Leadership and Group Dynamics


From time immemorial, the human race has always organized itself into groups with common interests and goals to be achieved. These groups have been in the form of clans, tribes, races, religious convictions and the more important modern-day organizations. There is need for effective and result oriented staff in whatever organization as the world gets more advanced and varied (High Performance Teams, 2002). Management teams of these organizations, therefore, have an obligation of understanding fully and implementing workgroup dynamics and cohesiveness. The leadership of any organization also needs to be well versed in the management of multicultural workgroups in a bid to make their firms successful. One key pillar for this is effective communication, bounded by trust and effective management.

The importance of understanding group dynamics in the business world

Group dynamics refers to the societal means through which people interrelate and behave in a group setting. Given the varied mental power, creativity and physical abilities that is expected in such a setting, group dynamics involve the influence of various individualities, authority and conduct while in the business workplace or other group setting. A thorough understanding of group dynamics in any business setting is vital for that entity’s success due to a number of reasons (North Dakota State University, 1992).

It is vital for the management to establish whether interactions between individuals are in support of the realization of the firm’s goals. Understanding these dynamics helps in finding out whether the framework and size of various groupings is an addition in pursuit of the organization’s aims (High Performance Teams, 2002). Other questions that this understanding ends up answering are; the way in which official and unofficial authorities are utilized in the processes of building consensuses on minor and major pronouncements, and whether a multicultural workforce gives forth the right environment and how these cultures interact.

Two groups normally exist in any business organization; the formal ones that attend to defined duties and the informal ones that come up depending on the firm’s organization (High Performance Teams, 2002). An understanding of all these is important if setting up these groups is to be done correctly.

Why it is said that research about groups is not always valid and relevant

Research about groups is said to be irrelevant from some quarters since the set ups of various organizations and firms where these studies are carried out do vary. This means that results obtained from given organizations cannot be subjected to similar judgments since the conditions and situations on the ground are different in most of the times.

How positive interdependence helps to achieve mutual goals

Social interdependence is usually in place when the achievements of each player in any set up are influenced by the acts of others in that organization (Mind Tools, 2010). Positive interdependence falls under social interdependence and is said to exist in any setting when members of that firm have s conviction that they can reach their goals if and only if the other members of that entity also attain their aims, and as a result, prop up each other’s endeavors to attain the aspirations.

This type of interaction is constructive to any organization since all members in this arrangement encourage and facilitate each other’s energies to bring tasks to completion (Mind Tools, 2010). Goals are easily achieved due to the key pillars namely; reciprocated aid and assistance, exchange of and sharing of resources, effectual information exchange, reciprocated influence, faith in one another and productive conflict resolution.

Self interest is normally developed to cooperative interest and the way through which the even bigger goals can be attained charted. Other members’ actions replace for one’s own by way of willingness to being under influence and thus combined efforts are more effectual. Shift from self-centeredness to reciprocated interest is the most important pillar in sustenance and growth of any organization.

Whether groups or individuals are more effective in work environments

A critical look into this reveals that groups are more effective than individuals in a work environment. In leadership by a group situation, more than one individual gives the way forward. This goes a long way in enhancing and increasing innovation and cutting costs. The old style of individual work has proved to be costly in several situations (High Performance Teams, 2002).

The best case is whereby a group with varying expertise and from all sections of the organization come together to deal with a given situation. This framework enables equal sharing of power and contribution on all issues. All the members get into a situation whereby they have the capability of dealing with any given segment of the project being carried out. Each member is also provided with the chance to have a feel of being at the top; this motivates all and enhances the process of achievement.

A group situation offers an interpersonal relationship; all players have the opportunity to chip in, learn from others and also work with others. The members also know their roles in getting various tasks carried out and know when to give more skillful members an opportunity to do their part.

Members usually feel that their outstanding individualities are acknowledged in a group setting as opposed to individuals. Team meetings also turn out to be more effectual and constructive, consequently, all players usually look forward to such times and end up performing better than if they were left to work individually (High Performance Teams, 2002). Such settings provide an important platform from where members get reactions on past undertakings and they also get to update their expertise through training opportunities that emerge in these groups.

The meaning of group cohesiveness, its importance, how it affects group processes and how it can be enhanced in any group

Cohesiveness means the coming as one and carrying out specified duties and other roles with proficiency and commitment. Groups that operate as a unit and cooperate in all tasks while at the same time acknowledging the inputs of all members are usually successful as opposed to groups with members pulling in different directions and lacking motivation (North Dakota State University, 1992). Cohesion makes members proud to belong to a given group and thus improves on their contributions and performance. This quality is appealing and thus serves to draw other good players in the industry.

Group cohesion is enhanced from inside achievements and social-emotional support. Management teams should always ensure that reasonably sized groups are formed. Group size contributes to cohesion in the sense that a group that is excessively large creates a situation whereby players cannot get the necessary acknowledgement. This in most cases results in the emergence of cliques which aggravates the situation by leading members to pull out or withhold their valuable contributions (High Performance Teams, 2002). This is an act of objection since these members feel their contribution(s) are taken for granted or others are not giving as expected.

How social influence/interaction affects decision-making

Social influence that normally leads to decision-making relies entirely on effective communication between two parties. It’s all a matter of passing messages across in an understandable manner. For the receiver, it’s a matter of obtaining the message as the sender had crafted it, with as little misrepresentation as possible. Achievement of this requires a commitment from both sender and receiver (Mind Tools, 2010).

The process of effectively passing one’s message across to the receiver entails effective transmission of one’s thoughts. Without this, the idea that one transmits to the other side is not what he or she had in mind, thus, a communication breakdown results. The inability to communicate effectively impacts negatively on the ability to influence other(s) in the making of vital decisions (Mind Tools, 2010). It also hampers career progression of people who can’t communicate effectively.

For one to communicate effectively, they must first comprehend the message they want to pass, the receiver and how it will be perceived. The situation at hand and the cultural set up should also be put to mind.

Encouraging and discouraging member’s acceptance of proposals in the workplace

Whether members in an organization get encouraged or discouraged to root for proposals depends on how they are handled and the implications of those proposals. Members who are handled in a dignified and respectable manner will most of the times be in support of proposals by the leaders (Mind Tools, 2010). However, if mishandled and treated with disrespect, chances are that they will not be in support of ideas and proposals brought up by their leadership.

Acceptance of given proposals is also pegged on clear and effective communication between all players, the leaders and the subordinates. People are able to support what they are conversant with as opposed to what is ambiguous.

Whether leaders are an important aspect of groups

Leadership refers to the process of societal influence in which an individual (the leader) is able to solicit the help and support of others in the achievement of a common goal. From this description it is clear that for any group to operate satisfactorily it needs a leader or a group of leaders. This person(s) has the vital role of rallying all concerned to fall behind the common agenda (High Performance Teams, 2002).

There are only a few things that are of more importance to humankind and all their undertakings than leadership. Efficient headship helps an organization to make it through rough and smooth times. In the absence of leadership, organizations tend to drag and even end up losing their way by stagnating (Mind Tools, 2010). Resolutions about the way forward are always good and can only be put to effect by an effective leadership.

Donors and other well-wishers acknowledge the importance of effective leadership in business organizations. Organizations with good management end up growing by leaps and bounds due to this.

Leaders usually chart the way forward for those they lead, they help them visualize and see what the future has in store and what is achievable. In the absence of leadership human beings tend to get into arguments and conflicts since they perceive things differently.

Good leaders usually assume responsibility for what their organization engages in. they also assume risks since in the absence of risk little or no leadership is necessary. If a given endeavor is trouble-free and sure to succeed then anyone is able to lead it. However, in cases where an endeavor involves a risk of letdown then many individuals usually avoid such challenges.

High levels of leadership are associated with high levels of authority. The top leader of an organization normally plays the role of a leader more than staff at lower levels of the set up.

Leaders are an important aspect in any organization’s group(s) since they build the work environment. Effective management usually involves getting things done from individuals in a group. A leader in a group setting keeps in mind human relations. This enables him or her to listen to all players’ problems and deal with them satisfactorily.

Coordination in any firm is vital for any progress to be realized. It is attained by way of resolving individual interests with the firm’s goals (High Performance Teams, 2002). This matchup is normally attained by appropriate and effectual coordination which ought to be any leader’s main aim.

How leaders emerge from groups

Unlike his or her appointed counterpart, an emergent leader arises within the context of an unofficial organization that an official framework. The unofficial set up brings out the individual aims. These goals may or may not correspond with those of their official counterpart. The unofficial set up is a perfect representation of an addition of societal frameworks that generally represent the human trait of spontaneity.

Leaders emerge from within the frame work of unofficial entities. What draws followers to these leaders is their individual traits, requirements of the situation at hand, or a combination of these aspects and others.

Why teams are more effective than work groups in certain situations

The reason for this is mainly because these two vary on various fronts. A work group has no major progressive performance requirement or provision that would necessitate it to turn into a team. There is basically no call for a team approach and all players interact in a bid to share knowledge.

A team on the other hand consists of a small number of individuals with corresponding skills and expertise and has a commitment to attain a common goal (High Performance Teams, 2002). The performance outcome for a team is notably higher than that of a work group.

The best measure to use in determining whether a work group or a team is most effective is to ask if there is any need to carry out any noteworthy difference in organizational performance. It is vital to fit the right group to the right situation since these two differ significantly. A team is always the better choice if an important performance need is desired. Teams yield better results but need more in terms of input than wok groups. Thus, it all boils down to how much is expected from the undertaking.

In a team situation, there exists main performance need, interdependence and common accountability. Situations where work groups are more effective include functional departments in organizations. For instance, these can be clerks in a department store. These are mainly characterized by comparable individual aims and the absence of any small group common goal. Collaboration exists to an extent but common accountability is lacking.

Reference List

Mind Tools: Communication Skills – Start Here!. Web.

North Dakota State University. Leadership Development within Groups: Managing Conflict. Web.

High Performance Teams. Web.

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