Each group of managers and employees have to seek guidelines from similar or higher ranked employees.
The interactions between groups must be coordinated to attain group goals. Interdependence may be of three types: pooled interdependence, sequential interdependence, and reciprocal interdependence.
In pooled interdependence, groups are relatively interdependent on each other. Each group contributes discretely to the organization.
They are interdependent on each other only in pooled form. These groups do not interact frequently.
They contribute separately for their respective development. For example, the research development does not interact with other departments.
It is not interdependent on others, but its findings are used by other departments, which get information from the pooled or stored communication, viz. library or research room.
Interdependence is a pre-requisite of group behaviour. Groups having no interaction are not included under intergroup behaviour.
Interaction is visible in interdependence. The quality and accuracy of the interaction between two departments has a strong influence on the intergroup behaviour and performance.
Reciprocal interdependence has a high degree of dependence. Sequential interdependence has a moderate degree of dependence.
Interaction is visible always under interdependence. Activities of one group are dependent on the actions and behaviour of other groups.
The success of interdependent groups depends on how successfully these groups are controlled and coordinated.
2. Task Uncertainty :
Intergroup behaviour is greatly influenced by task uncertainty. One problem in a group may cause uncertainty in another group.
One point left out in financial data increases the burden of the accountant. Therefore, uncertainty should be managed then and there to avoid accumulation of problems.
The manager of a technical department faces several uncertainties which should be avoided for proper functioning of other departments. The uncertainties are to be avoided by maintaining task clarity and a favourable task environment.
This refers to the requirements and responsibilities which are clearly stated and understood by the employees.
The rules, regulations, procedures and policies are clearly understood by the persons concerned.
Task clarity is very high in some departments while it is very low in others. Changes in quality and quantity clearly demonstrate the procedures to be followed.
The managers clearly understand what procedures and functions should be followed under changed situations.
Quality control variables are used to ensure certainty in the department. Group members should be well-versed in maintaining the clarity while avoiding the uncertainty of a task.
Creativity and innovation are required for developing different products. The uncertainty is researched and solutions are arrived at by expert members.
If the task uncertainty is too high, the managers have to manage it. They should know what should be done when uncertainty arises. Intergroup behaviour requires maintaining task clarity to the maximum possible extent.
Task environment includes those factors of elements, internal or external, which are effective in influencing the level of performance.
Environment assumes certain conditions and situations which are attached to the organization. The manager of the production department has to interact with the managers of marketing, finance and accounts.
Internal and external environments are needed to be studied and managed by the group members to achieve performance and success in the organization.
Task uncertainty varies with different task environments. For example, the number of units and groups and the stable dynamic nature of the environment influences the task certainty.
Large groups and the dynamic nature of the environment create more uncertainty. Research scientists face a high degree of uncertainty.
Since the scientific and technological environment is constantly changing, the task uncertainty increases. Managers have to study the changing environment and adjust group activities accordingly.
3. Time and Goal Orientation :
Intergroup performance is greatly influenced by time and goal orientation. Time denotes changes and goals are framed as per changes, which are to be achieved by the management.
Time and goal management is essential to make employees satisfied while achieving the organizational goals.
It helps in effective performance of the job. Various types of tasks and levels of uncertainty require different work orientations.
Time orientation is essential for effective performance with less resources. Time involvement has an indirect impact on the cost.
Rapid performance leads to higher quantity and cheaper production. Time is an important factor in group behaviour.
Time orientation and management is required for quality control and productivity data. A periodical analysis of sales volume is also required. It is a sort of performance measurement.
Time orientation refers to the proper time required for managing different management functions.
Time and goals are closely related, as a goal is expressed in the amount of quality and quantity to be produced or marketed within a specific time.
Sale volume, market share, consumer satisfaction, etc. are the goals of a marketing department which are to be achieved within a year.
Cost control, number of units produced and quality control are to be accomplished within six months.
Scientific innovation, designing of new products, etc. are to be made within three years. Research functions take more time as they involve a time consuming process of data collection and interpretations.
Goal orientation focuses on achievement of goals. Managers should clearly focus their attention on achievement of goals and objectives.
There are different goals of an organization which should be clearly defined. Goals are fixed as per techno-economic conditions, marketing and scientific researches.
After evaluating the resources, goals are specifically laid down which are to be achieved by group members. The group may differ from each other so far as time and goal orientations are concerned.