Articles Analysis Essay on Group Dynamics

Published: 2021-07-01 13:10:21
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Obholzer, A. (2016). Group dynamics: What coaches and consultants need to watch out for. In Coach and Couch (pp. 29-40). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

The article is mainly developed for coaches and consultants who frequently interact with individuals and groups. The authors believe that it is essential for any individual leading a group or institution to have the appropriate amount of knowledge concerning the group or organization he or she is in charge of. Therefore, in their opinion, if the person leading the group or the institution does so without any form of knowledge then it is the equivalent of him or her trying to cross the Sahara desert without a map or a compass (Obholzer, 2016). The authors believe that such an endeavor could be possible with lack, but they find it not to be the best way of engagement. They identify that it is common practice for leaders to have limited knowledge, training, or awareness of the groups or the institutions they deal with every day. However, such leaders will remain at the top of vast organizations with a significant amount of influence.

Various concepts learned in class concerning group dynamics include group process, decision-making, group development, influence, leadership, and power. The article above mainly addresses the issue of leadership, power, and influence within the group. Effective leadership within the group requires that the leader is concerned and involved with what goes on within the group. He or she works towards the attainment of the group goals. However in instances where the leaders are not aware of the basic information concerning the group embers working with these groups as a leader may not be as effective as expected. Such a leader will always be withdrawn from the members, and he or she may not develop the appropriate link with the rest of the group. Leaders need to understand their group members, the dynamics within the groups and how they operate. It is essential that the leaders identifies each member at a personal level and also understands how the different members operate as a group. He or she should be aware of the cohesion that exists within the group or lack thereof. Therefore when the leader distances him or herself from the group there develops obstacles towards the achievement of the goals that are set and making of progress in the group. As the article focuses on the disconnect between groups and their leaders, it identifies why it is necessary for these groups and their leaders to be developed on the right type of interaction. It is especially important for the leader to ensure that he or she has a clear understanding of his or her group members to clearly understand the group dynamics.

Perc, M., Gomez-Gardenes, J., Szolnoki, A., Floria, L. M., & Moreno, Y. (2013). Evolutionary dynamics of group interactions on structured populations: a review. Journal of the Royal society interface, 10(80), 20120997.

In the paper, the authors analyze the complexity within groups. They identify that interactions between the simplest of living organisms which are bacteria to those between human societies are much more complex than those that exists among non-living organisms (Perc et al., 2013). They find group interactions to be significant through an analysis of what other authors have done concerning the subject over time. Therefore, their study is based on the analysis and review of advances in the study of the evolutionary dynamics that are characteristic of group interactions within structured populations. The aspects they look at within these populations include co-evolutionary models, lattices and complex networks. They go further to compare their findings from structured groups to those in mixed populations (Perc et al., 2013). The study identifies that the study of the dynamics within groups highly benefits from various areas of study including social sciences, economics, and biological sciences. The study also identifies the existence of nostalgia within the group and equates it to a strategy for identity management and how the group manages to deal with immigrant out-groups.

A class concept that closely relates to the sources is the issue of group processes. As the authors explain, groups will have complex interactions that are only understandable from the groups perspective. Interactions from one group will differ significantly from the other. These relationships and processes are often impacted on by various issues including social, biological or economic. Individual characteristics often affect how the group interactions run and how they are developed. Group processes will involve how the members come together to achieved the goals set by the organization. For there to be cohesion, it is necessary that groups understand the complexity of the interactions that exist between them and how they can apply this in achieving the goals set by the organization. It is necessary to understand the group process complexities to ensure that the group members and leaders. It will be essential in ensuring that the group gains the appropriate skills for decision making and that the decisions they come up with will work towards the development of the group, the company and the individuals within the group.

Smeekes, A., & Verkuyten, M. (2015). The presence of the past: Identity continuity and group dynamics. European Review of Social Psychology, 26(1), 162-202.

Social psychologists are currently delving into the issue of the temporal dimensions of social life and especially the continuity of identity. The paper focuses on national identity and ethnicity, and the authors worked on the discussion of the implications of collective self- continuity and perceived group continuity and how they interrelate for group dynamics (Smeekes & Verkuyten, 2015). The authors work on their paper through the application of theories of identity motivation and the use of the social identity perspective. They identify that group identification finds its unique motivation in need for collective self-continuity. The authors also identify that people are likely to develop a sense of the collective self-continuity from those groups, which to them seem immutable and relatively stable over time. The study also identifies that there various threats to the group identity and these lead to the strengthening of the groups sense of collective self-continuity. It will lead to an increase in the in-group defense mechanisms, which include negative attitudes towards new and immigrant groups and those social developments that seem to socially undermine in-group continuity.

Group influence often results from the interpersonal and intrapersonal characteristics among individual members. The individuals are great determinants of how groups develop and the obstacles or successes they face as they work towards their development. As the authors explain, that individuals will work towards self-continuity while working on strengthening the group. Therefore there can never be a separation between the individual and the group. Each aspect will affect the other positively or negatively. Individuals are the aspects within the group who will determine the progression of the group. It is important to understand that the development phase will go through stages where the ability to make it through all the stages is dependent on how members will interact, the cooperation they develop and how they view their goals and tasks at hand. Development is also dependent on the type of leader the group has and how he or she involves the rest of the members in group activities and in making decisions that concern the group tasks. The initial stages of development may pose a challenge to all members especially because they are only getting to familiarize with each other. There will be numerous instances of conflict as they try to find points of similarity and agreement on the tasks each person will undertake. However, they will progress through the stages and reach a level where they are familiar with one another and can easily work together to achieve the expected goals.

Waller, M. J., Sohrab, G., & Ma, B. W. (2013). Beyond 12 angry men: Thin-slicing film to illustrate group dynamics. Small Group Research, 44(4), 446-465.

The article works towards the analysis of group members and how they shape each others behavior. The authors recognize that group members have great ability to shape behavior, which in turn influences the groups collective behavior. They also identify that group dynamics education does not pay the needed attention to the skills necessary to recognize behavior in situ and the ability to respond to them in real time (Waller, Sohrab & Ma, 2013). Therefore the aim of the study is to help students identify and develop these skills through the use of film experts and what the authors refer to as a thin-slicing technique specially designed for the students. The researchers identify film-experts who portray behavior that could be effective in demonstrating the aim of the study and that, which influences the groups effectiveness in various contexts. They look at the group phenomena they feel might not be appropriate for the technique they have identified.

The article also works towards influence within the group as it looks at how members will affect one anothers behavior within the group. The influences will mainly be negative during the initial stages of the team development. During these stages, members are somewhat reserved and would rather watch to identify how the group operates. They will want to find their place within the group, and therefore they sit and watch to understand the other members better and find the best fit for themselves. Therefore their behavior during these initial stages of interaction will mainly be influenced by their thoughts of one another and how they want to portray themselves to the rest of the group. During the later stages of the group members are comfortable enough to show their weaknesses to the rest of the members. They will act in a way that shows their true self and one that incorporates the thoughts and feelings of the rest of the members. Their focus is towards achieving the goals of the team, and every individual will ensure to work towards achieving the specific tasks assigned to him or her. Therefore the entire group development process is often influenced by individual characteristics. How they interact and view one another will also determine how they behave within the group.

References

Obholzer, A. (2016). Group dynamics: What coaches and consultants need to watch out for. In Coach and Couch (pp. 29-40). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Perc, M., Gomez-Gardenes, J., Szolnoki, A., Floria, L. M., & Moreno, Y. (2013). Evolutionary dynamics of group interactions on structured populations: a review. Journal of the Royal society interface, 10(80), 20120997.

Smeekes, A., & Verkuyten, M. (2015). The presence of the past: Identity continuity and group dynamics. European Review of Social Psychology, 26(1), 162-202.

Waller, M. J., Sohrab, G., & Ma, B. W. (2013). Beyond 12 angry men: Thin-slicing film to illustrate group dynamics. Small Group Research, 44(4), 446-465.

 

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