GERSICK 1991 PDF

An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism, in T. Denford Please feel free to make modifications to this site. Within the context of organizational behavior, the punctuated equilibrium model consists of deep structures, equilibrium periods and revolutionary periods. Punctuated equilibrium theory — IS Theory One of the key punctuations noted in the research is major environmental change caused by technological innovation Gersicl and Tushman, where a technological discontinuity triggers a period of instability, which is closed by the emergence of a dominant design or business paradigm Anderson and Tushman, Views Read View source View history. In order to do so, you must register. Navigation Main page Recent changes Random page Help.

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Understand the difference between informal and formal groups. Learn the stages of group development. Identify examples of the punctuated equilibrium model. Learn how group cohesion, social loafing, and collective efficacy can affect groups. The success of the group depends on the successful management of its members and making sure all aspects of work are fair for each member.

Being able to work in a group is a key skill for managers and employees alike. Types of Groups: Formal and Informal What is a group? In organizations, most work is done within groups, and managing groups is key to each of the P-O-L-C functions. How groups function has important implications for organizational productivity. Groups where people get along, feel the desire to contribute, and are capable of coordinating their efforts may have high performance levels, whereas those characterized by extreme levels of conflict or hostility may demoralize members of the workforce.

In organizations, groups can be classified into two basic types: informal and formal. Informal work groups are made up of two or more individuals who are associated with one another in ways not prescribed by the formal organization. For example, a few people in the company who get together to play tennis on the weekend would be considered an informal group. A formal work group is made up of managers, subordinates, or both with close associations among group members that influence the behavior of individuals in the group.

We will discuss many different types of formal work groups later on in this chapter. Stages of Group Development American organizational psychologist Bruce Tuckman presented a robust model in that is still widely used today. On the basis of his observations of group behavior in a variety of settings, he proposed a four-stage map of group evolution, known as the Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing Model Tuckman, Later he enhanced the model by adding a fifth and final stage, adjourning.

The phases are illustrated in the Stages of the Group Development Model. Interestingly enough, just as an individual moves through developmental stages such as childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, so does a group, although in a much shorter period of time.

According to this theory, to facilitate a group successfully, the leader needs to move through various leadership styles over time. Generally, this is accomplished by first being more direct, eventually serving as a coach, and later, once the group is able to assume more power and responsibility for itself, shifting to delegator. While research has not confirmed that this is descriptive of how groups progress, knowing and following these steps can help groups be more effective.

For example, groups that do not go through the storming phase early on will often return to this stage toward the end of the group process to address unresolved issues.

Another example of the validity of the group development model involves groups that take the time to get to know each other socially in the forming stage. Figure The members may already know each other or they may be total strangers.

In either case, there is a level of formality, some anxiety, and a degree of guardedness as group members are not sure what is going to happen next. What will my role be? Who has the power here? Because of the large amount of uncertainty, members tend to be polite, conflict avoidant, and observant. At this point, they may also be quite excited and optimistic about the task, perhaps experiencing a level of pride at being chosen to join a particular group.

Group members are trying to achieve several goals at this stage, although this may not necessarily be done consciously. First, they are trying to get to know one another. Often this can be accomplished by finding some common ground. Members also begin to explore group boundaries to determine what will be considered acceptable behavior.

Can I leave when I feel like it? At this point, group members are also discovering how the group will work in terms of what needs to be done and who will be responsible for each task. This stage is often characterized by abstract discussions about issues to be addressed by the group; those who like to get moving can become impatient with this part of the process. This phase is usually short in duration, perhaps a meeting or two. Storming Once group members feel sufficiently safe and included, they tend to enter the Storming phase.

Participants focus less on keeping their guard up as they shed social facades, becoming more authentic and more argumentative.

Group members begin to explore their power and influence, and they often stake out their territory by differentiating themselves from the other group members rather than seeking common ground. Discussions can become heated as participants raise conflicting points of view and values, or disagree over how tasks should be done and who is assigned to them. It is not unusual for group members to become defensive, competitive, or jealous.

They may take sides or begin to form cliques within the group. Questioning and resisting direction from the leader is also quite common. Who designed this project in the first place? What gives you the authority to tell me what to do?

In many cases, the group gets stuck in the Storming phase. Once group members discover that they can be authentic and that the group is capable of handling differences without dissolving, they are ready to enter the next stage, Norming.

Finding themselves more cohesive and cooperative, participants find it easy to establish their own ground rules or norms and define their operating procedures and goals. The group tends to make big decisions, while subgroups or individuals handle the smaller decisions. It is hoped at this point the group members are more open and respectful toward each other and willing to ask one another for both help and feedback.

They may even begin to form friendships and share more personal information. At this point, the leader should become more of a facilitator by stepping back and letting the group assume more responsibility for its goal. Performing Galvanized by a sense of shared vision and a feeling of unity, the group is ready to go into high gear.

Members are more interdependent, individuality and differences are respected, and group members feel themselves to be part of a greater entity. At the Performing stage, participants are not only getting the work done, but they also pay greater attention to how they are doing it.

Do we have suitable means for addressing differences that arise so we can preempt destructive conflicts? Are we relating to and communicating with each other in ways that enhance group dynamics and help us achieve our goals? How can I further develop as a person to become more effective? Group leaders can finally move into coaching roles and help members grow in skill and leadership.

These leadership shifts are essential for managers enacting the Leadership function to keep in mind. In fact, a manager who leads multiple teams may find it necessary to shift leadership styles not only over time but between teams at different stages. Adjourning Just as groups form, so do they end.

For example, many groups or teams formed in a business context are project-oriented and therefore are temporary. Alternatively, a working group may dissolve because of an organizational restructuring. As with graduating from school or leaving home for the first time, these endings can be bittersweet, with group members feeling a combination of victory, grief, and insecurity about what is coming next.

For those who like routine and bond closely with fellow group members, this transition can be particularly challenging. Group leaders and members alike should be sensitive to handling these endings respectfully and compassionately. What did we learn? The Punctuated-Equilibrium Model As you may have noted, the five-stage model we have just reviewed is a linear process.

According to the model, a group progresses to the Performing stage, at which point it finds itself in an ongoing, smooth-sailing situation until the group dissolves. In reality, subsequent researchers, most notably Joy H. Karriker, have found that the life of a group is much more dynamic and cyclical in nature Karriker, For example, a group may operate in the Performing stage for several months.

Then, because of a disruption, such as a competing emerging technology that changes the rules of the game or the introduction of a new CEO, the group may move back into the Storming phase before returning to Performing. Ideally, any regression in the linear group progression will ultimately result in a higher level of functioning. The concept of punctuated equilibrium was first proposed in by paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, who both believed that evolution occurred in rapid, radical spurts rather than gradually over time.

Identifying numerous examples of this pattern in social behavior, Gersick found that the concept applied to organizational change.

She proposed that groups remain fairly static, maintaining a certain equilibrium for long periods. Change during these periods is incremental, largely due to the resistance to change that arises when systems take root and processes become institutionalized. In this model, revolutionary change occurs in brief, punctuated bursts, generally catalyzed by a crisis or a problem that breaks through the systemic inertia and shakes up the deep organizational structures in place.

At this point, the organization or group has the opportunity to learn and create new structures that are better aligned with current realities. Whether the group does this is not guaranteed. For organizations and groups who understand that disruption, conflict, and chaos are inevitable in the life of a social system, these disruptions represent opportunities for innovation and creativity.

It refers to the degree of camaraderie within the group. Cohesive groups are those in which members are attached to each other and act as one unit. Cohesive groups tend to have the following characteristics: they have a collective identity; they experience a moral bond and a desire to remain part of the group; they share a sense of purpose, working together on a meaningful task or cause; and they establish a structured pattern of communication.

The fundamental factors affecting group cohesion include the following: Similarity. The more similar group members are in terms of age, sex, education, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs, the more likely the group will bond. The longer a group stays together, the more cohesive it becomes. Smaller groups tend to have higher levels of cohesion. When group members receive coaching and are encouraged to support their fellow team members, group identity strengthens.

As you might imagine, there are many benefits in creating a cohesive group. Members are generally more personally satisfied and feel greater self-confidence and self-esteem in a group where they feel they belong. For many, membership in such a group can be a buffer against stress, which can improve mental and physical well-being. In addition, members can draw on the strength of the group to persevere through challenging situations that might otherwise be too hard to tackle alone.

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GERSICK 1991 PDF

Understand the difference between informal and formal groups. Learn the stages of group development. Identify examples of the punctuated equilibrium model. Learn how group cohesion, social loafing, and collective efficacy can affect groups. The success of the group depends on the successful management of its members and making sure all aspects of work are fair for each member.

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Stasis refers to a long period of relatively unchanged form; punctuation is radical change over a short duration; and dominant relative frequency gersico the rate these events occur in a particular situation. In order to do so, you must register. Navigation menu Personal tools English Create account Log in. Within the field of organizational behavior, Lichtenstein argued that that self-organization theory could be a more acceptable framework with greater explanatory power. A Critique and Alternative to Punctuated Equilibrium. One of the key punctuations noted in the research is major environmental change caused by technological innovation Romanelli and Tushman, where a technological discontinuity triggers a period of instability, which is closed by the emergence of a dominant design or business paradigm Anderson and Tushman, Navigation Main page Recent changes Random page Help.

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