Which work is better, a group work or an individual work. There is no answer to this question as it has many facets. Our main focus during the group assignment was to analyze the organizational structure; culture and management and leadership style. In this essay, I have analyzed and evaluated the one aspect during the group work, its approaches and its relevant theories.
I have highlighted my aim and justification of the performance by illustrating the group formation: identifying both the aspect positive as well as negative. I have interrelated my experience with the theories and also focused on how group roles played an important role during the group assignment.
This essay is divided into four parts but interlinked parts. The first part includes Group Formation and Group Roles: development and its related issues. The second part focuses on the approaches to the group roles. The third part focuses on the identifying the effects when a similar situation happens in the organization. The final part focuses on diagnosing or suggesting the various group role models. Conclusion is also included in the end.
2.0 GROUP FORMATION AND GROUP ROLES
An individual’s performance enlighten into an optimum group. It is a reflection of what I have written in my personal diary and also, from the recording of the meeting.
The group passes through five clearly defined stages of development, which they labeled as forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning (Tuckman, 1965; Tuckman and Jensen, 1977)
In my viewpoint, forming a group before doing a task is an important issue. Our Group can be called FORMAL group, which was deliberately created to complete the project. Initially, I was feeling uncomfortable with the group because our ideas and way of thinking were not alike. It was formed because we were sitting next to each other. I thought to form a group with people who have opinions about the subject and had been always outspoken. In our group, four members were from same nationality and one from other nationality. All the members from the same nationality were from different corners of the country.
I believe point of doing an assignment is not only going along with group but also to work on something, which is unknown to you. This is the reason we decided to have diversification in the group. Diversification is important because we get to know about the working environment of the other nationalities. It was also a test of adaptability. In the group, I think important role is of a Leader but no one emerged as a leader within the group because everyone wants to work on of its own in their comfortable space.
On our first group meeting, we had a conversation about the selection of organization. We had storming two-hour session and were discussing to either select the organization that has a worldwide reach or to select a national organization. I was favoring to have a national organization because it will be gives us an advantage since we don’t have much experience person in the group. At the end of the session, we decided to take a national organization for various reasons. Group meeting left us with various questions: –
1) Which kind of organization should be taken?
2) How can we benefit our project?
3) From where and how can we collect data?
4) Evaluation of the organization?
After the meeting, it was decided that everyone has to come up with one organization and have to work on the questions above within a week. I think two members didn’t like the way the process was going on. While coming from the meeting, they told me to focus on ‘Something Concrete’ and they were feeling shy to give out the opinions. I asked them to write everything in an email and send it to everyone in the group.
Norming is a period where we should trust each other and try to develop an atmosphere where everyone can work. Initially, I was unhappy with group but after our first meeting, I felt little relaxed that some members were responding and giving out the opinions. The member whom I suggested to give out the mails didn’t send any e-mail neither they came with any organization and its working in the second meeting. So, the other three members gave out their suggestion and their respective organization. The member from the other nationality gave out the best suggestion and was decided to choose it as a topic. When we were dividing out the sections of the outline, members including myself showed some anger and irritation.
Due to domination by one member, no one was able to choose theirs respective topics and roles. My role to become the leader of the group was not accepted by the other member. The other member wanted no one to become the leader in the group. I believe everybody has an intention to become the leader. Since, there was no leader. Everybody chose their role in a way that even they were not even aware of the responsibilities with the role.
The main motive of the group is to able to present the best work you can do as group and also not letting the other group members down. This thing actually calmed me down and then, decided to work on some other aspect of the organization. Altercation happened between other members as well for the same reason. Nobody was willing to get out of his comfortable zone. We also decided to communicate with each other regularly, because it has been seen that group who are not performing well is a lack of communication and knowledge but it doesn’t come off.
This is the crucial point of the group, which test the ability and consensus within the group. After working for more than 2 weeks and giving out suggestion through meetings and emails, no one including myself had completed the work. From the initial period of the group formation till the time of performing, we had lot of contradiction within the group and were not getting along but motivation to give the best project always had given us to move forward and also to perform. During our group performance, I think sections in the outline were not properly drawn as the data that was collected was colliding with each others work. My part was to work on the organization structure. It was very lengthy but with help of other members I was able to finish it in time. Sometimes, when I had any problem with the structure, my other members were willing to help me. Even at end of the project, I believe delegation of work was not done properly. If it had been, then we could have made a better project.
Anxiety and excitement didn’t allow me to sleep for two nights before submission. I feel that I have given out my best in this project. After the completion of the project and reading the project again gave me a sense that anyhow work can be done. After submitting the assignment, everybody in the group shook hands with each other and also celebrated for the submission. During the project, I made new relationship with members and also, decided to take one of the members for the next group assignment (International Banking).
Our group had achieved the goals what we decided in the initial stage and thus, was the time to adjourn the group.
We regularly faced the problem at several times. As a member of the group, we regularly faced the problem at different times. There was a cycle of storming, norming and performing at every stage.
3.0 APPROACHES TO GROUP ROLES
This part of the essay, firstly I would like to write about the problems that I have faced while working with group. Secondly, how I could have made it better or will be acting on the similar situations in the future. The experience I had and the problem I faced will be an advantage in my future assignments, as it will give me a better understanding of the roles.
We have followed the model of Benne and Sheats (1948) to achieve our goals. The role that we have mutually delegated to every member was different.
Firstly, Information-Giver is a person who finds out all the relevant information before moving forward. Also, clarifies the problem if there is something missing or unclear. In our second meeting, we decided to assign one member to gather all the information. He provided us with the primary data but he did not make clarifications on some issues. He gave us the overview of the organization but was never able to provide with the insights of the organization. So, everyone in the group has to their relative research about their work, which gave us conflict between our works.
Secondly, we decided to communicate and work at all times. Whenever I was asked to give out Opinions on any subject, I was willing to do that. Sometimes, even I cannot suggest something on some issues until and unless I have the proper evidence to support it. I asked for the help if I am in a problem or not able to understand, members willingly helped me. I would say everyone in a group was an opinion giver. Sometimes, opinions and suggestion are followed by the egos and domination. Since, our group was a leaderless group. Everybody in the group wanted to dominate the group. At some point, I felt the same but I have realized that giving out opinions doesn’t mean that the person can lead the group until and unless has the characteristics of the leaders.
Thirdly, for the conclusion of the topic, we assigned one of the members as an Evaluate-critic. As he was given the authority to look after the each part of the topic and critically analyze and write down the conclusion accordingly. He started criticizing the points that we have written also belittling us. After the submission of the assignment, he was boasting himself and was trying to take credit from other members. If I had been in the same position, I would never try to take the credit of the people and would also appreciate the work of others.
Fourthly, the main problem we faced during our group was that one of member possesses the traits of the Dominator. From the beginning till adjourning of the group, the member was trying to show him as a leader but a leader is different from dominator. He was forcing everyone in the group to do the work accordingly and roles that he has assigned but a leader gives liberty to the other members to work according to their characteristics. Conflict mounted due to this issue in the group. This instance gave me an experience that there is a little difference between a leader and a dominator. There is always an advantage to have a leader over dominator in the group.
4.0 EFFECTS OF GROUP ROLES IN AN ORGANISATION
In this section, I would like to evaluate the Benne and Sheats (1948) Group roles theory into an organization taking my personal experience into consideration. I will consider the similar situation in an organization in terms of Group Formation and Group Roles.
Benne and Sheats(1948) encouraged Social role and Beblin (1996) encouraged Team Role, t he two most common frames of reference on group roles which have been suggested below:-
In my perspective, Team role should be considered within an organization. Individual work is different from teamwork but from my perception and perspective of an organization, Team role can lead to a better understanding between the members of the group.
As I have experienced, Belbin (1981,1993,1996) argues the Benne and Sheats (1948) Functional Role Theory by stating that firstly, people in organization are selected on the basis of experience or ability, not on the basis of personal characteristics. Secondly, it also limits the likelihood that they will be successful in other roles.
The performance of any organization can be impeded by various problems.
Firstly, I would like talk about Maslow’s (1954) hierarchy of needs. Self-esteem in Hierarchy has been described as achievement and respect for each other that can be obtained by providing appropriate Group role to the person. Once the person is satisfied with what he is doing and it is going with his personality, he will perform better. I can relate the self-esteem with the problem we had in our group .If everyone was given their part according to their characteristic, and then we could have worked produced better result.
Secondly, the flow of opinion should be made clearly without any egos and attitude. Knowledge Sharing can lead to the better work. Knowledge sharing always gives a better working environment and also, a competitive work. (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Nonaka and Kanno, 1998; Grant, 2005). This similar situation happened in our group, opinions were given to help each other but egos and attitude always followed and power to dominate. Knowledge sharing should be made without any hesitation and greed.
Thirdly, I would like to Benne and Sheats (1948) model as the most of the positive aspect such as evaluator-critic can be transformed into Recognition Seeker (Dysfunctional) if evaluator-critic is given importance. As I mentioned above, Evaluator-critic was trying to get recognition as an individual. If the similar situations happens in the organization, this might result into a havoc because every individual is working for the organization ,not for the individual recognition. This will create disharmony in the group, which will reflect for the organization.
I would like to suggest on the basis of the group role that in organization Belbin(1996) nine team role should be followed to achieve the goal and every member should be chosen in terms of their characteristics. This will increase the productivity as well as the level of healthy competition within the organization. This is how an organization can be benefited from the Group roles.
5.0 DIAGNOSIS OF GROUP ROLES APPROACH
I have already argued and suggested that organization needs a proper set of roles, which can be provided to the employee and employer for the betterment of the organization. I have argued that sometimes, Task role and Maintenance role theory of Benne and Sheats (1948) transform into the Individual roles, which are ‘self-centered’ and personal motives, arises.
There are many concepts of Group such as Benne and Sheats(1948), Bales(1950) but most popular in modern days is Beblin(1996). The table below shows the group roles suggest by Beblin(1996).
The theory above shows coherent relationship with the organization group roles. This will not only increase the performance of the organization, also the interaction between and within the groups. This can work for the big organization but with smaller group of 9-10 people.
However, there are no theories without criticism. Beblin’s theory has been criticized by the Aitor Aritzeta et. Al (2007). Firstly, he argued that team success cannot be measured with this theory and hard to recognize that all the nine roles have been opted. Secondly, the theory takes excessive psychological perspective on role. Thirdly, the theory is unable to differentiate between different types of tasks.
David Butcher and Catherine Bailey (2000) argued that ‘Dream Team’, where all member are committed to one work, and all the members are present at decision -taking time. They felt this is impractical and undesirable.
I have considered many issues and explained it in terms of approaches, effects in organization and also, suggested the better way to assign the group roles. However, during my group work, I have taken the Benne and Sheats(1948) Theory which resulted in a average performance but If I would have used Beblin(1996) theory for the group roles in my group, then we could have performed better. Although, every theory has a criticism and flaws but this can be suggested that organization of today world uses Beblin Theory for group roles.
I would also like to conclude that problems would never be reflected on any other assignments. The key lesson learned from this assignment that people should be judged by their characteristics and assigning the roles accordingly. It is necessary to move forward as described by Tuckman and Jensen(1965) to achieve the goals.