Concept of Group and Reasons for Forming and Joining Groups

Concept of Group

Group is a collection of two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent who have come together to achieve particulars common objectives. A group is, thus, an aggregation of people who interact with each other, are aware of one another, have a common objective, and perceive themselves to be a group. Now, a group may be defined as a collection of people who have a common purpose or objectives, interact with each other to accomplish the group objectives are aware of one another and perceive themselves to be part of group.

In other words, a group is the largest set of two or more individuals who are jointly characterized by a network of relevant communications and a shared sense of collective identity .Similarly, a group is a collection of two or more people who have a common goal or interest and interact with each other to accomplish their objective. Work groups use roles, rules, and norms to control members's behavior and they use several socialization tactics to turn newcomers into effective group members. Groups contribute to organizational effectiveness.

Similarly, a group is defined as two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives. A group is any number of people who;
  • Have a common purpose or objective,
  • Interact with each other to accomplish (or obtain) their objectives
  • Are aware of one another.
  • Perceive themselves to be part of the group.

Some of the experts have been defined the term group as follows:
"If two or more individuals are together briefly, but interact and influence one another, they constitute, if only for a time, a real group." – Kilenberg

"A group can be defined as two or more people, interacting and interdependent who come together to achieve particular goals." – Stephen Robbins

"By a small group is meant a size varying from 4 to 12 members, who usually have face to face relations, over a period of time and who consider themselves as differentiated from others, either implicitly or explicitly." – Chowdhry and Kakar

"A group is an assemblage or aggregation of persons considered as being related in same way or united by common ties or interest-class, race or occupation." – Kast and Rosenzweig

From the above definitions, a group can be defined as a collection of individuals working in face-to-face relationships to share information and resource for a task to be achieved. A group whose members work intensely with each other to achieve a specific, common goal or objective is known as Team.

More collection people cannot constitute a group. For example, a crowd in front of a shop in the market watching India vs. Australia one-day cricket match on stadium will not be called as group because people do not interact with one another, do not know one another and also do not share a common purpose.

Features of Group

The following are the basic features of a group:

1. Interaction

Interaction among group members is sine quo none of a group. A regular exchange of facts, news, views and feelings through face-to-face interactions, gestures or writings is the most essential features of the group. As a matter of fact, a group is a natural outcome of interactions among people and which later provides a forum for the people.

2. A small Aggregation of Persons

A group involves at least two persons, but group which consist of only a small number of members will not feel socially and psychologically satisfied.

3. Common Interest

People having common interests, common goals, common ideology, common phenomenon / interests, problems, friendship, same philosophy etc. is essential to attract and keep the group members together. This commonness provides them a basis for continuous interactions and relations.

4. Perceived Collective Identity

A recognized collective identity as a group is the most distinguishing feature of a group, which makes it different from a casual aggregation of individuals or from the other recognized groups. Each member of the group must perceive that he belongs to the group and recognize others who are the members of that group. Mutual awareness and collective identity are, therefore, essential ingredients of a group.

Functions of Groups
Functions of a Group

1. Representation

The group through its leader or spokesman represents the ideology and thinking of the group before other groups or before the management. It is also a means of communication.

2. Teaching

The group teaches to its members how to do work, how to behave and how to get things done. It helps in improving performance in the job.

3. Fight for Common Cause

The group, as a collectives of its members, fights for the common interests against the management or other groups.

4. Orientation

The group socializes the members in the organization by telling them work norms, work climate, social and formal relations, group members and their status and roles and infuses a sense of belonging.

5. Creation of Social Life

The group creates social life. In the absence of informal groups, the atmosphere of the organization would be boring and miserable.

6. Collective Thinking

The group encourages discussion, interaction and exchange of news and views among the members. It helps them in collective thinking and group decision. Diversities are resolved and consensus is achieved before arriving at a decision.

Reason of People Forming and Joining Group

People form and become members of group for a variety of different reasons. They are as follows:

1. Safety and security needs

Groups provide protection to their members from outside pressures. That is why workers join trade unions to feel safe and secure. This holds true at all walks of life. Even in the nursery class, when the teacher asks the small kids who broke the toy, he seldom gets an answer. What happens is all kids keep mum or quiet. Although young, they protected their member by not disclosing any kid's name of pointing out any one in group.

2. Relatedness or Belongingness needs

People being social belong belonging to or relating to groups satisfies a numbers of their social needs. In every organization, there are many persons who are very isolated or who prefer to be absent from work most of the times. Studies shows, such phenomena occur more where people are unable to belong to groups.

3. Esteem needs

When member of a group does some good piece of work, gets a praise from other. This is turn, bring a sense of recognition to the group member, on the one hand, and also a sense of fulfillment of one's need for growth towards higher achievement of work and better career prospects, on the other side.

4. Power

One of the appealing aspects of groups is that they represent power and also offer power to their members. Workers enjoy much greater power by joining groups than they do as individuals. This is because of at least two reasons: 

(i) There is strength in numbers, and 

(ii) United we stand, divide we fall.

5. Identity

As a member of a group, an individual gets identity who am I? Practices, we understand ourselves through the behavior of other towards us. For example, when others praise us, we feel we are great, if other laugh at us, we see ourselves as funny ones.

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