and applauded due to their contribution towards the success. The work and responsibilities that are assigned to each are regarded as equivocal, as well as, crucial in attaining success of the firm. Therefore, motivation and combined efforts especially for those who are handling multiple roles as leaders, as well as, other departmental roles seek for extra hands among members of the group. This teamwork has enabled the group members to understand each other’s weaknesses and strengths hence fewer interpersonal conflicts are seen in the department (Forsyth, 2009).

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