The paper 'Advantages and Disadvantages of a Group' is a good example of a Management Essay. Forming a group to complete a particular task is important, and may lead to failure or success of a project. It is important, therefore, to understand a group, its processes, and its dynamics. In order to write a report on the Sustainable Change project, a group of four members was necessary. Three members were available at the start with the fourth member joining us at a later stage of the group progress. This essay examines the group through its development and reports on the observed advantages and disadvantages of completing the task as a group, the the occurrence of disruptive behavior including social loafing in the group and how this behavior changed over time, the characteristics of an effective group exhibited in our formation, our goals setting process as well as the rewards, resources, stages of our group progress, and my original perception of the group and how that changed. Advantages and disadvantages of a group The group highlighted various advantages and disadvantages of completing the project tasks as a group.
One of the advantages is a wider base of knowledge, skills, values, and opinions. The members’ diversity of knowledge and skills was significant in compensating each other’ s weaknesses (Blair). They were also motivated by the fact that they would achieve greater results as a group, well beyond the potential of one individual. Everyone aimed and agreed towards getting a grade of at least a distinction. The exchanging of ideas was a stimulus to explore concepts that one would not have considered. Moreover, the group allowed members to gain more knowledge and experience through interactions in negotiations and in the steps of achieving our goals.
Finally, a group gives greater output and better solutions as opposed to an individual because of the broader range of knowledge, skills, and ideas. A group also presents some disadvantages. The disadvantages include conformity, completion, lack of objective direction at some point, social loafing, and time constraints. There was a tendency for members to want to match up to the consensus in the group. In spite of interaction being important for the group, it was not possible at first because most members felt awkward.
The members were mostly polite and formal and an initial attempt by one member to motivate the group was unsuccessful. The group also failed to choose a leader, which could be attributed to competing ideas and interests. Note that a leader is instrumental in giving direction to a group (Napier & Gershenfeld 1989, p. 32). In fact, there was no clarity on the project and a fourth member was missing. Working as a group had also the limitation of a relatively slow pace as compared to working as an individual (Luft, 1984, p102).
Members had to convene in meetings at a specified time, sometimes failing to make it on time, and thereby slowing our discussions. Disruptive behaviors and change Behaviors such as social loafing and conformity are not healthy for a group. Social loafing was a witness on some responsibilities. Since the group did not have a leader and administrator, their responsibilities ought to have been shared among the group members. However, only one member made efforts in directing the group and performing administrative tasks.
Conformity was seen in some members taking the position of others; or rather, members had remarkably equal thoughts without much exploration of other possibilities. Nonetheless, these behaviors changed. Member put a concerted effort in attending to tasks and engaged objectively in coming up with solutions. This change could have been triggered by clarification of the group’ s tasks and the allocation of responsibilities to everyone (Parker 2008, P. 127; Justice & Jamieson 2006, p. 120). Understanding the group's function allowed members to respond objectively (Wood, 2004), while the interaction and openness among members improved the working environment since members were at ease with each other (Wood, et al.
2006 p. 268).
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