The frequencies of interaction, favourable evaluation and inter-group competition are increased under group cohesiveness.
There are some specific factors which reduce cohesiveness, such as disagreements, group size, and unpleasant behaviour dominance by individuals and so on.
Group members have to develop an atmosphere of group cohesiveness by adhering to the determinants of cohesiveness such as the time spent together, the group size, the gender of members, external threats, previous success, group goal, frequency of interaction, severity of initiation, favourable evaluation, personal attractiveness and inter-group competition.
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1. Time Spent:
The amount of time spent influences the cohesiveness. People spending more time together are likely to cooperate better than those who meet rarely.
As people spend more time together, they become friendly. They get more chances of interaction which brings them together through talk, responses and gestures.
Common interaction-leads to the fulfilment of common interests and increased attraction. The time spent together depends on various factors such as physical and mental proximity.
People who live together, travel by the same means of transport, work together and have similar mental attitudes come closer to each other.
Many a time too much closeness reduces the cohesiveness because of mental differences. Physical closeness and mental likeness decide the amount of time spent together.
2. Group Size:
The group cohesiveness decreases as the group size increases. A small group provides more opportunity of interaction than a larger group because members of smaller groups find more opportunities to understand each other.
Larger groups create physical as well as mental distances. Many times people are neutral and apathetic to each other in a large group.
As the group size increases, many cliques are developed. Many subgroups are developed within the large group, creating inter-conflicts and differences.
If the group size starts increasing, it would be advisable to form a separate manageable group.
3. Gender of Members:
In gender mixing, it has been traditionally accepted that females like to meet with females. They prefer to talk, walk and live together.
They understand each other and extend helping hands to each other. Similarly, men are accustomed to working and joining together for entertainment and other functions.
Sometimes, men and women form different groups. It has been observed that female workers develop more cohesiveness than the male workers.
Women are less competitive and more cooperative. Greater group bonding is observed amongst female employees.
However, recently certain exceptions have been observed where men and women have started to form cohesive groups, but such phenomena are very rare and are not long lasting.
4. External Threats:
External threats compel people to unite to prevent unpleasantness. People are always afraid of problems.
If any problem is expected to incur and disturb the happiness of the group members, they would like to develop group cohesiveness.
Unity gives strength. They can fight against threats and protect themselves. Trade unions become successful if they develop the ideas of protecting their group members. People develop feelings of security and safety by developing cohesiveness.
5. Previous Success:
Success increases the spirit to work. People develop cohesiveness if they find that the cohesiveness has resulted in some success.
Successful employees are less prone to differences and deviations as ‘esprit de corps’ lead to unity and strength.
Many successful non-banking financial institutions in India have launched several production and marketing projects, as their successful experiences in one project are used in other projects.
6. Group Goals:
Group goals lead to cohesiveness and common understanding. Sometimes, the cohesiveness is binding upon the members.
Many a time, members accept voluntarily that working together will bring good results for the organization as well as for them. Successful goal accomplishment is essential for the development of the organization.
7. Frequency of Interaction:
Frequent interaction increases group cohesiveness. Frequent interaction is possible through common meetings, conferences and other mutual functions.
The members of a particular cadre and post get more chances of interaction and this helps to bring them together.
8. Severity of Initiation:
Group cohesiveness is visible where people get entry in the group after some difficulty. The harder it is to enter the group, the more the cohesiveness.
An easy entry into the group makes people cheap and unrealistic towards group cohesiveness. Common initiation also helps in creating cohesiveness.
9. Favourable Evaluation:
Favourable evaluation leads to higher cohesiveness, as it elevates the prestige of the group members.
It makes all the members proud of their performance and this motivates them to work hard with cohesiveness.
The management has to be careful in evaluation, because even a slight criticism may discourage the group members and lessen the group cohesiveness.
10. Personal Attractiveness:
Group cohesiveness increases when members are attracted to each other. It increases mutual trust and support.
Mutual enjoyment and entertainment lead people to overcome problems, helping in personal growth and development.
It assumes that people are not overzealous about each other, because zeal leads to unhealthy practices.
11. Intergroup competition:
Competition brings group members together. The competitive spirit leads to efforts which help each other to attain success in life.
Decentralization creates an atmosphere of intragroup competition which requires group cohesiveness.
Unlike intergroup competition, intragroup competition creates conflict and contradictions. Friction and fighting lessen cohesiveness.
Favouring any one group member over another creates unhealthy competition and lessens cohesiveness.
Effects of Cohesiveness:
Cohesiveness is always desirable. It helps in effective achievement of the group goals. High performance is related to high cohesiveness, provided there are performance norms.
The relationships amongst the group members have also been influential in achieving high performance.
Therefore, high cohesiveness does not always have a good effect on performance. It has been observed that high cohesiveness is both a cause and consequence of high productivity.
As has been discussed already, success brings about a cooperative spirit. Success motivates people to work hard.
Productivity therefore helps develop cohesiveness, as cohesiveness enhances productivity. People in a group share their joys and sorrows, making each other happy while at work. Sportsmanship is observed in group functions.
The basic point is that group members learn playful functions while working together. Cohesiveness assumes that no one in the group is given more importance or less importance.
Group performance is because of the team spirit. “People win together as well as lose together.” As has been pointed out already, performance based on cohesiveness is based on performance- related norms.