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GROUP AND INTER GROUP PROCESS: GROUP
INFORMATION AND GROUP PROCESSES
Dishant Jojit James
Jnr MSc (Agri)
Dept. of Agricultural Extension
• A group is a unit of two or more people in
reciprocal communication and interaction
with each other.
• Group formation promotes discipline, loyalty,
group responsibility and group pressure
• Group member’s roles include knowledge
contributor, process observer, people
supporter, challenger, listener, mediator,
gatekeeper and take-charge leader.
• Definition: According to Bogardus
• “As a collection of people, two or more, who
have common objects of attention, who are
stimulating to one another and who have
common loyalty who participate in similar
• Webster’s Dictionary defines a group as “a
number of persons near, placed, or classified
1. FORMAL GROUP: Is one deliberately formed by the
organization to accomplish specific tasks and achieve goals.
• Examples of formal or work groups include departments,
projects, task force, committees and search teams to find a
2. INFORMAL GROUP: Is one which emerges over time
through the interaction of workers. Although the goals of
these groups are not explicitly stated, informal groups
typically satisfy a social or recreational purpose.
• Members of department who dine together occasionally
would constitute an informal group.
• Intergroup relation between two or more groups
and their respective members is often necessary
to complete the work required to operate a
business. Many times, groups inter-relate to
accomplish the organization’s goals and
• According to Thomas(1976) Intergroup behaviour,
or the way groups interact with other groups, is
best examined in terms of the frequency and
interaction type the groups engaged in.
Intergroup process in HRD
1.Horizontal strain: Involves competition
Example: sales versus production
2. Vertical strain: Involves competition between
Example : union versus management,
foreman versus middleman.
Improving the quality of intergroup
relations in an organization
• Superordinate goals
• Intergroup team development
• Reducing the need for intergroup conflicts
• Resource allocation process should be fair.
Group process refers to how an organization's
members work together to get things done.
Group process refers to what happens within
groups including communication, decision
making, leadership, motivation and
cohesiveness, norms, roles, power and control
dynamics, synergy, social loafing or free
riding, social facilitation effect etc.
• Group Cohesiveness:
Group cohesiveness refers to extent to which members of the
group are attracted towards each other demonstrated
through unity in the group, conformity to the norms of the
group and willingness to continue in the group.
The concept of synergy has been derived from biology that
refers to an interaction of two or more substances that
generates an outcome which is different from the individual
addition of the substances.
• Social loafing or free riding:
Tendency of individuals to reduce their effort or contribution
in the group situation.
• Social facilitation effect:
Phenomenon in which individual's performance improves or
deteriorates in presence of others.
• Group process can occur from within the group,
outside of the group and anytime of year.
• Effective organizations take a close look at how
members work together, which roles they fill and
whether members are contributing equally.
• Through group process, observation and analysis
can help identify problems early, thus alleviating
the need for a major overhaul as the year
Questions to ask yourself as you begin
observing a group.
• Who talks? For how long? How often?
• At whom do people look when they speak?
• Who talks after whom? Who interrupts whom?
• What style of communication is used (assertions,
questions, tone of voice, gestures, etc.)?
• Who sits where? Do the same people always sit in
the same place?
•Who are the high participants? Who are the low
•Do you see any shift in participation (e.g., highs
become quiet; lows suddenly become talkative)?
What are possible reasons for this in the group's
•How are the silent people treated? How is their
•Who talks to whom?
•Who keeps the ball rolling?
• Decision Making
• Does anyone make a decision and carry it out without
checking with other group members (self-authorized)?
• Does the group drift from topic to topic? Who topic-
jumps? Who supports other members' suggestions or
decisions? Does this support result in the two
members deciding the topic or activity for the group?
How does this affect the other group members?
• Is there any attempt to get all members participating in
a decision (consensus)? What effect does this seem to
have on the group?
• Does the executive board make all of the decisions or
do the members?
Importance of Developing an Effective
• It may seem unrealistic to view a planning body
as a team, but certain committees or task forces
will need to operate as a team to complete such
tasks as needs assessment, developing the
comprehensive plan, development of a
continuum of care, or setting up quality
• Developing an effective team from a diverse
group of planning body members requires an
understanding of group process.
Models of Group Development
• One way of understanding group process is through looking at
models of group development.
• The most common model is Tuckman’s (1965)model. It’s a
five-stage model of group development that can lead to
formation of “high-performance teams”.
• It breaks development into the following five stages:
Stage 1: Forming
In the forming stage, a group attempts to define the task and
decide how it will be accomplished.
Members may feel excitement, anticipation, and optimism
or suspicion, fear, and anxiety about the work ahead.
The group also attempts to determine acceptable group
behavior and how to deal with group problems, and begins
to develop group identity.
Stage 2: Storming
In this stage, members may resist the tasks at hand or may resist
approaches different from those each individual is comfortable
Common group behavior during this stage includes establishment
of unrealistic goals, concern about excessive work, defensiveness
and competition among the members—who may argue even when
they agree on the real issues—and questioning of suggested
Some groups fail to get beyond this stage, and remain in conflict.
Stage 3: Norming
In this stage, groups begin to develop a sense of team closeness,
and are more willing to discuss the team’s dynamics and to
express criticism constructively.
The group attempts to reach harmony or avoid personal conflict
by establishing ground rules.
Group members might begin to feel a sense of relief that things
are going to “work out.”
Planning bodies often use the development or revision of bylaws
and policies as a way to document the norming stage.
Stage 4: Performing
In this stage, group members have a better understanding of each other’s
strengths and weaknesses, and are able to work through group problems.
They often feel close to the team and satisfaction with the team’s progress.
Effective committees, and in some cases whole planning bodies, can become
high-performing teams, in spite of disagreements over priorities and other
They have learned to work together effectively and to disagree without losing
Tuckman(1977) refined the model to include a fifth
stage to address how the group begins to disengage
and move on to new tasks potentially beyond the
• The stages 1 to 5 would not apply for a group that
disbanded and never worked together.
Another model for looking at the development of effective work groups is
the “Cog’s Ladder” Model, which identifies additional stages of group
The politeness stage
• Members are getting acquainted with each other, sharing only some
information and being careful in their interactions.
The “why are we here” stage
• The group begins to clarify purpose, share values, and form cliques or
The bid for power stage
• There is competition among some members for control of the group.
The constructive stage
• collaboration and consensus building occurs among members; shared
leadership, and a group identity develops.
The “esprit” stage
• group interaction reflects creativity, trust, caring, openness, respect, and
Case study on Group process and
“Relation of employee attitudes on job-related
matters to feeling that group discussions with
supervisor are worthwhile”
Reference: From Rensis Likert, New Patterns in
Management(New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing
Co., ) pp. 26-43
The frequency of work-group meeting, as well as the
attitude and behavior of the superior toward the
ideas of subordinates, affects the extent to which
employees feel that the superior is good at handling
1.Of the workers in work groups where the men feel that the
supervisor likes to get their ideas and tries to do something
about the ideas, the percentage who feel the supervisor is
good in dealing with people
when the meeting are held frequently 74%
when the meeting are held occasionally 61%
when the meeting are held seldom 57%
0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
when the meeting are held
when the meeting are held
when the meeting are held
2.But of the workers in work groups where the men
feel that the supervisor is not interested in their ideas,
that it is just talk, and they don’t really get a hearing
for their ideas, the percentage who feel the supervisor
is good in dealing with people
• when the meeting are held frequently 25%
• when the meeting are held occasionally 20%
• when the meeting are held seldom 12%
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30%
when the meeting are held frequently
when the meeting are held occasionally
when the meeting are held seldom
3. Of the workers in work groups
where no meeting are held
0% 20% 40% 60%
no meeting held
no meeting held
39% Feel their supervisor is good in dealing with
Conclusion of this case study
• From the above findings it is found that of the who
report that supervisor holds meeting frequently and
that he “ likes to get our ideas and tries to do
something about them” 74% percent feel that their
supervisor is good in dealing with people.
• On the other hand, of those who say their boss seldom
holds meeting and when he does, “its just talk, we
don’t really get hearing for our ideas,”12% percent feel
that their supervisor is good in dealing with people.
• Of the those who say their supervisor never holds
meeting, 39 percent feel that he is good in dealing with
• Group is a collection of people to achieve a common goal. Group
members should be independent in terms of tasks, goals and feedback,
rewards for effective functioning of business organization. Hence, groups
play a major role in sharing common identity, have membership roles and
make decision effectively.
• Intergroup behaviour, or the way groups interact with other groups, is
best examined in terms of the frequency and interaction type the groups
are engaged in. Intergroup behaviour is influenced factors beyond
interaction types. Examples of these include interdependence,
organizational culture, past history, and organizational social networks.
• Fredric M. Jablin, Linda Putnam (2000). The new
handbook of organizational communication; advances
• Nadler L Ed, 1984, the handbook of Human Resource
Development, John Wiley and sons, New York.
• Tompkins, Jonathan R, “Organization Theory and Public
Management” Thompson Wadsworth (2005)
• Emerging human resource development- S.K Bhatia