The dynamics of a group is very important to how the group functions. According toGreenlee and Karanxha, “ group dynamics, as a conceptual framework, provide a heuristic approach for understanding how effective groups both work and advance our knowledge” (2010 p. 360). The first area to look at is what a group is. There are different areas to group dynamics. This paper will look at these areas.
One area that will be looked at is the makeup of the group in terms of gender, education, and length of time with the organization. Another area that the paper will examine is what growth the organization has under went in the time it has been operating. The next area to be examined is the structure of the group and how that structure affects the performance of the group.
The next area of group dynamics is to describe the dynamics of group behavior. How the group interacts with each other and with those outside the group. The last area that this paper will examine is to look at the effect that the group has had on the author in terms of his or her views on group polarization, conformity, and groupthink. In the end the paper will provide a look at UTS and how the author has changed since becoming a member. What is a group?
There are many definitions of what makes up a group. A group is made up of a collection of individuals who have regular contact and frequent interaction, mutual influence, common feeling of camaraderie, and who work together to achieve a common set of goals. People are a part of many different types of groups. They are part of a family, a group within the community, and a group at their workplace. The group provides a sense of belonging as well as a social outlet for people.
Groups are used for many different purposes. According to Jex and Britt, “organizations make use of groups for an obvious reason: A group can accomplish more than an individual” (2008, p. 339). This use of groups allows organizations to accomplish projects faster and it also has the ability to draw on various member’s strengths and talents. Groups also serve to create a sense of belonging and fellowship between its members. The organization uses this to its benefit. Employees that have a sense of family tend to put forth their best efforts instead of just doing enough to get by. UTS
Unified Transportation Service, or U.T.S for short, is where Elizabeth works. U.T.S is a division of Cobb Community Service Board. Its serves as the transportation service for various programs that Cobb CSB operates. The main duty of U.T.S is to transport clients to and from programs, appointments, and other places as is necessary. It is also the duty of U.T.S to maintain the various vehicles that are used in the performance of its daily activities. U.T.S is responsible for the scheduling of the trips and making sure that they go off without a problem.
The main goal of U.T.S is the safety of the clients that it serves while transporting them to their schedule activities. This is the main focus of the department. U.T.S accomplishes this by the rules and regulations that it has set into place for the drivers and clients. Vehicle checks are a daily requirement for all the drivers. This is to ensure that the vehicles are safe and ready to transport the clients. Another way that U.T.S strives to provide safe transportation to the clients is the rules regarding the riding in the vehicles. It has in each vehicle posted rules regarding eating, drinking, and smoking in the vans and cars.
Another goal that U.T.S strives to maintain is the education of its drivers. There are various training classes that the drivers must attend regularly. Before a driver can operate a vehicle, he or she must take a defensive driving course. They must also have courses in CPR/First Aid and in CPI. CPI teaches how to deal with physical alterations. The department, as well as the rest of Cobb CSB, uses not violent methods in dealing with physical confrontations.
The ratio of the genders of the employees at U.T.S is more women work as drivers than do men. The ages of the drivers are wide ranging from those employees who are retired from a previous job to those that are starting out on their career journey. The education level of the employees is also wide ranging. There are people that have master level education to those that have a high school education. Some of the employees have been there for years while others are new hires. Stages of Development of UTS
U.T.S has undergone many changes since Elizabeth has been employed with the agency. In the five years that Elizabeth has worked there, the department has grown in many new areas. When she first came aboard there where drivers that provided transport for programs during the day. The children’s program had drivers that provided transport for that program. There have been many new services that are offered to better service the community. One of the new programs that U.T.S is involved serves the older population of Cobb County. This program uses pay slips for the runs.
Another new change is that the program for children has changed from all age children to the teenagers that area involved with the substance abuse program. This program has experience ups and downs in the enrollment of the clients. U.T.S is still experiencing growth of the services that it offers as Cobb CSB expands. U.T.S not only serves Cobb and Douglas counties, but also goes into other counties to transport clients who are in facilities in those counties if they reside in either Cobb or Douglas County. Structure
U.T.S has a director, who is over the entire department. Then there is an immediate supervisor that is over the daytime operation. The children’s program has a supervisor that oversees the daily routine. Each supervisor in turns helps the other if it becomes necessary for them to do so. U.T.S has an office manager that is responsible for the daily running of the office. She has to assign drivers to the various routes. If drivers call out, she has to cover that driver’s route.
The department has job descriptions that spell out what the duties and responsibilities are for each position. There are many roles within the department. Leadership, social-emotional, and task related roles. Also importance to the structure of U.T.S is the norms that are the operating guide of the departments. Another component of the structure of U.T.S is the values that are placed on quality care that is given to the clients that are served. Behavior
Organizations are filled with many individuals. Each individual in their turn are unique in their behavior. For an organization to run effectively the overall behavior of the employees must work together. According to Mackenzie, Podsakoff and Podsakoff, “antecedents of challenge-oriented behaviors should be different from the antecedents of affiliation-oriented and that an employee’s regulatory focus should be related differentially to challenge-oriented behaviors versus affiliation-oriented behavior” (2011 p. 561).
The overall behavior of the employees at U.T.S is that of helping each other and the clients that they serve. Team work is the focus and getting the task done in a timely manner is very important to U.T.S. Analyze Department’s Effect on Elizabeth
Working at U.T.S has had the effect of causing Elizabeth to be more cautious in decisions that she makes. She has a tendency to conform to the group more than she used too. She tries to see things more from other viewpoints than to just to hang on to her own opinion. Elizabeth tries to avoid conflict at times by going along with things that she might not agree with to avoid conflict within the group. Conclusion
In conclusion, group dynamics is a complex concept. There are many areas that were examined in this paper. The makeup of the group is important. Age, gender, and education plays an important element in group dynamics. At U.T.S, there is a mixture in the age range of the employees as we as their gender. The education level is also a mixture of college educated and those that have a high school diploma. This paper looked at the organizational behavior of Elizabeth’s department. It also looked at the way that the department changed the concepts that she held.
The paper also looked at the structure of the department. U.T.S has undergone changes in its development. It has undertaken more in terms of the areas that it serves and who it serves. Elizabeth has learned a great deal since coming to work there.
References Greenlee, B.J., & Karanxha, Z. (2010). A Study of Group Dynamics in Educational Leadership Cohort and Non-Cohort Groups. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 5(11), 357-382. Jex, S. M. & Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approaches (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Mackenzie, S., Podsakoff, P. and Podsekoff, N., Challenge-Oriented Organizational Citizenship
Behaviors and Organizational Effectiveness: Do Challenge-Oriented Behaviors Really Have an Impact on The Organization’s Bottom line, Personnel Psychology, September 2011 64(3):559-592.