Chapter 10 ‘Basics of Group Behavior’
Groups and Group identity
Group: two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come
together to achieve particular objectives.
Formal group: designated work group defined by an organization’s structure.
Informal group: group that is neither formal y structured nor organizational y
determined; such a group appears in response to the need for social contact.
Types of interaction among individuals, though informal, deeply affect behavior and
Social identity theory: a perspective that considers when and why individuals
consider themselves members of groups.
Positive and painful shared experiences enhance our bond with the group. We can identify with a company, country, sports club.
→ Workplace: our identification with our workgroups is often stronger than with
organizations, but both important to positive outcomes in attitudes & behaviors. Low
identification with organizations → decreased satisfaction and engage in fewer
organizational citizenship behaviors
Ingroups and outgroups
Ingroup favoritism: perspective in which we see members of our ingroup as better
than other people, and people not in our group as al the same.
low openness/low agreeableness → more susceptible; when ingroup → there is outgroup
Outgroup: the inverse of an ingroup; an outgoup can mean anyone outside the
group, but more usual y it is an identified other group.
Often animosity between ingroups and outgroups. One of most powerful sources of
ingroup–outgroup feelings regards the practice of religion, even in the workplace.
Stages of group development
Temporary groups with finite deadlines pass through a unique sequencing of actions (or
1. The first meeting sets the group’s direction.
2. The first phase of group activity is one of inertia and thus makes slower progress.
3. A transition takes place exactly when the group has used up half its al otted time.
4. This transition initiates major changes.
5. A second phase of inertia fol ows the
6. The group’s last meeting is
characterized by markedly accelerated
→ Punctuated Equilibrium model: set of phases that temporary groups go through that
involves transitions between inertia and activity
inertia: group tends to stand stil or become locked into a fixed course of action even
if it gains new insights that chal enge initial patterns and assumptions
3. Midpoint = alarm clock, heightening members’ awareness that their time is limited and
they need to get moving.
The punctuated-equilibrium model characterizes groups as exhibiting long periods of inertia
interspersed with brief revolutionary changes triggered primarily by members’ awareness of
time and deadlines. Group property 1: roles
1. Role(s): set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given
position in a social unit
Different groups impose different role requirements on individuals. Role perception
Role perception: an individual’s view of how he or she is supposed to act in a given
Role expectations: how others believe a person should act in a given situation.
U.S. federal judge = propriety & dignity; footbal coach = aggressive & dynamic & inspiring to
Psychological contract: an unwritten agreement that sets out what management
expects from an employee and vice versa
Management = good working conditions, clear communication, feedback; employees = good
attitude, fol ow directions, faithful to organisation
Management derelict in its part of bargain → expect negative effects on employee
performance and satisfaction
Role conflict: a situation in which an individual is confronted by divergent role
Interrole conflict: a situation in which the expectations of an individual’s different,
separate groups are in opposition
Group property 2: norms
Norms: acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the
When agreed to by the group, norms influence behavior with a minimum of external controls Norms and emotions
In a task group, individuals’ emotions influence the group’s emotions and vice versa.
People grew to interpret their shared emotions in the same way. → our emotions and moods
can shape our perspective, so the normative effect of groups can powerful y influence group
attitudes and outcomes. Norms and conformity
Conformity: the adjustment of one’s behavior to align with the norms of the group.
As a member of a group, you desire acceptance by the group → are susceptible to
conforming to group norms. Groups can place strong pressures on individual members to
change attitudes and behaviors to match group’s standard.
If everybody says x = A, than 75% of the people agree with that, although they do know it’s
the incorrect answer. People conform most to their reference groups, important groups in which a person is aware
of other members, defines himself or herself as a member or would like to be a member, and
feels group members are significant to him or her.
Reference groups: important groups to which individuals belong or hope to belong
and with whose norms individuals are likely to conform.
Norms and behavior
Norms can cover any aspect of group behavior.
1. Examination of relationship between the physical environment (specifical y, amount
of light on the shop floor) and productivity. → light did not influence until moonlight
level, than decrease of productivity → group dynamics rather than environment
2. Isolation of smal groups of women assembling telephones so their behavior could be
more careful y observed. → output increased, number absences less than regular
department. → group’s performance influenced by ‘special’ status. Though they were
an elite group. → Workers in illumination and assembly experiments were really
reacting to the increased attention they received.