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Group Dynamics

What is Group Dynamics?

Group dynamics refers to the individual setting, behavior, dynamics, skills, and attitudes of members within a group, that is driven by a common identity and shared objectives.

A group consists of the following:

  • Name: Provides a distinct identity, like law administrators.
  • Members: Skilled individuals like police officers.
  • Purpose: A goal behind the group, like improving law-and-order administration.
  • Dynamics: It involves the actions, interactions, and reactions of the group within itself and with the surroundings.

Group dynamics is a unique blend of these interactions that shape the groups’ identity and distinct behavioral pattern.

What are the types of Group Dynamics?

 

types of group dynamics

Groups can be classified under many heads. But the most common way of classifying groups is based on norms and rules:

  1. Formal Groups
  2. Informal Groups
  3. Organized Groups
  4. Spontaneous Groups
  5. Task Groups
  6. Functional Groups

Formal Groups:

They are usually formed on the basis of specific norms, rules, and values. The most common example of this kind is the army and school.

Informal Groups:

The nature of this group is not strictly defined. While the rules and regulations are quite flexible. Common examples are social clubs and play groups.

Organized Groups:

These groups are formed for a specific purpose and after careful planning. Examples of these groups are family and school.

Spontaneous Groups:

They are usually formed suddenly and without any prior planning. Examples include audiences at music concerts and sports spectators.

Task Groups:

They consist of a group of people gathered together to achieve a common task within a limited time frame. One common example is a special task force.

Functional Groups:

They are created when a group of people join together to accomplish a specific task within unlimited time. Unlike task groups, they continue to exist even after the achievement of the goals.

What are the five stages of Group Dynamics?

 

five stages of group dynamics

Researchers keenly observed that each group goes through five common stages before reaching their maximum potential and achieving their goals.

The five identified stages are:

  1. Forming
  2. Storming
  3. Norming
  4. Performing and
  5. Adjourning

Forming

The first stage of development, where members are trying to familiarize themselves with each other and the end goals to be achieved. The members show reliance on external factors for expertise and guidance for job definition.

The common features of this stage are:

  • Little agreement
  • Unclear purpose
  • External guidance and direction

Storming

The second stage of development, here the members criticize and confront each other on the approach and the direction the group is following. The most common issues are specification of roles and responsibilities, recognition of individual capabilities, and approved set of rules and regulations.

The common features of this stage are:

  • Conflict
  • Increase in the clarity of purpose
  • Power struggles

Norming

The third stage of development, where the members resolve their internal conflicts and create social agreements. The group develops cohesion and agrees on common norms by recognizing individuality. This helps them to work more efficiently.

The common features are:

  • Agreement and consensus
  • Clear roles and responsibilities
  • Facilitation

Performing

The fourth stage of development, where the group moves towards accomplishing their goals by sorting out the differences and understanding the individual tasks. The group now begins to lessen its dependence on external resources as they attain maturity and rely on their own resources.

The common features are:

  • Clear vision and purpose
  • Focus on goal achievement
  • Delegation

Adjourning

The fifth and the last stage of the development, where the group resorts to closure like social gatherings and parties, or ceremonial rituals. It helps in exhibiting emotional support and celebration of their success.

The common features are:

  • Task completion
  • Feeling of satisfaction after achievement
  • Recognition and rewards

In a nutshell, understanding group dynamics helps organizations in fulfilling their employee’s basic need for companionship. It also aids in accomplishing challenging tasks within a shorter time frame.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are some examples of team dynamics?

The common examples of team dynamics are effective communication, collaborative, mutual trust and respect, conflict resolution and goal alignment. Teams that imbibe these within themselves are more productive and efficient.

Q2. What are the functions of group dynamics?

Group dynamics infuse communication, cohesion and cooperation within a group. It also positively influences the decision-making, productivity and the overall group atmosphere to achieve the common goals.

Q3. What are the aspects of group structure in a social system?

In a social system, the group structure includes roles, norms, cohesion and communication modes. So, it looks after the behavior and interaction of individuals within a group to achieve common goals and establish relationships.

Q4. What is balance theory in Organizational Behavior?

The balance theory explains that individuals seek consistency in beliefs and attitudes, and in their absence, they tend to change their attitudes and perceptions to reestablish the balance.

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