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7.4 Chapter Summary and Case

Chapter Summary

  • Part of our ability to be successful at work depends on our ability to work in groups.
  • A primary group is one that meets most, if not all, of your needs.
  • Secondary groups may meet some, but not all, of your needs. Secondary groups are normally those found in the workplace, while our family and friends might be considered a primary group.
  • A group consists of at least three people.
  • Group lifecycle patterns refer to the process or stages of group development.
  • There are five stages to the group development process, which include forming, norming, storming, performing, and adjourning.
  • Within each of the stages, group members have a variety of roles, which include potential member, new member, full member, divergent member, marginal member, and an ex-member.
  • You can take on a variety of roles when working with a group. These roles can be positive or negative and rely on your emotional intelligence skills to make sure they are positive.
  • Meetings require planning, choice of appropriate technology, and understanding of organizational communication.
  • Groups have norms, which can change over time.
  • There are a number of negative and positive roles that group members can play within a group to enhance the success of the meeting. Meetings require planning, appropriate conduction of the meeting, and choice of appropriate technology to enhance its success.

Chapter Case

Assume you have been put in charge of a new task force to determine the cause of lost sales in the Western region of your plastics manufacturing firm. As leader of the task force, it is your job to schedule and run effective meetings. The outcome of the meetings will be a report that includes research and possible reasons and solutions for the decline in sales. On your task force will be representatives from the marketing, accounting, and manufacturing departments. Traditionally, your marketing team and manufacturing team have conflicting goals, and you are concerned about this as an issue in the meeting. Because you only have time to meet three times, you know the meetings need to be effective to complete the task at hand.

  1. Write an agenda for your first meeting.
  2. Discuss the phases of the group development process your team will likely go through.
  3. As the team leader, you are concerned about personality conflicts that may occur during the storming phase. What are some strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate any issues?