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Thursday, January 16, 2013:Notes on Process Observation – [Harvard Business School]- What is it that makes so many groups inefficient, slow, and frustrating, instead of effectively combining the insights and expertise of its members?o Formal group designo People chosen should not have been in such a groupo Group’s goal was simply unattainableo Less to do with content of task issues than with group process [how the group is going about achieving its formal task]- Group Memberso Interrelations develop from the unique-ness of each individualo May be beneficial or detrimental- Need to be able to observe and understand a group’s processo Can understand what is taking place covertly as well as overtlyo Can give insights into what you can do to make the group more productive- Aspects of Group Behavioro Participation Easiest to observe Actively: People who are higher in status, more knowledgeable, more talkative by nature Less Frequent: Newer, lower in status, uninformed, generally not inclined to express their feelings and ideas verbally Unequal reduces group’s effectiveness- Reluctance or no opportunity to speak- Valence effect: Most frequently stated ideas tend to be adopted by the group- Low participators more likely to tune out, lose commitment to task,or become frustrated and angry Unequal because:- Different motivations with different stake in the issues- Different internal standards *See article for things to consider when observing participation Interventions- Clarify a point someone made earlier that fell through the cracks- Reinforce a prior point by asking them to elaborate on it- Comment directly on uninvolvedo Influence Often a function of status, experience, competence, and to some degree personality Asymmetry- Suppression of potentially valuable minority views- Imbalanced participation- Result in hostility- Lack of commitment form the left out Checking relative influence- Watch reactions of the other group members Struggles for influence and leadership – early stages of a group- Hidden motives Interventions- Support or reinforce the views of minority members- Point out that the opinions of certain people are dominating the discussion- Ask group to open up discussiono Group Climate Assumptions and expectations For most, unstructured, laiseez-faire, or conflict-free is not effective- Important issues and conflicts are not explored sufficiently and quality of work is sacrificed for smooth relations Highly structured: Can impede effective problem solving because there is no freedom to explore alternatives Highly competitive: Competition in the way Interventions- Reinforcing and supporting desirable behavior- Raising the issue directlyo Membership Degree of acceptance or inclusion in the group Closely related to influence (above)o Feelings Tome of voice, expressions, gestures, and other nonverbal cues Suppressing strong negative feelings means that they will usually resurface later (hidden motive)o Task functions Initiation: Problem or goals must be stated, time limits laid out, and some agenda agreed upon Opinion and information seeking and giving on topics- Insufficient time spent on this phase Clarifying and elaborating important for effective communication and creative solutions Summarizing: Review of ideas to be followed by consensus testing (making sure all the ideas are on the table and that the group is ready to enter into an evaluation of the various ideas produced)o Maintenance Functions If cohesion is low or relationships in group are strained, groups cannot function effectively Activities to prevent problems:- Gate keeping: Insures members wanting to make a contribution aregiven the opportunity to do so- Encouraging: Helps create a climate of acceptance- Compromising and harmonizing: Limited usefulness in task accomplishment, but useful in repairing strained relations When conflict is too high, suspending task discussion and examining immediate processes may help in attempt to solve conflicts- Process Observation and Feedbacko Open discussions of group processo Underlying ideas are the most importantChapter 13: Section 3.2-3.313.2: Basics of Power- Power: Ability to influence the behavior of others to get what you wanto Power distribution usually visible within organizations- Positive and Negative Consequences of Powero CEOs can align an entire organization together to achieve goalso BUT autocracy can destroy companies and countrieso Power can be so easily abused because individuals are often quick to conform Conformity: Refers to people’s tendencies to behave consistently with social norms- Ex: Facing forward in an elevator- Can result in engaging in unethical behaviors because you are led by someone you admire and respect who has power over you- The Milgram Studieso Stanley Milgram (1960s)o Tested how far individuals would go in hurting another individual when told to do so by a researchero Few stopped and went up to shocking “learners” by 450 volts even when they were screaming in pain because theywere told that they would not be liable and that was what they should do- Asch Studieso Solomon Ascho Found that individuals could be influenced to say that two lines were the same length when one was clearly shorter than the othero Illustrates the power that even a small dissenting minority can have- The Zimbardo Studyo Philip Zimbardo (1970s)o Placed ad and got male volunteers to understand prison managemento Ended early upon seeing how deeply entrenched in their roles everyone had become Dependency- Directly related to power- Power that a person or unit gains from their ability to handle actualor potential problems facing the organization- Scarcity: Refers to the uniqueness of a resourceo More difficult something is to obtain, the more valuable it tends to be- Importance: Value of resourceo More vital the resources you control are to the organization,you will gain power- Substitutability: One’s ability to find another option that works as well as the one offeredo “How difficult would it be to find another way to this?”o Harder to find a substitute, more dependent a person becomes and more power they have over themo Ex: Oil13.3: The Power to Influence- Bases of Power: Sources of Powero Legitimate Power: Comes from one’s organizational role or position Ex: Steve Jobso Reward Power: Ability to grant a reward, such as an increase in pay, a perk, or an


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NU ORGB 3201 - Notes on Process Observation

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