Importance of Group Dynamics

Principle & Practice of Management

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Importance of Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics Importance

Group Dynamics Importance

Group dynamics means a study of various forces operating within a group in the social interactions. A supervisor must understand these forces so as to understand the behaviour of the individual in the group, and their influence on the organisation. He must also understand the possible effects of managerial actions on the group and the individuals to be able to handle them properly and to make necessary adjustments between the organisations and the groups operating in the organisation. There are certain other aspects which the supervisor or the management should consider before taking any action. Some of the questions which need the attention of the supervisor are—How should we consider the relationship between the individual and the group? Are the needs of the group individual needs, and if so, what are the properties of the group? Do groups learn? Have they goals? Do they develop? Are they formed and deformed? Are groups good or bad? How do individuals behave with the group? Researchers have been and are being done to answer these and other related questions about individual and group behaviour. [ Group Dynamics Importance ]
In this age of behavioural science, we think, we should be rational and unbiased but can we? No, it is not absolutely possible because there are still certain preconceptions about the realities and qualities of the group that guide us. Generally, these preconceptions are integral parts of the individual philosophy. Such preconceptions may be positive or negative.
People having negative viewpoint think that groups are the product of distorted thought processes. They think that groups are not good because their members are loyal to the group without their heads and brains. [ Group Dynamics Importance ]
There is another view where people consider groups as an integral part of their life. They are of the view that groups must exist, and acceptance or non-acceptance of an individual by the group means much to that individual and to the group. It proves the existence and importance of the group. In their view, groups are good because they satisfy their higher order needs such as affection, recognition, and self-esteem. Groups provide the means to get such things through mutual interactions that a person can never achieve individually. The intention of the promoters of group dynamics was that work should be done in groups. Individual responsibility and, man to man, supervision is bad. Committee meetings, group decisions, collective problem solving, and group therapy are an index of group prosperity. [ Group Dynamics Importance ]
Though group dynamics studies the relationship of individuals with the group yet we regret that each individual differs in attitude and behaviour. The manager or supervisor of an organisation must not forget that each member of a positive group does not have a similarity of views in a particular situation and they have their own self-respect. However, they are loyal to the group norms to maintain cohesiveness in the group. [ Group Dynamics Importance ]

Five Propositions about Groups

The assumption that interests of individuals and of the group are quite inconsistent, needs close consideration. We are giving hereunder five propositions about individuals, groups, and group dynamics which challenge the assumption that there is an inconsistency between individuals and groups. The management must understand this well.
1. Groups do exist: Groups do exist and they affect human behaviour to a great extent. A man joins the group (family) by birth and lives in the group till his last moment. A man, when he joins the group, is a member of the group, whether good or bad for the group. He may be well named or he may cause hardship to the whole group. He may bring important changes in the very structure of the group and, consequently, may affect the attitudes, feelings, and behaviour of all other members of the group. The development and adjustment of the new member may also be affected by the attitude of the group. Thus, groups are necessary for the individual and they influence him and are influenced by him. [ Group Dynamics Importance ]
A satisfactory interpretation of the researches about group dynamics can be made only when we accept the existence of the group. The study of Elton Mayo and his associates proves that the group develops certain behavioural norms to be followed by the group members, and they accept them as their individual values.
2. Groups are inevitable and ubiquitous: Groups are inevitable at all places and at all levels. Man cannot live without groups. There are a number of factors like biological nature, language, capacity, environment, etc., that force a man to live in groups. Groups do not represent individuals and, therefore, it is not necessary that the group should possess all the
qualities that its members possess.
3. Groups mobilise powerful forces: Groups mobilise powerful forces that are important for individuals. Researchers show that members of highly cohesive groups have less anxiety than the members of the less cohesive groups. There are two main reasons for this relationship between group cohesiveness and members’ anxiety—i. cohesive groups provide support to their members against the environmental factors causing anxiety to them and ii. group membership provides inner satisfaction to the individual which results in lessening their anxiety.
4. Groups may produce good and bad consequences: All groups are neither good nor bad: they produce good or bad results, or consequences may be good for some members while bad for some other members. It depends on various factors. We are prejudiced when we consider only one aspect and ignore the other.
5. Group dynamics permit desirable consequences: A correct understanding of group dynamics enhances the possibility of desirable consequences because the knowledge of group dynamics suggests the necessary adjustments in human behaviour. In short, we can say that groups are inevitable. They affect people’s behaviour and are influenced by them. Groups may be good or bad. We may increase group qualities and cohesiveness with the study of group dynamics. The management must also study group dynamics to understand individual behaviour and group behaviour. [ Group Dynamics Importance ]