The basic foundation for understanding group behavior includes roles, norms and conformity, status systems, group size, and group cohesiveness. Let’s take a closer look at each of those aspects.
What Are Roles? We introduced the concept of roles in Chapter 1 when we discussed what managers do. Of
course, managers aren’t the only individuals in an organization who have roles. The concept of roles applies to all employees in organizations and to their lives outside the organization as well.
A role refers to behavior patterns expected of someone who occupies a given position in a social unit. Individuals play multiple roles, adjusting their roles to the group to which they belong at the time. In an organization, employees attempt to determine what behaviors are expected of them. They read their job descriptions, get suggestions from their bosses, and watch what their coworkers do. An individual who’s confronted by divergent role expec- tations experiences role conflict. Employees in organizations often face such role conflicts. The credit manager expects her credit analysts to process a minimum of 30 applications a week, but the work group pressures members to restrict output to 20 applications a week so that everyone has work to do and no one gets laid off. A newly hired college instructor’s col- leagues want him to give out only a few high grades in order to maintain the department’s reputation for high standards, whereas students want him to give out lots of high grades to
percent of workers said their teams were not given enough resources.
percent of Fortune 1000 companies used team- or group-based pay to some
degree in 2005.
percent of respondents identified teams as a key ingredient to organiza-
percent of females wanted more face-to-face group meetings.
percent of males wanted more face-to-face group meetings.
to 12: the average num- ber of production workers per team.
percent of senior execu- tives said that meeting deadlines was the most
important characteristic of a good team player.
percent of workers feel more productive in a small group.