Essay on Group Development: The Formation of Informal Work Groups

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Group Development: The Formation of Informal Work Groups

“Informal groups have a powerful influence on the effectiveness of an organization, and can even subvert its formal groups. But, the informal group’s role is not limited to resistance. The impact of the informal group upon the larger formal group depends on the norms that the informal group sets. So the informal group can make the formal organization more effective, too.” Informal groups can either be a manager’s best friend or worst enemy. Group Development: The Formation of Informal Work Groups Informal work groups are part of any working environment; how they form, the leadership within the group and how these groups communicate, follow the same basic model. “Groups are
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Because people have needs that extend beyond the work itself, informal groups develop to fill certain emotional, social, and psychological needs. “Several major functions are served by informal groups. For example, the group serves as a means of satisfying the affiliation needs of its members for friendship and support. People need to belong, to be liked, to feel a part of something. Because the informal group can withhold this attractive reward, it has a tool of its own to coerce compliance with its norms.” Groups also provide a means of developing and confirming a person’s sense of identity and self-esteem. “Another function of groups is to serve as an agent for establishing and testing social reality. For example, several individuals may share a feeling that their manager or supervisor is a horrible boss and or their working conditions are inadequate. By developing a consensus about these feelings, group members are able to reduce the anxiety associated with their jobs.” “The informal group serves as a defense mechanism against forces that group members could not resist on their own. Joining forces a small group makes the members feel stronger, less anxious, and less insecure. Since the group fulfills many important needs for its members, it influences member behavior.” High levels of self esteem can separate you from the rest of the pack. Self esteem in the workplace is critical to your success in

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