Did you know that when Sholay released, the movie received a lukewarm response? There were negative reviews and it looked like the movie was going to do badly. But over time, the film became very popular and soon,  shows were running to a full house. The movie was such a hit that it was screened in theatres for five years.

How did a film that didn’t seem like it was going to do well suddenly become one of the highest-grossing films in India? It’s believed that word-of-mouth publicity helped it become a box office success. This is a perfect example of the impact of group behavior. Let’s look at some of the ways we engage and respond to ideas when we’re part of a group.

The Meaning Of Group Behavior

To fully understand the definition of group behavior, you need to know what constitutes a group and how it functions. When two or more individuals come together to achieve certain objectives, they form a group. Nearly all members of a group are interdependent and interact with one another. Groups are a fundamental part of our social lives. We form a group when:

  • We have a shared purpose (for example, group projects)

  • A social structure already exists (for example, employees already  work together in an office)

  • We see ourselves as part of a collection of people (for example, the Indian population)

As part of a group, we’re often influenced by the behaviors, thoughts and feelings that others display. We act the way the rest of the group does and conform to norms. This may be because of the group’s power or social influence. When we behave like the others in a group, we participate in group behavior. For example, spectators at a cricket match rejoice collectively when their team wins.

Group Behavior In Organizations

Group behavior is a critical element at the workplace. We’re social animals and we’re bound to form and work in groups. In fact, an organization in itself is a large group where everyone is interdependent. Employees and departments must interact with each other and collaborate to achieve organizational goals.

There are many advantages of group behavior in organizations. Let’s look at some of the benefits of effective group work.

  1. Productivity

When you see others around you work hard, you’re motivated to push your boundaries. Your productivity is enhanced because you want to match their performance standards.

  1. Attendance

When you have people to talk to and collaborate with, it makes work more interesting and engaging. You also start looking forward to your workday. This improves your attendance.

  1. Job satisfaction

Many modern organizations strive to make their employees feel like they’re a part of one big family. When a workplace culture is employee-driven, you feel more engaged and are happy about your contributions.

  1. Attitude

At the workplace, we usually monitor our behavior by taking inspiration from our managers and leaders. We foster positive attitudes when organizational group behavior is constructive and supportive.

  1. Well-being

Working in groups impacts our social relationships, allowing more opportunities to share stories and emotions. Being part of a group provides a heightened sense of belonging. Increased social interactions lead to better mental and physical well-being.

  1. Learnings

When you work in groups, you’re exposed to different perspectives. Every person has something unique to contribute, which enhances the knowledge of other people in the group.

The Stages Of Group Formation

Now that we’ve established why groups are important for one’s personal and professional development, let’s look at the different stages of group formation.

In 1965, Bruce Tuckman, an American psychological researcher, identified five stages of group formation. Initially, there were four stages but Tuckman later added a fifth stage. He suggested that the five stages contribute to different types of group behavior necessary to deliver results successfully.

  1. Forming

At this stage, individuals get to know each other but there’s no real openness though there isn’t any conflict either. A team leader may need to mediate communication.

  1. Storming

Group members share their perspectives, opinions and ideas in this stage. Conflicts may arise and it’s important to manage intragroup conflict before things get difficult.

  1. Norming

At this stage, everyone has a mutual understanding and abides by the group’s norms and procedures. There is acceptance, agreement and identification of common goals.

  1. Performing

At this stage, group work leads to self-management. Members are not only cooperative but also autonomous and require less supervision. There is trust and loyalty.

  1. Adjourning

People have completed their tasks and fulfilled their targets at this stage. They wrap up their activities and the group parts ways.

Groups are an inevitable part of our lives. We live and work in groups. Harappa Education’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you how to sail through group development and the benefits of collaboration. The Bruce Tuckman Model in particular will help you understand the different stages of group formation in detail. Additionally, the GRIN–Goals, Roles, Interdependence and Norms–Framework will teach you the necessary characteristics that make an effective team. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, said it best, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.”

Explore topics such as Employee Engagement, Employee Engagement Strategies, Rapport Building & Group Formation Stages from our Harappa Diaries section and build trust-rich relationships.

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