In the social sciences a group can be defined as two or more humans who interact with each other, share a common identity, and accept expectations and obligations as members of the group. By this definition, society in itself can be viewed as a large group.
Similarly, an organization is a group of persons with a common objective. In an organizational context, a group is a collection of two or more individuals who are mutually dependent on one another to achieve common goals and interact with each other for the purpose of attaining such goals or objectives.
Characteristics of Group
Such a group may be formal or informal by nature. The existence of groups is a win-win situation for both organizations and their members, as groups help to accomplish important tasks and also ensure performance.
What makes a group crucial to the study of organizational behavior is the very fact that the existence of all the members of the group is necessary for the satisfaction of certain individual needs to each. These are the some characteristics of group:
- Motivation and Support
- Common Purpose
- Interaction Between Members
A homogenous group has qualities in common, whereas a heterogeneous group would have few qualities in common.
A group that is small has good communication and satisfaction with the members. On the contrary, large groups can have problems with coordination and communication among the members.
Motivation and Support
Members of the group should be highly motivated to abide by the values held important by the group. Feelings of confidence and trust must be high among them. All interactions, problems solving, and decision-making activities of the group take place in a supportive atmosphere.
The group as a whole must be willing to help each member develop to full potential and the leader and members are willing to go the extra mile to accomplish any task that is difficult.
Members of a group share common interests or goals, though they may be skilled in various leadership and membership role and functions. In fact, such commonality in areas of interest, goals and activities, etc. forms the basis of relations among the group members.
A primary characteristic of a group is thus synergy, by which individual members become more than the sum of the individuals. Such synergy is one of the main reasons why groups are productive and efficient.
Interaction Between Members
The members of a group must be interested in each other on a regular basis depending on the type and nature of the group. Each member influences the behavior of the other and in turn, is influenced by others.
The members of a group must be aware of each other in some way or the other, failing which the chances of meaningful interaction among the members are reduced.
The members of a group should perceive themselves as a collective whole. Once a group is formed, it gets a unique identity, its own structure, processes, and objectives. The identity of a group is distinct from the identity of its members.
What are the characteristics of group?
The characteristics of a group are: 1. Composition 2. Size 3. Motivation and Support 4. Common Purpose 5. Interaction Between Members 6. Awareness 7. Perception.