High Cohesiveness In A Group Leads To Higher Group Productivity3 min read
Vecchio (2006 p 215) states that generally people who are physically closer to one another develop closer relationships than those are far apart. He adds that the principle of proximity not only true for work settings but also in relationship among neighbors. The cohesiveness can be describes as a feature of team work. Group cohesion is defined as “the relation of individual group members to the group as a whole” (Schmuck & Schmuck, 2000).
A survey conducted by Moshe & Maymon (1998) among the high school students concluded that the observers ranked the cohesiveness of a team as high (37.8%) when all group members cooperated so that their group would succeed in the competition with other groups. A Gallup study of 400 companies concluded that “the ability to form best friendship at workplace is among the twelve most dependable predictors of productive workplace” (vecchio, 2006 p 219).
A research conducted by Stanley (1977, p 69) suggested that the positive finding in the case of actual productivity gives substantial confirmation to the prediction that high cohesiveness is associated with high between-group variability in performance standards. Vecchio (2006, p 226) defines four categories of “effects of group cohesiveness”: 1) satisfaction 2) communication 3) hostility 4) productivity. Although hostility may be frequent in high cohesive groups but such acts are directed toward non group members.
Professor Losh (2001) explains that highly cohesive groups can enforce group norms, whatever they are, far more effectively than less cohesive groups. Pressures to conform (internal pressures) are greater. Because people value their membership in cohesive groups, they are willing to adjust their behavior to group standards. Even if there is initial “storming” and conflict, if the group “gels,” a “norming” period follows and members conform. However, external pressures are greater too. Cohesive groups put more pressure on deviants to conform to group norms than less cohesive groups do.
However, vecchio (2006, p 226) argues that although some researchers found that cohesive groups are very productive, high group cohesiveness has certain bad outcomes. Despite the odds, teamwork, which is considered the outcome of high cohesiveness of members in a group, considered to be the most effective methods in product development among the high tech industries. In fact, team work is highly encouraged and a de facto culture for workplaces at Silicon Valley.
To get the most out of team work, project management and right leadership are important factors. Unless team is properly managed the resource could be wasted. Therefore, whether or not high cohesiveness in a group can result in improved productivity depends on how the group is managed. Unmotivated employee in a group with high cohesiveness could demoralized the entire team and lead to reduced productivity, on the contrary, the group with high cohesiveness, assuming it is properly managed and members are motivated employees, could perform miracle to some aspect. To my experience group with high cohesiveness that is properly managed and having motivated members have solve technical as well business issue that could be otherwise difficult solve within reasonable timeframe.
Vecchio, R.P, 2006. Organizational Behavior: Core Concepts. 6th ed. USA: Thomson Soth-Western [cited 19th August 2007]
Schmuck, R. A., & Schmuck, P. A., October 2002. Group Processes in the Classroom 8th edition. McGraw-Hill Humanities-Social Sciences & Languages. USA. [Cited 19th August 2007]
Moshe Barak & Tsipora Maymon, 1998. Aspects of Teamwork: Observed in a Technological Task in Junior High Schools. Journal of Technology Education. Vol 9. [online] Available from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v9n2/barak.html. [Cited 19th August 2007]
Losh, Susan Ph.D (2001). Group Processes: Guide to the material: Six Cohesivness II. Florida State University. [online]. Available from http://edp5285-01.sp03.fsu.edu/Guide5.html [Cited 19th August 2007]