ECE _ DSST Organizational Behavior

Informal groups such as this kind provide a very

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Informal groups such as this kind provide a very important service by satisfying their members’ social needs. Because of interactions that result from the close proximity of work stations or task interactions, workers can be found playing golf together, riding to and from work together, and eating lunch together From the mid-1960s, it was believed that groups pass though a standard sequence in their evolution and that sequence is described in the Five-Stage Model. The first stage in this model is known as forming . This stage 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 behavior are acceptable. This stage is complete when members have begun to think of themselves as part of a group The second stage in group development is the storming stage which is characterized by intragroup conflict. In this stage, members accept the existence of the group, but resist the constraints the group imposes on individuality. Further, there is conflict over who will control the group. When this stage is complete, a relatively clear hierarchy of leadership exists within the group The third stage in group development is the norming stage. This stage is one in which close relationships develop and the group demonstrates cohesiveness. There is now a strong sense of group identity and camaraderie. This norming stage is complete when the group structure solidifies and the group has assimilated a common set of expectations of what defines correct member behavior. The fourth stage in group development is the performing stage, when the group is fully functional . The structure at this point is fully functional and accepted. Group energy has moved from getting to know and understand each other to performing the task at hand. For permanent work groups, performing is the last stage in their development. The final stage in group development is the adjourning stage, where the group prepares for its disbandment. In this stage, high task performance is no longer the group’s top priority. Instead, attention is directed toward wrapping up activities. Responses of group members vary in this stage. Some are upbeat, basking in the group’s accomplishments. Others may be depressed over the loss of camaraderie and friendships gained during the work group’s life. The Punctuated-Equilibrium model characterizes groups as exhibiting long periods of inertia (resistance to action or change) interspersed with brief revolutionary changes triggered primarily by their members’ awareness of time and deadlines. This model finds that (1) the first meeting sets the group’s direction; (2) the first phase of group activity is one of inertia; (3) a transition takes place at the end of the first phase, which occurs exactly when the group has used up half its allotted time; (4) the transition initiates major changes; (5) a second phase of inertia follows the transition; and (6) the group’s last meeting is characterized by markedly accelerated activity.
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