Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Elaborate on different types of Groups

Groups can be either formal or informal.

1. Formal Groups:

A designated work group defined by the organization’s structure. A formal group is set up by the organization to carry out work in support of the organization’s goals. In formal groups, the behaviours that one should engage in are stipulated by – and directed toward – organizational goals. Examples include a book-keeping department, an executive committee, and a product development team. Formal groups may be command groups or task groups.

  • Command Group: A command group consists of a manager and the employees who report to him or her. Thus, it is defined in terms of the organization’s hierarchy. Membership in the group arises from each employee’s position on the organizational chart.
  • Task Group: A task group is made up of employees who work together to complete a particular task or project. A task group’s boundaries are not limited to its immediate hierarchical superior. It can cross command relationships. An employee’s membership in the group arises from the responsibilities delegated to the employee – that is, the employee’s responsibility to carry out particular activities. Task group may be temporary with an established life span, or they may be open ended.

  • Committee: A group of people officially delegated to perform a function, such as investigation, considering, reporting, or acting on a matter. Committee, one or more persons appointed or elected to consider report on, or take action on a particular matter. It investigates analyses and debates the problem and makes recommendation. Committee usually has their own Committee member comprising of advisory authority, secretary and others. Recommendation is sent to the authority that is responsible for implementing them.

2. Informal Groups:

An organization’s informal groups are the groups that evolve to meet social of affiliation needs by bringing people together based on shared interests or friendship. Thus, informal groups are alliances that are neither formally structured nor organizationally determined. These groups are natural formations in the work environment that appear in response to the need for social contact. Many factors explain why people are attracted to one another every day, they are likely to form friendships. That likelihood is even greater when people also share similar attitudes, personalities, or economic status.

  • Friendship Groups: Groups often developed because the individual members have one or more common characteristics. We call these formations “Friendship groups”. Social alliances, which frequently extend outside the work situation, can be based on similar age, same political view, attended the same college, etc.

  • Interest Groups: people who may or may not be aligned into common command or task groups may affiliate to attain a specific objective with which each is concerned. This is an interest group.

  • Reference Groups: Sometimes, people use a group as a basis for comparison in making decisions or forming opinions. When a group is used in this way. It is a reference group. Employees have reference group inside or outside the organization where they work. For most people, the family is the most important reference groups. Other important reference groups typically include co-workers, friends, and members of the person’s religious organization. The employee need not admire a group for it to serve as a reference group. Some reference groups serve as a negative reference; the employee tries to be unlike members of these groups.

3. Stages of Group Development: In interpreting behaviour of a particular group, it is important to recognize not only a broad pattern of development but also the unique characteristics of the particular group and the circumstances that contribute to (or detract from) its development. The way in which a particular group develops, depends in part on such variables as the frequency with which group members interact and personal characteristics of group members. However, it is generally believed that groups pass through a standard sequence of five stages.

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