Chapter 5Groups and Organizations • Types of Groups • Social Influence • Formal Organizations and Bureaucracies • Diversity: Race, Gender, and Class in Organizations
dyad triad primary group secondary group reference group in-group out-group Types of Groups
The Small World Problem • Experiment: Can a document be routed to a complete stranger 1,000 miles away using only a chain of acquaintances. • 300 “senders” were tasked with getting a document to a complete stranger. • 1/3 of the documents arrived with an average number of 6.2 intermediate contacts.
Bystander Intervention Problem • Examines the dynamics of when and how people come to the aid of someone in trouble. • The more bystanders observe a person in danger, the less likely any of them will call for help. • Demonstrates the group size effect and pressure to conform.
Asch Conformity Experiment • Even simple objective facts cannot withstand the distorting pressure of group influence. • 1/3 to 1/2 of the subjects make a judgment contrary to objective fact, yet in conformity with the group.
Milgram Obedience Studies • 65% of the volunteer subjects administered what they thought was lethal voltage on the shock machine. • Milgram described the dilemma revealed by his experiments as a conflict between conscience and authority.
Groupthink Four aspects of groupthink: • An illusion of invulnerability. • A falsely negative impression of those who are antagonists to the group’s plans. • Discouragement of dissenting opinion. • Illusion of unanimity.
Risky Shift • Groups weigh risk differently than individuals. • Most but not all group discussion leads to greater risk-taking. • As groups get larger, trends in risk-taking are amplified.
Formal Organizations • A secondary group organized to accomplish a task and achieve goals efficiently. • Develop cultures and routine practices. • People conform to expected patterns of behavior. • Can be tools for innovation, depending on the organization’s values and purpose.
Types of Organizations. • Normative (service, charitable organizations) • Coercive (prisons) • Utilitarian (corporations)
Weber's Characteristics of Bureaucracy • Division of labor and specialization • Hierarchy of authority • Rules and regulations • Impersonal relationships • Career ladders • Efficiency
Bureaucracy’s Other Face • Informal structures ignore, change, or bypass the formal structure and rules. • Subcultures develop when people attempt to humanize an impersonal organization. • The informal culture can become exclusionary, increasing the isolation some feel at work.
Problems of Bureaucracies • Risky shift • Groupthink • Ritualism - rules become ends in themselves rather than a means to an end. • Alienation - individuals become psychologically separated from the organization.
The McDonaldization of Society Four Dimensions: • Efficiency - things move from start to finish in a streamlined path. • Calculability - emphasis on quantitative aspects of products sold.
The McDonaldization of Society Four Dimensions: • Predictability - products will be the same no matter when or where they are purchased. • Control - behavior is reduced to a series of machinelike actions.
Diversity: Race, Gender, and Class in Organizations • Organizations perpetuate inequality of race-ethnicity, gender and social class. • Minorities are less likely to get promoted and more likely to get fired. • Women experience negative effects of tokenism such as stress and lowered self-esteem.
Theoretical Perspectives on Organizations • Functionalist - specifies organizational functions and dysfunctions. • Conflict Theory - analyzes the consequences of hierarchical, gender, race, and social class conflicts. • Symbolic Interaction - focuses on how the self develops as a product of social interaction.