Group dynamics

A minimum of 1,000 words (total assignment) and three scholarly sources with in text citations. Each question must have references and citations. You can use our textbook for one of the three sources and it is uploaded. Griffith, B. A., & Dunham, E. B. (2014). Working in Teams: Moving From High Potential to High Performance. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
1. Group members can be classified into one of four social styles. Name and describe each style.2. Sources of conflict can be found in any one of four distinct levels. Name and describe the levels and give an example of each.3. Name and describe the five conflict styles. Which is the most ideal/ Why?4. Describe how the dynamic has changed, over the last decade, between managers and workers.5. Describe three influence tactics that are most effective for team leaders.
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C H A P T E R
3
Interpersonal Dynamics
F
and Conflict
I
N
D
Working with other people can be Lone of the most rewarding aspects of being on a
team, but it can be one of the most challenging
as well. This chapter begins with a discusE
sion about social norms and how they develop. Then we explore how individual social
Y
styles differ and contribute to the interpersonal
dynamics of a team. Often, differences in
the way people interact can create misunderstandings
and frustration. Fortunately, there
,
are a number of common interpersonal problems that, once understood, can be minimized. But even in the best of circumstances, conflict tends to affect both team members
S always bad. As a matter of fact, the right kind of
and the team atmosphere. Conflict is not
conflict is characteristic of high-performing teams and can lead to strong cohesion and
A
team success.
R
A
CASE 3.1: SURVIVOR
5 clothes are in tatters. They scowl and are so exhausted
The participants are dirty, malnourished, and tired. Their
that they don’t even bother to wave the flies from their3faces. They have resorted to tribalism and clandestine alliances to make it to the next day, seeking strength in numbers against the faceless, ethereal, insidious specter that
threatens to snuff out their flame of life. They lie, they1cheat, they steal, they fight . . . yet hardly anyone tries to
escape. This is not some deranged parallel universe, or9sci-fi show, or post-apocalyptic vision of the world. This is
Survivor, the reality television series in which people compete
B for prizes, money, and the title of “sole survivor.”
Anyone who has watched the series knows the structure. Sixteen strangers are dropped off on a remote island
U With the limited resources of a machete, cooking pot,
and divided into two teams or “tribes” to fight for survival.
and canteens, they have to quickly build a shelter and find food and water. At regular intervals, the two tribes
compete with one another for prizes and supplies. After each competition, the losing team convenes at a “tribal
council” to choose a team member to eliminate from the game.
Under such duress, strained and contentious interpersonal dynamics quickly develop within the two teams.
During every episode, contestants lie to one another to gain an advantage and instill loyalty from others. There
are threats that strain the group, outbursts that alienate allies, and displays of dominance that intimidate, inspire,
43
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44
Working in Teams
and divide tribal sentiment. One fascinating aspect of the show is when a person is “voted off,” the host snuffs
out the player’s flame/torch and dramatically states, “The tribe has spoken. It’s time for you to go.” Whether they
are seen as a weak link or a threat to win the $1 million prize, the person is singled out from the group, judged,
and sent away.
One of the interesting paradoxes that team members have to confront is their degree of loyalty to the team
versus personal survival. For example, it is in the best interest of the team for every member to forage for food and
water; but it is in the best interest of each individual to conserve his or her energy and allow others to do the
majority of the work. Indeed, a difference in work ethic is often one of the first issues of contention that emerges
on the remote islands. Members who are working hard to help the team survive become extremely frustrated with
F
those who aren’t doing their fair share of the work.
Another interpersonal issue that comes up early in theI Survivor season is the question of alliances. Tribal
members quickly realize that they need to form coalitions with other teammates who will watch their backs and
N
protect them. Subgroups strategize and work together to get to the final stages of the game when they will ultiD manipulation, and betrayal create the tumultuous
mately compete against one another. Issues of trust, honesty,
drama that has made this show a success.
L
When participants become hungry, tired, and stressed out, they get grumpy and irritable. Tempers flare. People
E
storm off in disgust. Teammates think the worst about one another and become suspicious of every word or action.
Y
The remote islands of Survivor are a crucible of human interaction.
Everything is intensified. While most group
experiences are not as volatile, the same dynamics that are, dramatically highlighted on the show are present in
some form or fashion.
S
A in Survivor? What do we learn about human
What fundamentals of interpersonal dynamics are evident
nature?
R
What lessons can we learn from Survivor about the balance
A of team alliances and personal survival?
Case Study Discussion Questions
1.
2.
3. Describe the type of people who end up winning Survivor.
5
4. What, if any, parallels exist between Survivor and our experience
of everyday life?
3
1
The producers of the TV show Survivor know exactly how to create a social setting that
9 shows such as The Real World and The
leads to high drama. The structure of reality
Bachelor/Bachelorette create interpersonal dynamics
that are extreme and evocative. Yet
B
viewing statistics prove that these shows are clearly popular and entertaining to many
despite their exaggerated storylines. ViewersUare captivated by the interpersonal dynamics
among contestants who are trying to capitalize on the basic need of human beings both to
fit in and stand out. We all want to fit in and be part of the group. Getting along with others
and forging alliances is the key to survival, if not success, in many of these shows. But contestants also want to be special and have a unique place within the group. They want to be
the sole survivor. They want to stay in the Real World house and parlay their fame into
future success. They want to get a rose and possibly find the love of their lives.
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CHAPTER 3 Interpersonal Dynamics and Conflict
45
Interpersonal dynamics describes the interaction among members in a specific social
context. It describes the way members relate to one another within a certain setting. Each
setting is different depending on the purpose of the group, the unique constellation of
members, and the physical or virtual setting. In order to assess the socio-emotional environment of a group, observers might ask themselves the following questions:
• Do members seem to enjoy working together?
• What do members do when they enter and exit meetings?
• Is there an atmosphere of lightheartedness and laughter in the meetings?
F
I
• What nonverbal messages do people seem to be communicating?
N
• Do members express frustration directly or indirectly?
D
• Are members assertive, passive, passive-aggressive, or aggressive?
L
E
NORMS
Y
Norms are the interpersonal rules that,members are expected to follow. They are estab• Is everyone participating equally?
lished and at times enforced in order to get members to conform to certain expectations
and standards of behavior (Hogg & Reid, 2006). These rules or expectations create order
and stability by acknowledging what isS
expected of members—though this acknowledgement does not necessarily require any explicit declaration or statement. Instead, through
A
the group members’ interactions and time spent together, norms are often established
through unspoken behavior protocols that
R simply come to be. Norms shape many aspects
of group life, including seating arrangements, communication patterns, language, attire,
A
humor, and respect for the leader; and the list goes on.
Similar to the function of traditions, norms define roles and behavior in such a way that
makes social settings predictable through
5 repetition over time. For example, many of us
expect to be served turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Over the years, through much repetition,
3 has become an accepted ritual in many cultures.
and with the support of family elders, this
Of course, much like traditions, norms can
1 either become outdated or outgrow their original purpose and therefore need to be periodically examined and updated when necessary.
Norms not only describe “what is”9(descriptive norms) but also “what should be”
(injunctive norms). For example, imagine
B a group of students meeting to discuss a class
project. Suppose a member jokingly makes an inappropriate racial comment; because this
U
is a new group, a norm about racial comments
has not yet been established. If everyone
laughs, a descriptive norm that endorses these kinds of comments is established. On the
other hand, if a member says, “That’s not cool. I’m uncomfortable with those kinds of comments,” and others nod their heads or give their assent in some way, then an injunctive
norm is established, and the member who made the comment is now in jeopardy of losing
status and being ostracized by the group. This all takes place in a matter of seconds, but the
ramifications can last a long time.
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46
Working in Teams
Some norms are explicitly communicated by one or more members of the group while
implicit norms operate through more indirect means. Often, implicit norms are not clearly
defined, or made explicit, until a member has been found in violation of one of them.
Adherence to team norms is more likely to occur when (a) members perceive a behavior to
be universally performed by other group members, (b) there is a risk of social sanctions
being imposed in light of not upholding any particular attitude or behavior, or (c) there is
a reward associated with complying with the perceived norm. One of this book’s authors
has established a cell phone policy (i.e., norm) by answering students’ phones that ring
during class. He puts the unsuspecting caller on speaker phone and lets the class listen
while he asks the caller to share an interesting story about the phone’s owner. It only takes
one or two experiences like this for studentsFto remember to turn their cell phones off during class. Even though this norm was explicitly
I stated at the beginning of the semester, it
often takes a mild “social sanction” like this to change behavior.
N
Team norms can develop in one of four ways (Feldman, 1984). First, a team’s initial
meeting often establishes a pattern of normsD
that determines future interpersonal behavior
and expectations. Gersick (1988, 1989) has observed that the structure set in the first meetL
ing of a team’s existence becomes the default pattern for the group, remaining unchalE it is reexamined in order to find more
lenged until the midpoint of the group, when
effective ways to achieve objectives. This being the case, it should be reiterated just how
Y
important it is for group leaders to be deliberate about the kind of norms they directly or
indirectly establish in that first meeting. For ,example, will the group be focused on relationships or only tasks? How will members relate to one another? How will group meetings be
conducted? And so on. The leader models behavior that will translate into default norms
S
for the group.
Second, norms are often established when
A the leader or influential member makes an
explicit statement or deliberate action regarding a particular norm. In the previous examR his cell phone policy at the beginning of the
ple, the class instructor stated the norm about
semester and then called attention to it when
Ait was violated. Not everyone in a classroom
has the credibility to create such norms. For example, if an upset student were to suggest
that midterm exam grades should not count toward the final grade, nobody would take him
or her seriously. Group members must have enough
status and authority either to challenge
5
an existing norm or create a new one.
3
Another way norms are established is through the experience of a critical event. At
times, teams experience significant events that
1 force the examination or establishment of
various norms. For example, a college football team that violates NCAA recruiting regula9
tions might have to voluntarily alter the norms, values, and practices of its coaches in order
B major policy violation and the subsequent
to avoid serious sanctions and penalties. This
probationary period would be a critical event
U that would force the athletic program to
examine old norms and create new ones that honor the spirit and letter of NCAA guidelines.
Again, organizations and institutions are wise to periodically evaluate their policies and
practices before a negative critical event catches them unprepared.
Finally, team norms are inevitably carried over from prior group experiences. Individuals
do not enter new groups as blank slates. Past group experiences are the springboards from
which each new group is entered. Team members apply the norms from past team experiences that are similar in kind to their current team. For example, college students beginning
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Copyright © 2015 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
CHAPTER 3 Interpersonal Dynamics and Conflict
47
a new class at the beginning of the semester will have 12-plus years of prior educational
experiences from which to draw in order to know both what to expect in class and what is
expected of them. These prior experiences will serve as the basis for understanding the
new class environment until new norms are identified.
Source of Group Norms
• Initial group patterns
• Explicit behavior or statements
• Critical events
F
I
Hackman (2002) argues that two specific
N group norms are necessary for maximum
group functioning: ongoing self-evaluation and ethical standards of behavior. Effective
D
groups are, first, proactive and self-critical as they develop project management and problem-solving strategies (Postmes, Spears,L
& Cihangir, 2001). They continually scan the environment to determine the best course of action for any given situation. These groups are
E
also willing to discard outdated or poorly conceived strategies that are no longer effective.
Ygeneral human tendency to respond to problems
This norm is important in combating the
and demands with automatic and habitual
responses (Cannon & Witherspoon, 2005).
,
• Past group experiences
Groups and organizations have a tendency to take a strategy or solution that worked in the
past and apply it to new situations until it becomes an unquestioned operating procedure
that may be less than optimal. This practice,
S clearly, is not productive.
The second norm that Hackman sees as crucial for effective group performance is the
A
commitment to ethical guidelines and operational
responsibility. Groups exist within organizational contexts that have rules about
Rproper behavior. When challenges and pressures
confront a group, the group must act ethically and responsibly according to organizational
guidelines and general ethical principlesAsuch as honesty and integrity. Without this explicitly stated norm, it can be easily compromised when clients, bosses, or influential peers are
demanding results or when there is great incentive for personal gain. Hackman acknowl5
edges that secondary norms involving issues such as punctuality and conflict can help
groups function more efficiently but must
3 be determined by the members of each individual group. The next section presents a model of interpersonal styles that describes how
1
people relate to one another and why there might be potential difficulties.
SOCIAL STYLES
9
B
U
Group members express themselves in a multitude of ways ranging from productive to
destructive. As social creatures living in social contexts, people naturally develop interpersonal strategies that become established patterns of social behavior. The characteristics
of these interpersonal strategies can then be categorized into various “styles” of verbal
and nonverbal interaction. The social style of individuals can be determined by identifying
interpersonal characteristics along two continuums: degree of assertiveness and degree of
FOR THE USE OF SAVANT LEARNING SYSTEMS STUDENTS AND FACULTY ONLY.
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Copyright © 2015 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
48
Working in Teams
emotional expression (Baney, 2004; Bolton & Bolton, 1996; Merrill & Reid, 1981). Based
upon these two variables, group members can be classified as one of four social styles: analytic, driver, expressive, or amiable. While theoretical models like this one may risk artificially reducing complex interpersonal behavior into oversimplified categories, awareness of
individual social styles can help reduce the risk of misunderstandings and inaccurate assessments. For example, team leaders who understand the various social styles of their members
can tailor their communication in ways that are most appropriate for each style (Wicks &
Parish, 1990). In addition, awareness of one’s own style may aid in avoiding potential communication problems and can lead to an increase in effective communication.
As seen in Figure 3.1, assertiveness is plotted on the horizontal axis and ranges from
F
“asking” to “telling.” While individuals demonstrate
different levels of assertiveness
depending on their immediate social context,
their
predominant
style tends to prevail in
I
most cases. In general, those with an “asking” orientation are less interested in influencing
N
others than are those with a “telling” orientation. The following descriptions of “asking”
and “telling” behaviors help identify an individual’s
primary orientation:
D
L
• Asking: States opinions more carefully without a call for action from others.
E animated nonverbal gestures.
Speaks in a softer voice while using less
Y
• Telling: States opinions more authoritatively,
including a strong call for action from
others. Speaks in a louder voice while, using more forceful gestures.
Figure 3.1
Social Styles
S
A
R
A
Controlled
5
Analytic
Driver
3 Objective, determined,
Industrious, systematic,
persistent, detail-oriented, 1 efficient, independent,
serious, precise, thinking
pragmatic, decisive, action
oriented, strong need to be 9 oriented, strong need for
right
results
Asking
Amiable
Friendly, dependable,
easygoing, cooperative,
loyal, feeling oriented,
strong need to maintain
relationships
B
U
Expressive
Imaginative, stimulating, funloving, enthusiastic,
spontaneous, strong need
for social recognition
Emotive
Telling
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CHAPTER 3 Interpersonal Dynamics and Conflict
49
Next, the expression of emotion is plotted on the vertical axis and ranges from “controlled” to “emotive.” Someone with a controlled posture expresses very little emotion,
whereas an emotive person expresses a significant amount of emotion and energy:
• Controlled: Prefers facts and details to feelings. Limits small talk and typically
speaks with a limited range of vocal i …
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