Teams and Groups are one of the major assets of an organisation; they play an important role in the success of the organisation. According to the classical approach of an organisation which ignores the importance of groups and teams and according to the Taylor theory called 'Rabble Hypothesis', Individuals can carry their work more efficiently and can be easily motivated which will not be affected by others But The Human relation approach shows how important it is to work in groups and how it affects the behaviour and performance of an individual at the work place. The organisations of the 21st world emphasis not only on the team work but on the effective team working, which will not only help the organisation to succeed but also promote the individual growth and success.
As Kreitner et al. Say:' all these huge global companies have staked their future competitiveness on teams and team work. So employers of these are not only interested in the behaviour and performance of an individual but they are also interested in how good team player they can be.
So what a Group is: consider an example of people waiting for the delayed fight on the Delhi airport or a cricket team. Group is basically a collection of people who perceive themselves to be a part of same group. For example, students working on an presentation. Group is more of informal in nature. If we talk about organisations then the preferred term used is Team. So Team is group of people sharing same goal and objective and working together to achieve the pre determined Goal or objective. Although this definition separates groups and teams to some extent but in literature both can be used interchangeably.
The behaviour and performance of an individual as a member of group is as important as they perform individually. It is certain that how people behave in a group is entirely different from their individual behaviour and performance. This can be demonstrated by the example of Floyd Allport(1920) discovered that students completed mathematical calculations faster in the company of other students then when alone and this term is called 'Social facilitation' to indicate that the task was made easier.
People enter into an organisation with different skills and with certain characteristics such as age, gender, personality, inherent emotional framework, values and basic ability, management can do a little to alter these but they can have a real effect on the behaviour. There are some variables that affect that affect the individuals and are responsible for their behaviour such as Perception, decision-making, Learning and motivation. But when they form the real group or team the behaviour is affected. Some of the studies shows where performance of individuals increase while working in a group, But again this depend on the individual to individual.
So why people join groups or work in teams:
There are several reasons for this. According to the Maslow' hierarchy of needs theory: The main reason for this could be safety and love needs and for some individuals it is for esteem needs: according to the Marion Hampton(1999, P.113) Groups embody many important cultural values of western society: team work, co-operation, a collection of that is greater than the sum of its parts, informality, egalitarianism and even the indispensability of the individual member. Groups are seen as having a motivating influence on the individual drawing out the best of him or her, enabling him or her to perform feats that would be beyond his or herself as an individual. Groups can have an healing effect on Individuals bolstering their self esteem and lower work related stress.(Andezej Huzyunski and David Buchannan; P.275)
When Individuals are bought together in a group their behaviour is changed. This change was first studied by the Elton Mayo in 1927 and is known as Hawthorne theory , because it was conducted in Hawthorne plant of the western electric company under the name relay assembly test room experiment. In this experiment when a group of women were separated from other employees and were given a friendly observer who listens to their complaints and ask them to have active involvement, the results were amazing. After the study of 13 weeks it was seen that there was continuous improvement in the productivity which was because of special status as they were separated from other employees, effect of friendly observer and less intense form of supervision which reduced their stress.
Other factors which lead to formation of group are:
Certain tasks can not be performed alone: There are always certain tasks which can not be performed alone by an individual. Imagine a cricket team where everyone plays as an individual. No co-ordination between batsman and supporting bats man or the between the bowlers. Will they be able to win? The answer is NO. they cant win until and unless they work together. Thus working in a team helps to combine talents let them perform and when they do it they get the reward. Thus it leads to a greater extent of Job satisfaction. And everyone want to be the part of a successful team. This give them a identity in the society. This is also explained by the Tajfel in his social identity theory. It focuses on those aspects which derive form the group membership. The group becomes the integral part of one's self concept and if its an successful group then a status symbol in the society.
The Behaviour and performance of an individual is affected by number of ways. Some of them are listed below:
- Acceptable standard of behaviour by Group: If the team members show respect and trust towards each other the contribution of an each team member increases. It is human nature that if we show respect and trust towards each other one can maximise the efforts. It helps to reduce the work related stress, more Job satisfaction thus lower absenteeism and maximum effort and more learning.
- Degree of Attractiveness to each other: Until and unless people don't know each other they cant perform well in a team. There will always be conflict arising between them. Team can never be successful if members of team don't like each other. I want to add my own experience in it. During the first two weeks of mine at the university, In the tutorial of Organisational behaviour we were asked to make the group and to speak up on the topic. I don't know any body and finally I had to be grouped with the people sitting next to me, result I can't even speak up although I was having the content. Thus Higher the degree of attractiveness towards each other, Higher is the efficiency.
- Levels of conflict: Conflict gives the better solutions to the existing problems which will in turn enhance the learning of an individual.
There is always an opportunity to learn something new while working in a team. As everyone has different brain and different abilities you never know when something clicks to you and may be next time you want to adapt that in you life. Although Individuals working on their own are capable of doing wonders but working as a team can produce astounding results. Guirdham Believes that; 'Compared to the individuals groups can make objectively better decisions to which people feel more commitment, while teams can perform functions and carryout projects better and more efficiently, if the people have skills and abilities needed.' Perhaps if something goes wrong no one is going to point out the Individuals.
The main concern is not the formation of group but to have the co-operation between the members of the group to get desired results. For this the group members must have a high level of agreement between them. Such kind of groups is known as cohesive groups. Working in such kind of group is always fun and enjoyable for the members. The following factors must be considered while making groups:
- Similarity of attitudes and Goals: The people having same goal and share same task can make a good time while working in a group. The similar goals bring them together and let them interact. In this process of interaction one can learn a lot from each other. This continuous process of learning is very beneficial for the individual in future. For example, Group of students working on group presentation. While making presentation they can learn a lot from each others experiences and ideas which in turn help them to have better thoughts and in turn good grades.
- Communication: The more easily members can communicate with each other, the greater will be level of cohesiveness among them. For example, Individuals are more comfortable in group where they can communicate face to face or easily as compared to the virtual working team where members communicate via electronic media.
- Compatibility: The people on the workplace are having different attributes like age, ethnic origin, different backgrounds. So it is very important for them to be compatible so as to work together otherwise working in team can be nightmare for them instead of a fun experience.
It is not an easy task to form such kind of group. According to the Tuckman model there are four stages of the development of the cohesive group: these are:
- Forming: It's the first stage of the group formation. Where people from different backgrounds and attributes, different ability and skills are brought together for single predetermined objective.
- Storming: The 2nd stage for the formation of group. In this stage members challenges each other, they show disagreement towards each other, which sometimes lead to the conflict. This is most the most sensitive stage where most of the groups disperse.
- Norming: After the storming stage there comes the stage called Norming. At this point of time group members agree to have some standard behaviour and have some guidelines which everyone agrees. This is the level where cohesiveness and trust built up for each other.
- Performing: The final and most important part is performing. Where they work together to achieve predetermined goal.
working in a such kind of group can be a good learning experience for the Individual, where they got rewards for success, built life time relationships and can have mental satisfaction but working in such kind of group is demanding as well.
Everyone one was their own boss. The main problem while working in team is the thinking of individuals that when no one is working why I should, so the total effect or combined effect of team work decreases. This is also known as 'Ringelmann effect' or the concept of social loafing. This is the tendency to put less effort while working in a team as compared to the individual. A German psychologist, Ringelmann, compared the results of Individual and group performance on a rope pulling task. Workers were asked to pull the rope as hard as they can. A meter measures the strength of each pull. Surprisingly, The total effort was less than that calculated from individuals performance. This while working in a group one has to leave the concept of individualism and work for the group. This thing I closely examined, because we have to go to everyone and ask them to work. No kind of initiative taken by them. Then the peer pressure, This is the main demanding factor while working in a group. You have to meet the deadlines and then you also have to ensure the quality of the work. One thing I learnt form this is one has to separate their personal and professional life. No one is perfect but a team can be. But at the end of the cultural event the praise form everyone and the college society and the rewards we get was really satisfying. From the whole experience of mine I can say that sometimes group performance outshines the individuals performance.