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Posted on September 3rd, 2012, by

In the contemporary business environment, the group dynamics plays an increasingly important role because modern organizations involve the permanent interaction of groups of people who work together. At the same time, the group dynamics influences the organizational performance consistently because modern organizations are developing as social institutions where people develop close interpersonal relationships and they are natural form groups in which their relations evolve and change. In such a context, the group dynamics becomes the fundamental issue of the organizational culture and organizational performance because it defines the relationship between people within the organization. Organization should respond adequately to changes in the group dynamics to meet needs of people. Moreover, modern organizations should stimulate the group dynamics and interaction between groups to improve the interaction between within organizations and help them to achieve mutual goals. When groups start interacting and get positive effects from such interactions, they are likely to work on the achievement of mutual goals and they grow conscious of the importance of cooperation for the sake of the achievement of organizational goals.

In this regard, groups are more effective than individuals. At any rate, in the contemporary business environment, groups play the leading part, while individuals are apparently unable to work as effectively as groups do. To put it more precisely, groups can be more productive and effective compared to individuals because groups benefit from the mutual support of group members, whereas individuals are focused on their own professional success. In such a situation, group members are motivated and concerned with the overall success of their group’s performance and they work together to meet these goals. As for individuals, they attempt to meet their individual goals, which often come into conflict with group goals. For instance, the high level of individualism within organizations increases the competition between individuals that lead to conflicts within organizations. In contrast, groups unite people and encourage to work together being group members.

At this point, the group cohesiveness is crucial because it helps the group to keep being united. At the same time, the group cohesiveness implies that the group stays oriented on the achievement of specific group goals, whereas organizations need to match organizational and group goals. Through the cohesion of organizational and group goals, they can accelerate the group cohesiveness and stimulate the development of a positive organizational culture, where people feel that they comprise an integral part of a large group. To put it more precisely, the group cohesiveness develops a strong sense of belongingness of group members to the community, where each individual is important. The motivation and formation of positive interpersonal relations stimulate the development of cohesiveness in groups, whereas the success of the group encourage group members to work better because group members share the group success.

The process of decision making depends on a variety of factors which can influence decisions taken by managers. In this respect, perception is particularly important because it provides managers and decision-makers with a possibility to adequately assess the current situation and take a decision that will be the most efficient and have a positive impact on the organization.

First of all, it should be said that perception implies the full understanding of the decision a manager should take along with understanding of all the facts and information involved in the situation in which the decision is being taken. In such a way, the perception is the adequate understanding of the current situation and all the facts related to the decision making process which can influence the outcomes of the decision.

In such a context, a person’s perception of others can influence substantially the organizational behavior. In fact, the perception of others influences the understanding of the potential and abilities of other people. In addition, perception affects interpersonal relationships between people because it depends whether a person has a negative perception or positive perception of others. Obviously, if a person perceives others negatively, the negative perception is likely to provoke conflicts within the organization that can undermine the performance of the organization. In contrast, if a person has a positive perception of others, it is likely to contribute to the formation of a positive organizational culture. The latter will minimize the risk of conflicts and improve interaction between professionals employed within the organization.

At the same time, people often use perceptive “shortcuts”¯ to make their judgments about people. At this point, shortcuts can have both positive and negative effects. At first glance, shortcuts are beneficial because they allow to make clear judgments on the ground of basic characteristics and models of behavior of other people a manager or decision-maker observes. In such a way, the decision-maker does not waste time on making a profound research of others. On the other hand, the use of shortcuts increases the risk of taking biased decisions based on prejudiced view on others. In fact, people can make errors in their observations and judgments. Hence, they can make wrong judgments and underestimate or overestimate others, for instance. Consequently, the shortcuts in perception can lead to erroneous decisions and errors can outweigh the speed of decision making with the help of shortcuts.

In the real life organizations, the process of decision making takes several steps. Firstly, it is necessary to define the problem. Secondly, it is important to identify the decision criteria in order to define the basis for the assessment of potential decisions that can be made. Thirdly, it is necessary to allocate weights to the criteria which will help in the course of the assessment, since weighing of possible decisions is the process of assessment. Furthermore, it is possible to develop alternatives in order to have several variants in decision making process. In addition, it is necessary to evaluate alternatives and define the best one. In such a way, the best alternative is selected.

Finally, perception can influence ethical and moral decisions because each individual may have his or her own moral values. As a result, people take decisions on the basis of their moral set of values and if their perception does not match the decision to the set of moral values, such a decision is normally not taken or vice versa.

At the same time, the role of leaders is particularly important in modern organizations and groups. In fact, normally each group has its leaders. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that leaders can be formal and informal. To put it more precisely, each group has a formal leader who has the authority to head the group and lead it toward organizational goals. As a rule, such leaders are managers, who attempt to perform the role of leaders, but often they are unable to perform this role successfully if they are deprived of leadership qualities.

When groups face problems in interpersonal relationships the ineffectiveness of such leaders becomes obvious because they are unable to unite people and lead them. In such a situation, informal leaders often take the lead in groups and these leaders prove to be real leaders because they have charisma and other leadership qualities. Ideally, formal and informal leaders should not come into clashes and managers who have the authority to take the leading position in a group should be able to perform functions of leaders effectively. On the other hand, leaders can emerge from groups. In fact, this is often the case of informal leaders which appear in opposition to formal leaders. Informal leaders take the lead in their groups and, as they gain the support of their subordinates, they can force top managers to provide them with the formal authority. Thus, they can become formal leaders in their groups.

In the contemporary business environment group and team work is extremely important because the team increases consistently the efficiency of the organizational performance and accelerates the development of the organization. At the same time, the contemporary group and team work is affected by the process of globalization which changes consistently the organizational culture.

Originally, group and team work implies the coordination of work of employees and the cooperation of employees to the extent that they work as a team. In such a way, each member of the team performs specific functions and can support other members of the team, if necessary, or get their support. Obviously, the creation of a team implies a perfect mutual understanding of all members of the teams. Otherwise, they will be unable to work efficiently.

This is exactly where globalization raises the major problem ”“ the problem of cultural barriers which can become unsurpassable for members of the team. Today, many organizations operate worldwide. Therefore, they form multinational and multicultural teams. Such teams differ consistently from traditional teams and groups because members of multicultural group have a different background. Often they speak different language and use English as a vehicle language, while their traditions and management style can differ dramatically. All these differences result in the inability of employees to organize an effective group work because they do not understand each other and they cannot support each adequately.

In addition, the globalization contributes to the growing gap between developed and developing countries (Shah, 2007)), which often make professionals from developing countries feel inferior to professionals from developed countries. In such a situation, the development of positive interpersonal relationships between members of a team or group is practically impossible because, a priori, members of a team or group feel they are unequal. The problem can be deteriorated by the cultural differences because the mentality and traditions of different ethnic groups can vary consistently. For instance, Asian employees can hardly accept western individualism and they are more likely to work for the benefits of the entire team rather than for their own benefits, while western employees are more likely to view a team as a tool to achieve an individual success. As a result, when representatives of such different cultures start working in one and the same group, they can hardly perform effectively because some of them are focused on individual achievements and career opportunities, while others are focused on interests and needs of the group.

Furthermore, globalization raises a number of ethic issues since it evokes inequality and accelerates the brain drain from developing countries into developed ones since the elimination of barriers between countries and growing international cooperation in economic, technological, scientific and other fields lead to the domination of large multinational corporations, which attempt to employ the best specialists (Shah, 2007). As a result, many gifted specialists from developing countries move to headquarters of large multinational corporations which are located in developed countries, where they actually have to learn to work in a team with local specialists. The process of globalization has influenced substantially group and team work. Today, groups and teams need to work in a multicultural environment that may raise a number of problems and barriers. Hence, companies need to develop flexible corporate culture to facilitate adaptation of people with different cultural background to work in a team.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that, today, groups play an important role in the contemporary business environment. Groups are more effective than individual that encourages organizations to develop group work instead of individual work. At the same time, groups contribute to the development of the positive organizational culture and unity of team members.

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