Group Cohesiveness Defined

Principle & Practice of Management

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Group Cohesiveness Defined


The term ‘cohesion’ implies “solidarity.” Group cohesiveness may be characterised by the situation in which all members of the group work together to achieve a common goal, or where everyone takes responsibility to work for the group goals. Group cohesiveness may be described as the force which keeps the members of the group together. The main aim of the group is to satisfy its members’ needs. The more needs it satisfies, the more attractive it becomes for the members of the group and more loyal the members become to the group. Cohesion is essential not only for the existence of the group but also for the achievement of the group’s objectives. If group cohesion is high, the interaction between members will be high. Cohesiveness has a direct bearing on group behaviour. The greater the group cohesiveness, the greater will be its influence on the members’ behaviour. A cohesive group is able to act as one body to achieve its goals. In a cohesive group, group members are apt to conform to group norms. Conformity to group norms is essential for the effective functioning of the group. Thus, conformity and cohesiveness are interrelated and are reinforcing factors. According to Shaw, members of highly cohesive groups are more energetic in group activities, are less likely to be absent from group meetings, and are happy when the group succeeds, and sad when it fails, whereas members of less cohesive groups are less concerned about the group’s activities: the members are not dedicated to the group and its purposes; their loyalty and support are mediocre or variable.