Edgar Schein Group Dynamics
Concept of Group
Edgar Schein has defined group as a collection of people who interact with each other, are psychologically aware of each other, and who perceive themselves to be in a group. A work group meets these criteria, but in addition, the members have task-centred goals. Interestingly, while the group members support each other, they each have their own area of responsibility for which they are individually accountable. In comparison, a work team is composed of members with complementary skill who are involved in a common set of goals for which they are collectively accountable. On the other hand, Jennifer & Gareth have defined a group as a set of two or more people who interact with each other to achieve certain goals or meet certain needs. Interaction and common purpose are important elements of any group. The group goals bind the members together. Thus a group or a work group has the following features:
It has a common goal;
There is constant interaction among members;
Each member identifies with the group;
Members are interdependent;
Members are emotionally connected.
Why people form groups?
Broadly speaking, people form groups for the following reasons:
Psychological need: People want to align themselves with other individuals having identical interests, attitudes, personality, perception etc.
Socio-cultural need: Individuals join the groups to be identified with their social class, caste, religion, region, ethnicity, culture etc.
Security need: People need a support system to meet the contingencies of life like sickness, disablement, financial crisis, termination etc. Groups serve as an important support system for the people.
Types of Groups
Groups are broadly categorized as Formal and Informal. Some scholars have also categorized the groups as primary group, peer group and reference group.
Formal Work Groups:
Command group: It is an association of employees who report to the same supervisor. Command groups are based on the basic reporting relationship in any organization. The existence of such groups is represented on organizational charts as departments e.g. Finance Department, Personnel Department, etc,
Committees: People with diverse backgrounds are brought together to accomplish a particular goal. They may not report to the same supervisor and may not be at the same level in organizational hierarchy.
Task Group: Task groups represent those working together to complete a job task. However, a task group’s boundaries are not