1) What is meant by a Group? / Define Group. (2 marks)
According to Marvin Shaw, "A group is two or more persons who are interacting with one another in such a manner that each person influences and is influenced by each other person."
In other words, a group is refers to a collection of two or more interacting individuals with a stable pattern of relationships between them; who share common goals and who perceive themselves as being a group.
E.H. Schein prescribes three conditions which any number of persons to be called a group should satisfy. The three conditions are:
(i) People must interact with one another
(ii) They must be psychologically aware of one another, and
(iii) They should perceive themselves to be a group.
2)Why do people join Groups? (8 marks)
Companionship. The need for relationship with other people is one of the strongest and most constant of human drives. Relationships give an individual, who earlier felt lonely and miserable, recognition and his work life pleasant and comfortable. Many research studies have indicated that the employees who have no opportunity for social contacts find their work unsatisfying and this lack of satisfaction often reflects itself in low productivity and high rate of absenteeism and turnover.
Identity. We try to understand ourselves through the behaviour of others towards us. If others praise us, we feel we are great. Groups provide many others who will laugh, praise or admire us. Workers get more identified in small groups and so small groups tend to enjoy high morale as compared to large groups.
Information. The informal group to which a member belongs is a source of communication or information to him. A piece of information available to one member will nearly reach all the members in a short span of time. An individual comes to know about what is happening in an organisation even if he has been on leave or is otherwise away. The group may develop a special code or language for speedy communication. The groups help reduce many of the psychological barriers to communication. Sometimes the group will amend, amplify and interpret the news, once it is released. Thus, each person gets a larger, more detailed and meaningful but at times, a distorted and erroneous picture of what is going on in the organisation.
Security. Perhaps, the strongest reason for group formation is the people's need for security. By joining a group, a person can reduce his insecurity, he feels stronger, has lesser self doubts and is more resistant to threats. A person always derives reassurance from interacting with others and being part of a group. The group protects its members from the arbitrary policies and orders of the formal organisations and provides a psychological buffer between the individual and the organisaion. This often explains the concept of unions.
Esteem. Membership in a prestigious group is a source of enhanced self esteem. The members will feel good about themselves by virtue of the group's power, prestige and social standing. They will get opportunities for recognition and praise that are not available outside the group.
Sense of Belongingness. It is an emotional need for friendship, love, affection and affiliation. Most people have strong need for being with others who can understand, support and help them when they are in need and render them moral and emotional support in time of difficulty. The concept of family and friends fulfill this need. When people are new to an organisation, they are eager to find friends with which they can check their perception of new and uncertain environment.
Outlet for Frustrations. An individual may be faced with several problems relating to his family life and work life. At times, he feels tremendous stress in life and gets frustrated. If he shares his feelings and anxieties with someone, his tension is released to a great extent. The social relations provide an important outlet for frustration.