organizational behavior 7

As you consider the groups you belong to, which one of these groups do you think is most effective and what is it about that group that makes it effective? Conversely, identify a group you were a member of that was perhaps not reaching its potential. What was it about that group that made it less than optimal? Respond to two of your fellow learners with a positive yet critical analysis of their discussion.


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I have been a member of a multitude of groups over the years. One of the groups that stands out as being the most effective is the group that I am a part of and also lead at work, my office and billing staff. The primary reason that I believe that this team is effective is because of the people that are on it. Across the team, the members are agreeable, conscientious, helpful, and supportive. We work well with reciprocal interdependence. Each person has their own assigned job duties, but we all must work in conjunction and with open communication in order for it to be effective. One thing I have often seen if is one staff member is overwhelmed, another staff member will jump in and help them finish the work on time, even when it is not their primary responsibility. For example, getting payments entered by the end of the month. On the last day, there might be three individuals working on it so that it is done ahead of time, which helps me be ahead with end of month reports. This supportive and “teamwork” attitude makes for a very successful group. We also have goal interdependence, in that we are working towards the same end an to some degree, outcome interdependence, because when the owner is happy, we all benefit.

A group that was less effective was when I worked for a pain management group that two different offices, one in Van Nuys and one in Beverly Hills. Even though they were part of the same practice, the practice could not reach it’s full potential because the two separate locations were acting as different groups. This was necessary to some degree just based upon location, but there was also competition and rivalry among the two offices, which hendered communication, and goal interdependence. Finding a way to unite the goals and outcomes of the two offices would have helped to unite the team as a whole.







At my workplace, I am by necessity a member of three groups or teams: (1) the management team, of which I am the local head; (2) the management team of the entire district, of which I am one member of ten equals reporting to a district manager; and (3) a specialization unit of the same ten people who have different reporting and task-based responsibilities that extend district-wide.  (For example, I am the human resources point person for the district, and other managers at my level in the district are to contact me with their HR-related questions.)

At the store level, my team works very well and, in all honesty, is probably the most effective of these three groups (perhaps because of the hierarchical difficulties of getting ten equals who are lateral to one another to cooperate!).  Of course we have the occasional nonresponsive employees and those who are not “team players” (or, as the text calls them, “slackers”), but those people generally fall into line fast due to the overall efficiency of the management team, or they leave to seek greener (lazier?) pastures.  THe effectiveness of this group is driven by “similarity-attraction” – we are very similar in our goals and we all want the same thing, namely, for the store to succeed so that we feel satisified and fulfilled and can advance in our jobs.  In sum, I believe that we have a high level of reciprocal interdependence. 

As a counterexample, I was recently part of a group for an online class where we were required to present a group project.  However, the group had severe listening deficiencies, and I felt that one other person and me were required to take on the lion’s share of the work in order to make the project a success, because of this fundamental lack of communication.  The goal interdependence and pooled interdependence were very low, and team commitment suffered.  There was more than adequate time to address these issues, but some of the team members refused to acknowledge that there was a problem, and this sort of willful blindness to what was needed to succeed prevented the achievement of a better team dynamic.