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Archive for May 2011

A topic about group dynamics has a close relationship with individual diversity that I posted previously. At least once in his or her life, a person would have been involved in a group activity. Its experience could be pleasant or unpleasant. Then, what kind of the criteria would determine the individual’s experience? Was there conflict in the group, and where did it originate? The conflict rises from the difference in opinions and positions. In the article, Tim Holman (2002) suggests that companies and/or organizations should always try to understand and resolve the group’s differences. Also, the article illustrates how minimize the conflict of the group as followings:

1) Providing the focus

2) Building trust

3) Maintaining and promoting a positive attitude

4) Allowing mistakes

5) Educating the team

6)  Communicating each others

7) Provide the recognition and rewards

The company should create an adequate environment where each group member can share and resolve his or her differences. Since a group has common goals or missions to achieve, it is not difficult to give the people motivation. However, it is necessary to offer incentives so that the group members are encouraged. It is almost impossible to have a perfect match for a group, just like marriage. Each individual should adjust and compromise depending on situations and circumstances.

Currently, many companies are encouraged to have a dynamic group in their organizations.  Why? The document (Group Dynamics, n.d.) indicates that “[g]roup dynamics involves the influence of personality, power, and behaviour on the group process”. It creates interactions among group members and helps to think other options that differ from one’s initial idea. Sidle (2007) looks at the effectiveness of the group dynamics in his article. He believes when there is disagreement, group members share more information and opinions. One of the Korean proverbs say that children grow together after a fight against each other. The children experience the differences, but then realize what is happening and resolves the problem. The differences are a great start for the group dynamics.

Then, how should managers design and manage effective work teams? The manager should provide specific roles to a group to reduce the conflict and ambiguity of projects. Clear roles for each of the members help a group to cooperate and to operate efficiently. Then, because of the different roles, it is natural for the individuals to behave and perform differently.  What if there is role ambiguity in the group? It will result in emotional stress, dissatisfaction, lower productivity, and disagreements. Thus, management should provide clear job descriptions and feedback to reduce the confusion.  I believe that different roles are essential. However, the roles should be not only specific but also precise like a road map. With the clear role, the group members would not be lost. The diversity of the roles creates the group dynamics naturally.

I would like to finish this post with the open question:  is it necessary for every company to have group dynamics to increase the diversity of the opinions and to come up with innovating ideas?  Is group dynamics necessary?

References

Group Dynamics (n.d.). Retrieved May 30, 2011, from http://www.intrd.gov.nl.ca/intrd/regionaldev/gd.pdf

Holman, T. (2002). TEAM DYNAMICS FOR THE COMPANY OFFICER. Fire Engineering, 155(7), 71. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Sidle, S. D. (2007). Do Teams Who Agree to Disagree Make Better Decisions?. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(2), 74-75. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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Whether we like it or not, we are living in a globalized world. Thanks to technology, the other side of the world is only a few clicks away. When we are at home or work, we are easily able to meet or experience different cultures and customs. It is almost impossible to find homogeneous societies that cleave only one value, culture and belief. Unconsciously, we adapt or accept diversity of others.

DIVERSITY. What is diversity?

When we try to define the word, diversity, we think “difference”. In the article, Doyle and George (2008) illustrates that understanding diversity is beyond ethnicity and race-based differences. It is extended toward the sexual orientation, disability, and age. Each individual has different characteristics and personalities depending on his or her backgrounds, cultures, customs, and beliefs. Those differences make the individual more unique and rare. Now we know that people are all different and SO WHAT?

We attempt to define and understand diversity because it is an important issue in an organization. In an organization, we are pursuing a common goal or set of goals with a group of individuals (McNamara, n.d.).  Because there is at least one overall, common mission to accomplish, it is important for members of group to cooperate to contribute their efforts to success. Therefore, it is necessary for each group member to understand the diversity within group. Also, because of current trend of globalization, the organizations should understand the diversity of customers in order to succeed in business. It is essential for an organization to accept and apply the diversity in workplace.

What are the benefits for a workforce? In the article, Jo Causon (2008) suggests that the diversity brings an important business benefit: innovation. New people bring new ideas that others did not think of. Then, the company could consider and review in different perspectives.

The time I had a first job interview is my closed diversity experience.  I thought I aced it with polite and professional attitudes. However, the interviewer thinks differently. There were confused and frustrated. When they gave me feedback, they considered me as too shy and timid a person to take a job. I did not understand where that impression came from. Then, it hit me. Cultural difference! It took me a while to understand the Western interview style. In Eastern culture, it is not polite, in fact rude, to look directly at the interviewer’s eyes. Also, in the culture, instead of handshake, we bow. After years, I am now in a position to hire employees. I start to notice the differences and importance of individuals. With the same situation, people’s reaction vary. Yes! We are all different.

Before I can understand diversity, it is important to admit each individual is different and unique. We are all from different backgrounds and cultures. The diversity in a workplace could create conflicts and frustrations, but we should remember that there is a great benefit, a new perspective. It is important for a manager to bring out the differences of employees and corporate them to achieve the best results for the organization. It will be a great homework for the manager to learn how to apply and collaborate the diversity in the workplace. Maybe it is not only for the manager. We should think about it because we are a member of any part of organization.

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  • Jory Grunlund: Hey Jin. Similar to what I told Chris, people are usually resistant to change at first. Like you mentioned, when your accountant changed the accountin
  • irenechou1: I guess everyone are scared of being changes because there are so many factors that you could not predict after the changes are applied in an organiza
  • chrisjerickchua: Hey Jin, I completely agree with you that as the world changes, organizations need to change as well. Organizations cannot stay stagnant or else th

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