Individual Reflection on Group Experience

Subject: Psychology
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1779
Topics: Teamwork, Ethics, Management


For the last few weeks a group five individuals, I included have been working on a research project. The project involved managing organizational behavior in a dynamic and complex world. But before delving into our group experience, it is vital to demonstrate the meaning of a group as well as its function. According to Griffin (2013), groups are generally created to accomplish a fulfillment or objective as a single unit. It is vital to comprehend that working in a group affects usually affects the productivity of personal performances towards the achievement of the objectives. As a result, one would wonder why groups are formed then. This paper will attempt to explicate comprehensively the dynamics and roles of a group and team. It is worthwhile to note that a group is akin to a team despite having same features because a team has more synergy. 

As earlier mentioned, the mandate of our group entailed researching on organizational behavior is managed in a dynamic and complex world.  Usually, in any group be it formal or informal, the characteristics and roles are divided among the members. A group can be defined as two or more individuals working with each other so as to achieve a shared objective (Griffin, 2013). A team on the hand can be defined as mature group that have a common goal, responsibility and accountability when accomplishing objectives (Griffin, 2013). Both groups and teams share a lot of similar features like composition, hierarchy status, duties, norms leadership and cohesiveness. It is then that with time via such duties, the team establishes into a synergy, which do better than the work if it done individually in a group. For instance, as pointed out in the class book, the organization Pixar was saved by a team made of six individuals. 

Evolution of the group/team over the term

The evolution of the group or team process was divided into various stages. These stages entail Forming, Storming, Norming, performing and adjourning as claimed by Li, Kirkman, and Porter (2014). Despite our group being operation for just some weeks, it can be asserted that the group went through the stages of development. The forming of the group was done on the first day of the class, with a clear definition and goal that should be accomplished for the maximum amount of points and according to the professor’s decision. Forming of the group involved members coming together and their roles assigned in line with the shared objective.

The storming and norming stage were done during the second and the third day of our class. In the storming stage, there is an establishment of emotionally intense competition among the members and most wanted duties and disagreements in responsibilities. The norming stage entails the support and collaboration of the members achieving behavior norms and acceptances like leadership and other duties of the group (Yammarino et al., 2015). The group members arguably say that these three stages may have been possible, although it was hard for me to perceive this in operation. 

The next two phases are the performing and adjourning. The former may perhaps be the final phase if the group is permanent and successful. The phase is when the group has achieved a significant amount of synergy and has achieved a certain level of effectiveness that will remain more or less constant. Because the work of our group was divided and well carried out and I can confirm as a group we have achieved this phase early on. 

Adjourning being the last stage entailed the extinction of the group. This stage is signified by the very positive emotions centering successful task accomplishment and may also be a source of feeling of disappointment. 

Group/Team dynamics

The dynamics of our group was pretty uncomplicated. Members of the group were given their roles as early as the very first day of class. Having appointed the leader of the group, we all agreed fairly on the duties each of us will assume without any objection and map out particularly what the priorities of the group and individuals were for a successful completion of the class work. With such kind of understanding, it became particularly easy to divide jobs and reduce conflicts on the way it were divided (Yammarino et al., 2015). Despite the work being shared evenly because the group leader volunteered to go above everyone else, in the case there would be a conflict of interest, the leader always had the last say. 

Towards the progression of our course, I am convinced the group went via the process of the ‘optimal distinctiveness theory’, which proposes that individuals have the desire to be like others. Obviously, the main goal of our group was to do excellent in class. In order to establish the process and make issues even simple, our group cohesion main method was via the class time and the WhatsApp application. Having the professor giving 30 minutes for the activity of the group has enabled us to keep the conflicts to the minimum level possible. 

Group structure

The structure of our group operated with a ‘status hierarchy’. A status hierarchy is determined by the aspects of a particular function as result of factors like security, age or assignment of a job as argued by Galegher, Kraut, and Egido (2014). Our group assigned different roles to each individual such as the group leader, the entrepreneurship status among others. 

Understanding the individuals work experience background our group structured helped to solidify it. The anticipations and characters of the present members were well established and respected. I am convinced that the procedures and functions of our group structure were certainly akin as the elucidated in the book. The positions we held in the group were well established along with the group multiple leadership. As a group we have attempted to restrict and avoid the norm conventionality. Norm conventionality is when the group had particular persons with a set of skill and capability carrying out considerably below their ability so the group norms are not disobeyed (Galegher, Kraut & Egido, 2014). One of the group member best illustrates the norm conventionality. From the member, the utmost handicap from him was the excused absents form class and the least communication from WhatsApp group. 

Group structure also implies the affiliation between the individuals of the group which entails the functions, norms, inter-member connection, and communication network among others.  Functions are the designated duties to be executed by every member so as to attain the objective. Norms are the distinct standards of the member in the team. They are the essential characteristics of group, written or discussed, which give motivation and aid to organize the social interaction (Yammarino et al., 2015). These norms are usually documented with conversed points like meeting management, code of conduct, decision making, communication framework, handling conflict among other. The communication network is the media via which the members of the group convey information across the group. As a group, we opted for Skype, in-person meeting, WhatsApp and email as our means of commutating. The schedule of every member of the group was also taken into account for the effective meetings. 

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Intergroup/intergroup conflict

Inter personal conflict has repercussions at the organizational level as well as at interpersonal level (Demoulin, Leyens & Dovidio, 2013).  Conflict in a group can be categorized into two according to Gurin, Nagda, and Zuniga (2013). For one, it can take the form of intergroup conflict where a distinct group of persons are at odds with each other. It can also be viewed in the form of intra group conflict in which people of a similar group are at rattle with one another. Studies indicates that a group without any conflict tend to end with the term referred as ‘group think’, in which individuals members does the monotonous work according to the instructions of their leader. It is further argued that a group with conflicts appears tend to have some more success tempo because of their difference in thinking, creativity, problem solving ability among others. 

The manner in which conflict is dealt with effectively is part of conflict management. It is not only about dealing with the conflicts but also it indicates the competitive and cooperative ways of its management (Johnston, 2016). In one way, conflict at the inter/intra personal level must be looked into and pointed out before it is too late, since once it stays for long, then it is becomes cumbersome to do away with and consequently the entire group has to pay the cost. On the contrary, conflict can assist the group or an organization to look for fresh ideas due to the diverse perspective. If conflict is not addressed efficiently it can also result to stress and tension (Gurin, Nagda, & Zuniga, 2013). 

In our group there were no many major conflicts except for few minor ones.  A few members of the group tend to be non-cooperative given that the roles where distributed equally among all the group members. During the final day when compiling the various parts of the assignment, it happens that two members did not finish their contribution in full. The other group members obvious became disappointed and when they were asked to explained, they got upset citing that they were assigned roles that were demanding and which required the efforts of more than one person. Upon further scrutiny by the members it emerged out that it was true. Members agreed that was unintentional biasness and we all felt sorry for the miscommunication and finally conversed together and resolved the conflict by discard the two for not completing the work on time. 

Summary and take-away

This research project was given to us so s to understand the theory and the practical knowledge acquired throughout the term. It is main objective was to compare the book lesson and theories with the practical experience we earned by carrying out the project. 

The one lesson I learned in this class is that diversity is very important as it aids the group to be more effective and efficient. I used to work together with others and I knew and peplum whom I was comfortable with, but this activity and instructor decision of selecting the group made me to grasp that work dynamics as well as group dynamics at the organizational level. 

The class made to come to realization of the fact of applying theoretical knowledge into practice and to learn and face challenges practically. Moreover, as a result of being involved in the group, I realize that diversity, grouping with people whom u do not even know and dealing with them was fun, exciting and was a key to the success of the group. 

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  1. Demoulin, S., Leyens, J. P., & Dovidio, J. F. (2013). Intergroup misunderstandings: Impact of divergent social realities. Psychology Press.
  2. Galegher, J., Kraut, R. E., & Egido, C. (2014). Intellectual teamwork: Social and technological foundations of cooperative work. Psychology Press.
  3. Griffin, R. W. (2013). Fundamentals of management. Cengage Learning.
  4. Gurin, P., Nagda, B. R. A., & Zuniga, X. (2013). Dialogue across difference: Practice, theory, and research on intergroup dialogue. Russell Sage Foundation.
  5. Johnston, B. M. (2016). Does Intergroup Threat Cause Distinct Contact Orientations for High and Low Status Groups?.
  6. Li, N., Kirkman, B. L., & Porter, C. O. (2014). Toward a model of work team altruism. Academy of Management Review, 39(4), 541-565.
  7. Yammarino, F. J., Mumford, M. D., Connelly, M. S., Day, E. A., Gibson, C., McIntosh, T., & Mulhearn, T. (2015). Leadership Models for Team Dynamics and Cohesion: The Mars Mission. In Team Cohesion: Advances in Psychological Theory, Methods and Practice (pp. 213-245). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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