Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working In A Group Psychology Essay

According to Ian Brooks, “Organisation behaviour (OB) is the study of human behaviour in organisational contexts with a focus on individuals and group processes and actions”. “Hence it involves an exploration of organisation and managerial processes in the dynamic context of the organisation and is primarily concerned with the human implication of such activity” (Brooks, 2009).


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Group has always been a characteristic of human behaviour According to Aronson’s (2007) people is ‘Social Animal’, and often need interaction with others to function effectively as individuals.

Definition of Group

‘Two or more people who are perceived by themselves or other as a social entity.’ (Arnold et al, 2005)

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Working in a Group for the Individual

When people are working in group have to be anticipated each other opinion and individual working alone cannot perform the more efficiently than what group do. So there is some reward as well as weakness for individual working in group.

A number of time questions have been raised whether group problem solving is superior, inferior to individual problem solving. (Hoffman, 1965 and Kelley & Thibaut, 1954).

Some of reward

Knowledge and information

The information collected by group will me more as compare to individual. Thus problem which required the utilization of knowledge and information will give groups an advantage over individual. For example, A Skilled operator might contribute to an engineer’s problem solving and an ordinary workman might supply information on how a new machine might be received by workers.

More approaches to a Problem

Individual acquire problem by going into the potholes of their thinking (Duncker, 1945; Maier, 1930). Many problems will face by individual in order to achieving a goal. Thus he become handicapped in his approach and also fails to discover a further approach that may work out problem but in group is opposite to this. For examples the group member do not have the same approach that individual thinks but they will contribute by knocking their ruts in thinking in order to solve the problem.

Participation in Problem Solving Increases Acceptance

Group problem solving authorize participation and influence, it follows that more individuals acknowledge solutions when a group solves the problem than when one person solves it. When one individual solves a problem he still has the task of convincing others. Therefore, when groups solve such problems, a greater number of persons accept and feel responsible for making the solution work.

Better Comprehension of the Decision

Decision made in group is directly utilized by the group member were as when individual make a decision he has to consult with decision maker to the decision-executors.


Social Pressure

Social pressure is a major force making for agreement good member will accept tends to silence disagreement and favours consensus. Minority opinions in leaderless groups have little influence on the solution reached, even when these opinions are the correct ones (Maier & Solem, 1952). Reaching agreement in a group often is confused with finding the right answer, and it is for this reason that the dimensions of a decision’s acceptance and its objective quality must be distinguished (Maier, 1963).

Valence of Solutions

When leaderless group engaged in solving problem, they come up with several of solutions. Every solution may receive both critical as well as supportive comments

If quantities of negative and positive comments for each solution are algebraically summed, each may be given valence index (Hoffman and Maier, 1964).

Dominated by Individual

In most of leader less group individual emerges and detains their share of interest on the conclusion. Hoffman and Maier (1967) “found that the mere fact of appointing a leader causes this person to dominate a discussion, regardless of his problem-solving ability a leader tends to exert a major influence on the outcome of a discussion”

Why do people join group:

Since people is a social animal who need to be interactive with other human being. Groups lie at the core of the human experience and underpin the structure and accomplishments of human society. A group may belong to various ethnicity, ability, gender, nationality; professional employment etc. working in a group is an excellent way of building the effective interpersonal relationship that organisations needed (Heller, 1997). In group people co-ordinate their action plan and cooperate to accomplish task that individual cannot performance alone (Williams, 2002).

For examples, when I use to do an assignment, ideas relating to topics were minimal, but same things I performed in group ways of thinking changes and ideas comes

automatically. It directly affecting my work as individual, so prefer to perform task in group and not individual.

Stages of forming of group:

According to Bass and Ryterband (1979):

Developing Mutual trust: In the first through initial have doubts about any things and fear, group members defends and limits fear through conformity and ritual.

Communication and decision making: In second stage group member learned to accepts each other emotions and felling. Norms started to developed and member stared to care for each other. Due to this open communication develop problem -solving and decision- making strategies. For examples when a person involves himself/ herself in group. Then he/she can communicate the problems freely to member, are ready to help.

Motivation and productivity: in this stage members are involved with the working environment of the group, cooperating with every member instead of competing. Thy are now more motivated by their group member and psychologically they reward themselves through increased in productivity

Control and Organisation: In this stages work is allocate to each member of group by agreement and abilities to performance the work. Members also can worker independently and the organisation of the group is more flexible and member can adapts to new challenges.

Storming of group:

This second stage of group development, when group member understand each other member better then the storming stages begin. Under this stage bid for the power arises. Each member of group wondering he or she will get respect. Relationship between members becomes stressed and differences become painful, leader is challenged for controlling the group and also some of the issues must be solved first in order to move on next step (Tuckman, 1965). The storming stage is important as it raises the energy level of group and its lead to significant changes in creative and innovation.

Group Norms

Group norms are the informal rules that groups adopt to regulate and regularize group members’ behaviour. Although these norms are often having a powerful, and consistent, influence on group members’ behaviour (Hackman, 1976). There are four circumstances under which group norms are likely to be enforced.

For Group survival: A group will implements norms that protects member of group from interference or harassment by other groups. For examples a group member should not discuss its salaries part with members of other groups so that attention will not divert from main goal. Enforcing norms also make clear boundaries and behaviour acceptable in the group from every individual (Dentler and Erikson, 1959).

What behaviour is expected of group members: If each member of group decides individually how to behave in group then most of valuable time would be lost. Norms helps group to anticipate each other behaviour and prepare them most appropriate manner to response in the group (Hackman, 1976). For examples I went out with my friend for dinner awkwardness appears about how to split the bill at the end of the meal.

The group avoid embarrassing interpersonal problems: Goffman (1955) argues that each person in a group has a “face” he or she presents to other members of a group. This “face” is analogous to what one would call “self-image,” for example group should not discuss romantic involvement or not getting together socially in people homes.

Express the central values and clarify distinctive about group identity: Norms can pro-vide the social justification for group activities to its members (Katz & Kahn, 1978). Norm say that, safeguarding the group is important than individual profits.

Different Types of Groups:

There are two type of group in workplace. Groups can either be formal or informal groups. A formal group is “A planned system of co-operative efforts in which each participant has a recognized role to play and duties or tasks to perform” (Katz, 1965)

The formal organisation includes the system, policies, rules and regulations that express what the relation of one person to another are supposed to be in order to achieve the task effectively (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1941). For examples supporting formal group my own experiences working for Manchester United Football Club I have to follows the policies, rules and regulation under which I have to performs the tasks. As I am crazy about football, so if I watch the football match between my working hours I am violating the norms of club which will be unsatisfied to my manager as well as group.

A informal group “A collection of individuals whose common work experiences result in the development of a system of interpersonal relations beyond those expected of them by values of their employment” (Palazzolo, 1981). Informal group serve to satisfy psychological and social need not related to the task. They also satisfy other need i.e. reduce the felling of insecurity and anxiety, fulfil affiliation needs for friendship, loves support, they also help to shape the group and organisation norms (Brooks, 2009). For examples: A group of employees who band together to seek union representation may be called an interest group Of course, sometimes the interests that bind individuals together are far more diffuse. Groups may develop out of a common interest in participating in sports, or going to the movies, or just getting together to talk. These kinds of informal groups are known as friendship groups.

Other examples in my graduation days our College has conducted big festival called “CALIBRE FIESTA” where I used to take care of financial and security department under my superior who used to guide always from front and tell how to performs and accomplish the job in right manner. This satisfies me and encourage to perform task efficiently so it a psychology rewarding for me as well as demanding for my head to understand the entire thing.

Key aspects

“Motivation can be considered to comprise an individual’s effort and persistence and the direction of that effort” (Brook, 2009)

There are many theories of motivation like Needs hierarchy by Maslow and Alderfer, Herzberg two factor theories and McClelland Achievement needs theory all these theory plays important roles in individual’s life.

According to Abraham Maslow has created the idea of hierarchy of needs which could explain the individual behavior (Maslow, 1943, 1987).

Maslow posited a hierarchy of human needs based on two grouping, scarcity needs and development needs (Maslow, 1943, 1987). Within the scarcity needs, every lower level need must be satisfied in order to moving to higher level (Huitt, 2004). The stages of Maslow theory are Physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization need (Maslow, 1943). For examples: A individual has to go through the first stage of Maslow theory which is Physiological need includes basic thing of human life i.e. Air, water, food, shelter, sex and better working condition all need must satisfied then only move to Safety and security need where he satisfy security of individual in normal environment, then love and belongingness and self-esteem. An individual is ready to act upon development need if only scarcity needs are fulfilled, Self- actualization is development need of individual, here individual are characterized by being problem-focused, incorporating an ongoing freshness of appreciation of life, a concern about personal growth and the ability to have peak experiences (Maslow & Lowery, 1998)

Reason affectinf behaviour in a group

Key factors



Peer pressure



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