Organizational Design. More than ever, groups and teams are responsible for executing tasks in the workplace. Take a position on the following statement: All organizations should use the group structure as the basic building block for designing and organizing jobs.
Provide examples to support your answer. In your responses to classmates, take the opposite position your classmates have presented and provide a convincing response designed to change their minds. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
The Research Project. Identify a generic organization (e.g., manufacturing plant, hospital, educational institution). You will use this same organization in your Final Project. Assume that you are part of a research team examining work groups in the organization to determine factors that enhance or inhibit group productivity. Identify what factors you would examine in your research and provide a rationale for your choice. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Group Development Process. Consider the Tuckman group stage process schema as discussed in Chapter 3 of your text. Identify specific actions a manager can take at each stage of the process to best help a group reach the performing stage. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Influence of Informal Groups. Informal groups exist in almost every kind of organization. Answer the following questions and provide examples to support your position
a. What types of informal groups do you belong to in your workplace?
b. How do norms of the informal groups to which you belong influence your behavior and that of other group members?
Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Group Cohesion and Productivity. Describe your most positive experience in working on a group project in which the group’s cohesiveness led to greater work productivity. Have you experienced a situation that was just the opposite – a situation in which group cohesiveness negatively impacted the productivity of the project? Provide examples to support your descriptions. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Norms and Conformity. Norms influence behavior conformity among group members. What factors will influence group members to conform to a group’s norms, and when will members remain independent? Do individuals who do not conform to the group’s norms ever succeed in influencing the rest of the group? Provide examples to support your analysis. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts
Best Workplace. Review the most current results of FORTUNE Magazine’s annual ranking of America’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Explore the website of at least three of the companies noted. Develop a two- to three-page paper that addresses the following:
a. When reviewing the descriptions of the work environments, identify elements that appear to foster employee motivation and group cohesion among employees.
b. Relate your analysis to the material presented in the chapters assigned for reading this week. For example, there may be elements that support George Homans’ theory, or another theory of exchange in groups.
Use at least one source in addition to the course text and the FORTUNE Magazine article. The paper is to follow APA guidelines as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Group Decisions. Discuss how decisions are made in your workgroup. Which model is used for what situation? Be sure to provide specific examples of at least three situations and what model was used in each situation. Critique the effectiveness of the model, as applied to each situation. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Power, Conflict and Resolution. Evaluate your workplace and identify a group that has “power” in the organization. Analyze why the group is considered powerful.
a. What are the elements that contribute to the group’s power base?
b. Is there a perception among employees in your organization that a disparity of power exists between the “powerful group” and other work groups?
c. How can managers minimize the possibility of negative reactions or conflict between groups if the perception of power disparity exists?
Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Leadership. In a group environment, should leaders be assigned at the beginning of a project or should leaders emerge as the group is working on the project? Outline the positives and negatives of each approach. Is there a particular type of group that uses a particular leadership approach? Why do you think this is the case? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Conflict and Competition. Discuss whether intergroup conflict and intergroup competition are the same or different. Provide examples to support your position. What strategies can a leader use to ensure that there are positive results from the conflict or competition? Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Focus of the Final Paper
In Week One, you will choose a generic organization (manufacturing plant, hospital, etc.). Assume that you are a hired consultant for this organization. You have been asked by the president of the organization to prepare a background paper on the results of your research and to make recommendations to improve group productivity in the organization.
Your research has identified the following problems:
1. Role conflicts within groups
2. Communication problems among group members
3. Lack of cohesiveness in groups with diverse members
4. Excessive intergroup conflict
In an eight- to ten-page paper, include the following:
1. Introduction – clear explanation of the type of organization
2. Explanation of how each problem could impact a group’s productivity (use examples to illustrate points)
3. Recommendations to resolve each problem
4. Suggestions, based on your knowledge of group dynamics, for a company-wide training program on best practices for group productivity
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