As groups pass through the stages of development to maturity, they begin show signs of the following four characteristics: a role structure, behavioral norms, cohesiveness and informal leadership.
- Role Structures
A role is the part that an individual plays in a group to reach its goals. Some individuals are leaders, some focus on the group’s task; some interact with other groups and so on. Role structure is the set of defined roles and interrelationships among those roles that the group members define and accept. The failure in role development result in role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload. Managers have to take steps to avoid role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload.
- Behavioral norms
Although informal groups do not have any specific goals to accomplish, but they must have some goals over a period of time. These goals are temporary and can be changed in accordance with the needs of the group members. The goals can be achieved effectively depending on the following factors:
- The extent of cooperation with management.
- Maintenance of an efficient communication system.
- Satisfaction of the needs of group members.
• Informal leadership
Each informal group has one or more leaders. These leaders come forward on the basis of acceptance of all the group members. Every informal group has one primary leader apart from the secondary: leaders. The primary leader has more influence on the group members than the secondary leaders.
Cohesiveness is defined as the attractiveness of group members towards the group. It also emphasizes on the group’s ability to satisfy its members needs. It, therefore, helps the group members to work more consistently and make greater contribution to the achievement of the organizational goals. It is also psychologically more satisfying to all of its members.
According to Cartwright there are four principal consequences of cohesiveness, which are as follows:
- Ability of a group to retain its members.
- Power of the group to influence its members.
- Degree of participation and loyalty of members.
- Feeling of security on the part of the members.
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