Group Dynamics

The social process by which people interact face to face in small group is called group dynamics. The word 'dynamics' comes from the Greek word meaning 'force', hence group dynamics refers to the study of forces operating within a group. Two important historical landmarks in our understanding of small groups are the research of Elton mayo and his associates in the 1920s and 1930s and the experiments in the 1930s of Kurt Lewin, the founder of the group dynamics movement. Mayo showed that workers tend to establish informal groups that affect job satisfaction and effectiveness. Lewin showed that different kinds of leadership produced different responses in groups.

Groups have properties of their own that are different from the properties of the individuals who make up the group. The special properties of groups are illustrated by a simple lesson in mathematics. Suppose we say 'one plus one equals three' 1+1=3. In the world of mathematics that is a logical error. But in the world of group dynamics it is entirely rational to say 'one plus one equals three'. In a group, there is no such thing as only two people, for no two people can be considered without including their relationship, and that relationship is the third element in the equation.

Developed and Enforced of Group Norms
Group norm is standard of behavior. In other words, groups norm is a rule that tells the individual how to behave in a particular group. Thus, group norms identify the standards against which the behaviors of group members know what they should or should not do. Norms could be formal or could be informal.

According to Schein, there are pivotal and relevant group norms while the pivotal norms are confirmed by every member of the group, the relevant norms are desirable to be confirmed by the members. With increase in the size of the group, the acceptability of norms tends to lessen. Small deviation of norms is allowable. However in case of extreme deviation, the deviator gets punished. For example, when the union is on strike, if its member attending to work are punished by being boycotted by the group. Hence, norms serve as the basis for behavior of group members. They predict and control the behavior of member in groups.

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