Managers need a working understanding of group dynamics because groups are the basic social building blocks of organizations. Both informal (friendship) and formal (work) groups are made up of two or more freely interacting individuals who have a common identity and purpose. After someone has been attracted to a group, cohesiveness—a "we" feelings encourages continued membership. Roles are social expectations for behavior in a specific position, whereas norms are more general standards for conduct in a given social setting. Norms are enforced because they help the group survive, clarify role expectations, protect self-images, and enhance the group's identity by emphasizing key values. Compliance with role expectations and norms is rewarded with social reinforcement; non-compliance is punished by criticism, ridicule, and ostracism. Ostracism, or rejection from the group, is figuratively the capital punishment of group dynamics. Informal groups derive much of their power over individual through the ever present threat of ostracism.
Mature groups that are characterized by mutual acceptance, encouragement of minority opinion, and minimal emotional conflict are the product of a developmental process with identifiable stages. During the first three stages – orientation, conflict and challenge, and cohesion – power and authority problems are resolved. Groups are faced with the obstacle of uncertainty over interpersonal relations during the last three stages – delusion (members believe that all the difficult emotional problems have been solved), disillusion (the delusion of unlimited goodwill wears off, and there is a growing disenchantment with how things are turning out), and acceptance (greater personal and mutual understanding helps members adapt to situations without causing problems). Committees have a widespread reputation for inefficiency and ineffectiveness because they tend to get stalled in an early stage of group development.
Trust is a key ingredient of effective group action that is clearly evident in Japanese management but often underutilized by American managers. When work group members trust one another, there will be a more active exchange of information, more interpersonal influence, and hence greater self-control. Managers who prefer either/or thinking, rely solely on hard data, and envision the world as basically an unsafe place foster a climate of mistrust. Political tactics such as posturing, empire building, making the boss look good, creating power and loyalty cliques, and destructive competition need to be kept in check if a healthy degree of trust is to be achieved.
Although a fairly high degree of conformity is necessary if organizations and society in general are to function properly, blind conformity is ultimately dehumanizing and destructive. Research shows that individuals have a strong tendency to bend to the will of the majority, even if the majority is clearly wrong. Cohesive decision-making groups can be victimized by groupthink when unanimity becomes more important than critically evaluating alternative courses of action.
Conflict is inevitable in organized settings. Recognizing that conflict can be either functional or dysfunctional, managers can enhance effort, performance, and creativity by permitting conflict triggers to continue until the symptoms of dysfunctional conflict appear. Dysfunctional conflict can be resolved through problem solving, superordinate goals, compromise, forcing, or smoothing.
using the suggested words and expressions as in example:
Emotional conflict, developmental process, encouragement, identifiable, opinion, are characterized by.
Mature groups that are characterized by mutual acceptance, encouragement of minority opinion, and minimal emotional conflict are the product of a developmental process with identifiable stages.
Answer: Managers who prefer either/or thinking, rely solely on hard
data, and envision the world as basically an unsafe place foster a climate of mistrust.
THE WRITING MODULE
III. Writing exercises:
Exercise 1. Complete the sentences with the suggested words: victimized, majority, than, tendency, shows.
Research _____that individuals have a strong ______ to bend to the will of the majority, even if the ______ is clearly wrong. Cohesive decision-making groups can be ______ by groupthink when unanimity becomes more important _____ critically evaluating alternative courses of action.
Exercise 2. Compose a story on one of the topics (up to 100 words):
“Formal and informal groups”
“Trust and mistrust in groups”
Ex.3 – 1a, 2c, 3d, 4b.
Ex.4 – slumping, cheaper.
Organizational productivity is the ratio of total input to total output, adjusted for inflation, for a specific period of time.
Managerial ability is the demonstrated capacity to achieve organizational objectives both effectively and efficiently.
A small business is defined as an independently owned and managed profit-seeking enterprise employing fewer than 100 persons.
Ex.2 (suggested answers):
1. What indicates that small business managers have a different managerial role profile than do managers in larger businesses?
2.What is important for managers?
3. What do small business and public sector organizations afford managers?
Ex.1 – for, into, of, adjusted, rate, inspiring.
Ex.3 – 1c, 2d, 3a, 4b.
Ex.4 – reducing, evolved.
Operational approach - the use of standardization, time and motion study, selection and training, and pay incentives.
Behavioral approach emerged from such factors as unionization, the Hawthorne studies, and the philosophy of industrial humanism. It tried to make employees' needs a high management priority.
Advocates of the systems approach recommend that modern organizations be viewed as open systems. Open systems depend on the outside environment for survival, whereas closed systems do not.
The contingency approach is an effort to determine through research which managerial practices and techniques are appropriate in specific situations.
What is the systematic study of management largely a product of?
What has management turned to?
What does the contingency approach try to determine?
Ex.1- outside, systems, assumption, is, differentiated
Ex.3 - 1b, 2a, 3d, 4c.
Objectives have been called the single most important feature of the planning process. Well-written objectives spell out in measurable terms what should be accomplished and when it is to be accomplished.
MBO is an approach to planning and controlling that is based on measurable and participatively set objectives.
Break-even analysis, or cost-volume-profit analysis, can be carried out algebraically or graphically.. Break-even analysis helps planners gauge the potential impact of price changes and profit objectives on sales volume.
Ex.2 (suggested answers):
1. What are two conceptual reasons for planning?
2. How do priorities affect resource allocation?
3. What do good objectives help managers by?
Ex.1 – top, assigning, to, executed, more.
Ex.3 – 1d, 2a, 3d, 4c.
Ex.4 – realize, become.
The idea behind contingency design is to structure the organization to fit situational demands.
Decentralization - the delegation of decision authority to lower-level managers.
Matrix organizations are highly organic because they combine vertical and horizontal lines of authority to achieve coordinated control over complex projects.
Line and staff organization helps balance specialization and unity of command. Functional authority serves to make staff organization more organic by giving staff specialists temporary and limited line authority
Ex. 2 (suggested answers):
What assumption have field studies validated?
What fosters a high degree of decentralization?
What is an important first step in contingency design?
Ex.1 – fit, advocates, uncertainty, step, should.
Ex.3 – 1b, 2a, 3d, 4c.
Ex.4 – encountered, subjected.
Strategic thinking, the ability to look ahead and spot key organization/ environment interdependencies, is necessary for successful strategic management and planning.
Results-oriented strategic plans that specify what, when, and how are then formulated and translated downward into more specific and shorter-term intermediate and operational plans.. Event timing forecasts predict when, if ever, a given event will occur.
Time series forecasts seek to determine future values in a sequence of values recorded at fixed intervals.
Ex.2 (suggested answers):
1. What effectively merges strategic planning, implementation, and control?
2. What are popular forecasting techniques among today’s managers?
3. What helps strategic planners anticipate and prepare for future environmental circumstances?
Division of labor permits organization member to become more proficient by repeatedly doing the same specialized task.
Organization theorists have defined authority as the right to direct the action of others. Without a recognized hierarchy of authority, coordination of effort is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
Organizations by purpose (carrying out a wide range of purposes, they enable society as a whole to function). They can be classified as business, not-for-profit service, mutual benefit, or commonweal.
Organizations by technology are long-linked (assembly lines), mediating (commercial banks, insurance companies, telephone companies, etc), and intensive technologies (hospitals).
Ex.2 (suggested answers):
Who applied the label bureaucracy to the formula for the most rationally efficient type of organization?
Ostracism, or rejection from the group, is figuratively the capital punishment of group dynamics.
Trust is a key ingredient of effective group action. When work group members trust one another, there will be a more active exchange of information, more interpersonal influence, and hence greater self-control
Norms are more general standards for conduct in a given social setting. Norms are enforced because they help the group survive, clarify role expectations, protect self-images, and enhance the group's identity by emphasizing key values.
Disillusion - the delusion of unlimited goodwill wears off, and there is a growing disenchantment with how things are turning out.
Ex.2 (suggested answers):
1. Why have committees a widespread reputation for inefficiency and ineffectiveness?