How Group Behaviour Affects The Organization Performance

Christina Perez
• Saturday, 19 December, 2020
• 8 min read

This article throws light on the two major factors which affectsgroupperformance in an organization, i.e, (1) External Conditions, and (2) Group Structure. These external conditions include: the organization ’s strategy, its rules, regulations, its culture, physical work setting, employee selection process etc.

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The evidence indicates that smaller groups are faster at completing tasks than the larger ones. A group comprises a number of individuals with varied qualities and characteristics.

In fact most of the group activities require a variety of skill and knowledge. The term status refers to the relative ranking that a person holds in a group.

Therefore, status defines the rank of an individual relative to others in the organization and the group. Status is in-fact defined in terms of rights, privileges, duties and obligations the individual holds in an organization.

When an individual perceives a disparity between his status with that of other group members, it creates a disequilibrium that results in interpersonal conflicts. So, what is important for the group members is to believe that the status hierarchy is equitable and just.

These are also referred to as rules or standards of behavior that apply to group members”. A very comprehensive definition of group norms is given by The Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

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Thus, this norm is related to the behavior which is considered important by most group members. The norms are the basis for predicting and controlling the behavior of good members.

In certain cases, some deviations may be allowed but not to the extent of jeopardizing group goals. For example, if a code of dress for the meetings or for the work place is there, it is to be followed by all the members.

Every group has different established norms depending upon the nature of its members and location. Workers who are performing below the lower acceptable level are generally informally reprimanded and encouraged to produce more.

On the other hand, an ambitious worker who produces more and performs above the upper acceptable limit set by group are also ostracized for encouraging the management to raise its expectations. These include things like appropriate dress, loyalty to the work group or organization etc.

However, even in their absence norms frequently dictate the kind of clothing that should be worn to work. Other appearance norms might involve loyalty or confidentiality on the part of members.

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With whom group members eat lunch, friendship on and off the job, social games and the like are influenced by these norms. These norms can originate in the group or in the organization and cover things like pay, assignment of difficult job and allocations of new tools and equipment.

This behavior pattern may include punctuality as a habit, completing any given assignments within the required time framework, not losing temper, showing respect for other member’s opinions and so on. Norms usually develop gradually and informally as members learn what behaviors are necessary for the group to function.

Explicit statements made by the supervisors or a powerful member may become norms. Norm develops this way to prevent any threats to the status quo.

For example, the supervisor may explicitly say that tea breaks are to be kept to ten minutes and this will become a norm. Critical events in the group ’s history set important precedents.

For example, a person who was standing too close to a machine was injured in a work group. It became an established norm in that group that no person other than the operator gets within five feet of any machine.

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Many norms develop because members bring their experiences from other groups in other organizations. This can explain why work groups typically prefer to add new members who are similar to current ones in background experience.

But groups don’t establish or enforce norms for every conceivable situation. Norms which help in achieving the twin aims of performing successfully and keeping morale high are considered to be important.

Groups do not like to fail, so they strongly enforce those norms that increase their chances of success. Norms that increase predictability enable group members to anticipate each other’s actions and to prepare appropriate responses.

Norms are likely to be strongly enforced if they help the group in avoiding embarrassing interpersonal problems. Norms will be important if they ensure satisfaction to their members and prevent as much interpersonal discomfort as possible.

Norms are likely to be strongly enforced if these reflect the preferences of supervisor or other powerful group members. By this term, we mean a set of expected behavior patterns attributed to someone occupying a given position in a social unit.

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A role consists of a pattern of norms, it is a position that can be acted out by an individual. Role can best be defined as a position that has expectations evolving from established norms.

It has been observed that in such circumstances, people have the ability to shift their roles rapidly. Role perception is the view of a person, which consists of those activities or behaviors the individual believes are supposed to be fulfilled in the given situation.

In India, for example, every female police officer will certainly be influenced by Mrs. Kiran Bed. Because of role perception, apprenticeship programs exists in many trade and professions, which allow beginners to watch an ‘expert’, so that they can learn to act as they are supposed to.

Another example is that role of a university professor is viewed as having dignity and propriety, whereas a football coach is seen as aggressive, dynamic and inspiring to his players. In the work place, it can be helpful to look at the topic of role expectations through the perspective of the psychological contract.

Employees are expected to respond by demonstrating a positive attitude following directions and showing loyalty to the organization. When role expectations as implied in psychological contract are not met, there will be negative repercussions from both the sides.

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The psychological contract is regarded as a powerful determiner of behavior in organizations. Many of the things a manager says and does during a meeting will be determined by his or her interpretation of the proper way to carry out the perceived role.

At the extreme, it would include situations in which two or more role expectations are mutually contradictions. The most critical question is how conflicts imposed by divergent expectations within the organizations affect the behavior.

Conformity means adjusting one’s behavior to align with the norms of the group. All this implies that all groups do not impose equal conformity pressures on their members.

Also, they can take negative action against those persons who deviate from group norms in the form of ridicule, or silent ‘treatment’ or by withdrawing privileges or by ultimate action of expelling them from the group. They will not like to separate from the group which satisfies their social needs and helps in achieving their personal goals.

Both these resources strongly affect the group performance by influencing how an individual will interact with other group members. A process can be simply defined as a systematic method of handling activities.

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The group processes may have a positive or at times even a negative impact on the group performance. For instance, the external conditions which include the rules, regulations, selection procedure of the organization etc.

Similarly, the group is more likely to be productive when its members have requisite skills and personality characteristics. There are many factors that influence group behavior in the workplace, including the environment, the organization, and individuals.

For example, putting John, Joan, and Jacob together might make a lot of sense if they've worked together closely in the past and need that expertise to solve a specific problem. However, when the problem requires other perspectives, it might be smart to add Sarah or Steve from another area of the organization.

Generally speaking, the more social interaction a group has had, the more effectively they'll work together. However, there is a point where too much social interaction might hinder the effectiveness of the group, causing the group to lose focus and make their tasks simply another social interaction.

Again, John, Joan, and Jacob are able to quickly work together because they know each other, whereas introducing Sarah or Steve might slow them down a little. For example, a working committee that meets once a month to review fiscal policy for an organization will exhibit different group behavior than a project committee that meets daily to plan, design, and advertise a new product.

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The policy committee meets infrequently and is likely from different functional areas, so members might not have much in common, let alone develop a strong perception as a group. A shared vision and support for the mission or purpose of the group will determine how they behave with each other.

One is a technology department of a small company that has been told it needs to decrease its operational costs by 30% while enhancing its services to include mobile applications. The more a group is invested in the objective and shares that commitment, the more positive influence there will be on the team.

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