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PSYCH304: Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Unit 7: Group Behavior and Conflict/Work Teams   Since the workplace typically requires employees to work and interact with people in group settings, it is important to examine how individuals behave when in groups and how a group behaves as a whole. Much of this research has grown out of Social Psychology, a subfield of psychology that explores how societies and groups affect individuals and vice versa. As with the previous unit, however, you will notice that certain observations that may hold true in other settings are not applicable to workplace settings. For example, psychologists tend to view groups as individuals who hold similar beliefs, share similar ideas, and voluntarily choose to get together to form a group. In the workplace, this is not necessarily the case. Frequently, the only thing that employees have in common with one another is their employer. We will take this observation into consideration as we study the ways in which groups interact with each other and individuals interact in groups within the workplace. We will also take a look at how conflicts within groups can cause problems in a workplace setting.

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 12 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.4: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 7.5: 2.5 hours

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • define the qualities of a group;
  • describe the four stages of group cohesion;
  • explain conflict and resolutions;
  • list the ways to accelerate group development; and
  • describe group decision making.

7.1 Defining a Group   7.1.1 The Amount of People or an Interaction   - Reading: Wilderdom: James Neil’s “Group Dynamics, Processes, & Development” Link: Wilderdom: James Neil’s “Group Dynamics, Processes, & Development” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the webpage in its entirety. Group dynamics, the criterion for studying groups and, what makes a group are defined. This reading will cover subunits 7.1.1- 7.1.4.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Assessment: ProProfs: “Group Dynamics Quiz” Link: ProProfs: “Group Dynamics Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Once you have completed the readings for this subunit, click on the “Take Quiz” button and complete this ten-question fill in the blank style assessment. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

7.1.2 Criteria of a Group   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.1.1.  

7.1.3 Group Dynamics   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.1.1.  

7.1.4 Model of Group Development   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.1.1.  

7.1.5 Methods of Studying Groups   - Reading: UNC.EDU: Berkeley’s Rise’s “The Hawthorne Defect: Persistence of a Flawed Theory” Link: UNC.EDU: Berkeley’s Rise’s “The Hawthorne Defect: Persistence of a Flawed Theory” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the article in its entirety to help gain an understanding of the Hawthorne Effect and its flaws.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

7.2 Accelerating Development of Groups   7.2.1 Theories of Small Group Development   - Reading: Organizational Behavior: “Section 9.1 Group Dynamics” Link: Organizational Behavior: “Section 9.1: Group Dynamics” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Section 9.1, which demonstrates how to differentiate between formal and informal groups and understand the influences behind group development. Also, note the various models associated with group development, such as the Punctuated Equilibrium Model, and additional aspects that affect group dynamics like cohesion, social loafing, and collective efficacy.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: The text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.2.2 Four Stages   - Reading: The University of Edinburgh: Gerard M. Blair’s “Groups that Work” Link: The University of Edinburgh: Gerard M. Blair’s “Groups that Work” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the entire article for a discussion on a group’s talents, skills, and the role of facilitator. This reading will cover subunits 7.2.2-7.2.5.
 
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7.2.3 Group Skills   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.2.2.  

7.2.4 Group Facilitators   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.2.2.  

7.2.5 Individual Roles in a Group   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.2.2.  

7.3 Ethics of Team Work   7.3.1 Group Cohesiveness   - Reading: Connexions: William Frey’s “Ethics of Team Work” Link: Connexions: William Frey’s “Ethics of Team Work” (PDF)
 
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 Instructions: Read the entire article for a discussion on a values
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subunits 7.3.1-7.3.4.  
    
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7.3.2 Value Profiles for Professional Ethics   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunits 7.3.1 and 7.3.5.

7.3.3 Obstacles to Group Work   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunits 7.3.1 and 7.3.5.

7.3.4 Best Practices   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunits 7.3.1 and 7.3.5.

7.3.5 Debriefing Group Projects/Processes   - Reading: Ensight: Jeremy Wright’s “10 Tips for Running a Rawking Project Debrief” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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7.4 Group Decision Making   7.4.1 Authoritarian Style   - Reading: Buzzle.com: Uttara Manohar’s “Advantages and Disadvantages to Group Decisions” Link: Buzzle.com: Uttara Manohar’s “Advantages and Disadvantages to Group Decisions” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this entire article for a discussion on a values profile, obstacles, and best practices. This reading will cover subunits 7.3.1-7.3.4.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

7.4.2 Brainstorming   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.4.1.  

7.4.3 Voting Based Methods   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.4.1.  

7.4.4 Advantages and Disadvantages   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.4.1.  

7.5 Group Conflict   7.5.1 Identifying Conflict   - Reading: Wikibooks: “Managing Groups and Teams/Conflicts” Link: Wikibooks: “Managing Groups and Teams/Conflicts” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this article, which discusses aspects involved with managing groups and the conflicts within. Compare the types of conflicts groups can face (i.e., positive vs. negative), identify the symptoms and appropriate solutions to conflict, and note how to prevent and resolve conflicts.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It is attributed to Wikibooks, and the original version can be found here

7.5.2 Styles of Conflict Management   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunit 7.5.1.  

7.5.3 Personal and Group Skills   - Reading: The University of Maine: Ronald Beard’s “Working with Group Conflict” Link: The University of Maine: Ronald Beard’s “Working with Group Conflict” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the whole article for a discussion on personal and group skills for addressing conflict as well as the roles of a facilitator. This reading covers topics in subunits 7.5.3-7.5.5. This topic is also touched on in the reading in subunit 7.5.5.
 
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7.5.4 Process for Finding Solutions   Note: This topic is covered in the reading under subunits 7.5.3 and 7.5.5.  

7.5.5 Roles of a Facilitator   Note: This topic is also covered in the reading under subunit 7.5.3.

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Practice Problem” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 7 Practice Problem” (PDF)

    Instructions: Click on the link above to download the practice problem sets for the course. Complete the problem for Unit 7.

  • Reading: Work911: “The Role of the Facilitator - Understanding What Facilitators Really DO!” Link: Work911: “The Role of the Facilitator - Understanding What Facilitators Really DO! (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the whole article for a discussion on personal and group skills for addressing conflict as well as the roles of a facilitator. The material in this reading will cover subunits 7.5.3-7.5.5.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 

  • Assessment: The Consulting Team: Marilyn Manning’s “Facilitator Competency Quiz” Link: The Consulting Team: Marilyn Manning’s “Facilitator Competency Quiz” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Once you have completed the reading for this subunit, take this quiz, which addresses the competencies of a facilitator and self-assessment.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.