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Structure - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Structure. Chapter 6 . What is group Structure?. Group structure: The complex set of relations that organizes the group Norms Roles Intermember relations Emergent (self-organizing) and/or deliberately designed. What Are Norms?.

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Chapter 6

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What is group Structure?

  • Group structure: The complex set of relations that organizes the group

    • Norms

    • Roles

    • Intermember relations

  • Emergent (self-organizing) and/or deliberately designed

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What Are Norms?

  • Consensual and often implicit standards that describe what behaviors should and should not be performed in a given context.

    • Consensual rather than idiosyncratic

    • Implicit and explicit

    • Provides direction and motivation

    • Are often self-generating

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What Are Norms?

  • Prescriptive Norms – preferable, positively santioned behaviours – normal course of action (encouraged)

  • Proscriptive Norms - prohibited, negatively sanctioned behaviours (discouraged)

  • Descriptive Norms – how people typically act, feel, and think in a given situation

  • Injunctive Norms – how people should act, feel, and think in a given situation

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Norms (cont’d)

  • Sherif’s studies of the development of norms in groups

    • Convergence in actions, thoughts, and emotions occurs over time

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Sherif's (1936) autokinetic effect studies

Judged distance a dot of light moved in a darkened room

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It moved about

3.5 inches

Autokinetic effect:

the stationary dot of light will seem to move

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Looks like 1 inch

I’d say 2 inches

7.5 inches

What if people make their judgments with others, and state estimates aloud?

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Person A


Average distance


Person B

Person C


Session 1


Session 2


Session 3



Initially, they differ; but over trials, they converge

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Average distance


Person B

Person C



Session 1


Session 2


Session 3

Sherif put in a confederate in some groups who made exaggerated distance judgments others conformed

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Person B

Person C

Average distance


Person D


Session 4


Session 1


Session 2


Session 3


Even when the confederate was replaced, the norm remained

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Person C

Person D

Average distance


Person F


Session 4


Session 1


Session 2


Session 3

The exaggerated norm lasted for many “generations” of replacements

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  • Examples

  • Eating disorders in groups (binging, purging, excessive exercise)

  • Alcohol use on college campuses (Perkins and “social norm interventions”)

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What Are Roles?

  • Roles: The types of behaviors expected of individuals who occupy particular positions within the group (e.g., roles in a play)

    • Independent of individuals

    • Flexible, to an extent

    • Structure interaction, create patterns of action

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Role Differentiation

  • Role differentiation: The emergence and patterning of role-related actions

    • Task roles pertain to the work of the group

    • Relationship roles pertain to relations among members.

    • Roles tend to become specialized over time

    • Task and relationship role demands tend to be incompatible with one another

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Group Socialization

  • Moreland and Levine's group socialization theory

    • Types of Members: prospective, new, full, marginal, and former (ex-member)

    • Phases: investigation, socialization, maintenance, resocialization, and remembrance

    • Processes: recruitment/reconnaissance, accommodation/assimilation, role negotiation, tradition/reminiscence

    • Transition Points: entry, acceptance, divergence, exit

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Roles, Stress, & Well-Being

  • Role stress

    • Role Ambiguity – unclear expectations about the behaviours to be performed by an individual

    • Role Conflict (interrole conflict and intrarole conflict)

    • Role Fit – the degree of congruence between the demands of a specific role and the attitudes, values, and other characteristics of the individual who occupies the role

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What Are Status Networks?

  • Status network: Stable pattern of variations in authority and power

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What Are Status Networks?

  • Status differentiation

    • Competition for status (pecking orders)

    • Perceptions of status

    • Expectation-states theory: diffuse and specific status characteristics

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What Are Status Networks?

  • Status generalization: when irrelevant characteristics influence status allocation

    • Minorities, women, solos denied status

    • Online groups and the status equalization effect

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Generations Differences?

  • Changing demographics

  • Better understand it’s impact in the workplace

  • Increase personal competency in communication and management

  • Promote teamwork

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Four Generations At Work

  • Traditionalists (born 1922-1943)

  • Baby Boomers (born 1943-1960)

  • Generation X (born 1960-1980)

  • Millenials (born 1980-2000)

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Hard work

Dedication & sacrifice

Respect for rules

Duty before pleasure




Team orientation

Personal gratification


Personal growth


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Techno literacy

Fun and informality





Feel civic duty


Achievement oriented

Respect for diversity


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Generational Interaction: An Example

  • Traditionalists and Boomers

  • may have a tendency not to

  • question or challenge

  • authority or the status quo.

  • This may cause confusion

  • and resentment among the

  • Xers and Millenials who

  • have been taught to speak

  • up.

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Generational Interaction: An Example

  • Xers and Millenials who

  • have had different life

  • experiences and

  • communicate with people

  • differently, may fail to

  • actively listen to Boomers

  • and Traditionalists

  • thereby missing valuable

  • information and guidance.

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Generational Feedback

  • Traditionalists – “No news is good news.”

  • Boomers – “Feedback once a year and lots of documentation.”

  • Xers – “Sorry to interrupt but how am I doing?”

  • Millenials – “Feedback whenever I want it at the push of a button.”

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Feedback Style and Impact

  • Feedback styles that may appear informative

  • and helpful to one generation might seem

  • formal and “preachy” to another.

  • Feedback an Xer thinks is immediate and

  • honest can seem hasty or even inappropriate

  • to other generations.

  • Some older generations have been told that there is

  • a time and place for feedback. Younger generations

  • haven’t necessarily been taught this “rule.”

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Generational Meaning of Feedback

  • Traditionalist seek no applause but appreciate a subtle acknowledgement that they have made a difference.

  • Boomers are often giving feedback to others but seldom receiving, especially positive feedback.

  • Xers need positive feedback to let them know they’re on the right track.

  • Millenials are use to praise and may mistake silence for disapproval. They need to know what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong.

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What Are Attraction Networks?

  • Attraction network (sociometric structure): Stable patterns of liking-disliking, acceptance-rejection, inclusion-exclusion

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What Are Attraction Networks?

  • Sociometric Differentiation– development of stronger ties between some members of the group, while a decrease in the quality of relationship between others of the group

    • Types of group members: stars, rejected, neglected

    • Features: reciprocity, transitivity, homophily (clusters)

    • Heider's balance theory: likes and dislikes are balanced



















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What Are Attraction Networks?

  • What factors predict sociometric standing?

    • Having socially attractive qualities (e.g., cooperativeness or physical appeal)

    • Person-group fit

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What Are Communication Networks?

  • Communication network: formal and informal paths that define who speaks to whom most frequently

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What Are Communication Networks?

  • Types: wheel, comcon, chain, circle

  • Centralized vs. uncentralized

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What Are Communication Networks?

  • Network and location in the network influences many processes

    • Information saturation: centralized networks are most efficient unless information overload

    • Individuals who occupy more central positions are more influential (and more satisfied) than those located at the periphery.

    • Hierarchical networks and information flow: More information flows downward and unrealistically positive information flows upward

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360-Degree Assessment







Direct Reports


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Advantages of 360-Degree Assessment

  • Objective measure of someone’s performance

  • Provides perspective from many different angles

  • Increased awareness of work related behaviors

  • Improves communication between self and raters

  • Clarifies differences of opinions

  • Identifies gaps in performance and recognizes areas in which the ratee can improve