Group Cohesiveness and Productivity

Principle & Practice of Management

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Group Cohesiveness and Productivity

Group Cohesiveness

Group cohesiveness and productivity do not seem to be related. Highly cohesive groups need not necessarily be highly productive or vice versa. Researchers also could not establish any relationship, positive or negative, between these two variables. However, it has usually been observed that a cohesive group is more productive than a less cohesive group; the group’s attitude favours the goals of the organisation. As the members of the group are loyal to the norms of the group, they follow the guidelines prepared by the group.
If the group supports the organisational goals, the members will tend to produce more. On the other hand, where cohesiveness is high but the group does not favour the organisational goals, the productivity of the member’s declines. Where the group norms are not supportive of performance, cohesive groups are less productive. When resistance to organisational changes is greater and where proper leadership is not provided, such groups can affect productivity severely. If management wishes to maximise productivity, it must build cohesiveness; which does not directly influence productivity but only indirectly depending upon the alignment of group goals with the organisational goals.

Group Cohesiveness

Group Cohesiveness Advantages

Over time, members of cohesive groups develop shared values and team loyalty. The familiarity of team members creates smoother, more-effective communication. When working toward a common goal, individual team members bring varied skills and points of view to the project. Group members can fill in for each others’ lack of knowledge or shortage of skill.

Group Cohesiveness Disadvantages

Group conformity and group-think are two of the potential hazards of high group cohesiveness. Group conformity happens when teams members adopt similar behaviors, usually in an attempt to fit in or to reduce disagreements between group members. This set of behaviors becomes the group norm. Team members conforming to group norms may cause lowered productivity or lack of creativity and innovation. Group-think happens when individual group members lose the ability to think for themselves and rely on the group to make their decisions.