Factors Influencing Cohesiveness

Principle & Practice of Management

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Factors Influencing Cohesiveness

Factors Influencing Cohesiveness

There are several forces or factors influencing Cohesiveness that bring cohesion to the group:
1. The degree of dependency on the group: Members join the group because it satisfies certain needs. The more highly dependent a person is on the group for his need satisfaction the greater will be the group attractiveness and, consequently, greater is its cohesiveness.
2. The size of the group: Size of the group affects interaction among group members in the inverse direction, and also affects group cohesiveness. The larger the group size, the lesser the cohesiveness, due to problems of interaction among members of the group, lack of appreciation of each other’s problems. The difficulty arises in achieving the common goals if the group is large. Hence, the entire group dynamics revolves around the small group. It is one of the reasons why informal group are smaller in size.
3. Homogeneity and stable membership: Groups whose members have diverse interests and different backgrounds are often less effective or cohesive. Similarly, members, if they have stable relations, enhance group cohesiveness. It is so because development of relationships among members takes a time to permit people to know one another and to develop a common understanding of shared goals and values; where members’ turnover is high, group cohesiveness is low because a new member takes more time to get himself attached to the group.
Factors Influencing Cohesiveness
4. Inter and Intra-group competition: Competition among groups (inter-group) and competition among members of the group (intra-group) have different effects on group cohesiveness. When two groups compete, the members of each group get united and the group gets solidified. The solidarity continues among members of the winning group whereas the losing group gets weakened. Success resulting from intergroup competition increases cohesion further. The members of the losing group, if they have no hope of a revival of the prestige of the group, gradually leave the group. A classical example of this phenomenon can be witnessed in 1977 when Congress I. was defeated. The picture is different when competition is among the members of the group. If the rivalry is healthy, members stand to gain. But, generally, intra-group rivalry among members takes the form of jealousy that results in the weakening of group cohesiveness. There may be three possible causes of intra-group competition: (a) when members or sub-groups of the group adopt different methods to accomplish the same goal, (b) when there are differences regarding the goal or goals of the group among members, and (c) when goals of individual members clash with group goals. [ Factors Influencing Cohesiveness ]
5. Outside pressure: When there is outside pressure or threat to group survival, the group members sink all their differences and join hands together to meet the challenges to the group. For example, when a threat comes from outside India, all citizens unite together to meet the outside challenge. Hence, outside pressure or threat is a cementing force and increases group cohesiveness.
6. Customs and traditions: If members share the same customs and traditions, they become familiar with one another in no time, and also they have benefitted from one another’s knowledge and experience. This commonness prevents the entry of any other person who does not follow the same traditions. This develops a feeling among members that they are distinct from others. This increases interpersonal relationships among members.
7. Location: People who work at the same geographical location tend to be close to one another and have numerous opportunities to interact and exchange ideas, resulting in the cohesiveness of the group. But groups are not cohesive when their members do not work within the same geographical limits. [ Factors Influencing Cohesiveness ]