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Chapter 5
Groups and
Chapter Outline
Social Groups
Group Characteristics and Dynamics
Formal Organizations in Global Perspective
Alternative Forms of Organization
Organizations in the Future
Social Groups
A collection of two or more people who:
 Interact frequently.
 Share a sense of belonging.
 Have a feeling of interdependence.
Aggregates and Categories
Aggregates happen to be in the same place at
the same time but only interact briefly.
Airline passengers, shoppers, waiting at a traffic
Categories may have never met one another
but share a similar characteristic.
Students, elderly, Native Americans
Types of Social Groups
Primary group Emotion-based interaction over extended period.
Secondary group Impersonal, goal- oriented relationships for a
limited time.
Ingroup Group to which a person belongs and feels a
sense of identity.
Outgroup Group to which a person doesn’t belong and
feels a sense of hostility towards.
Reference Group Influences a person’s behavior and attitudes,
regardless of whether they are a member.
Cooley’s Primary and Secondary
Primary group - small group whose members
engage in face-to-face, emotion-based
Secondary group - larger group in which
members engage in impersonal relationships
for a limited period of time.
Sumner’s Ingroups and Outgroups
Groups set boundaries between insiders and
Distinguishing between ingroups and
outgroups helps us establish our identity.
May encourage group cohesiveness, but may
also promote classism, racism, sexism and
Group Size
Dyad Group composed of two members.
Triad Group composed of three members.
Formal Highly structured secondary group formed for
organization the purpose of achieving specific goals
Small Groups
Small groups have interaction patterns that do
not exist in larger groups.
In a dyad, participation of both members is
crucial to the group’s survival.
When a triad is formed, the relationship and
interaction patterns change.
As size increases, communication patterns
Group Leadership Styles
Authoritarian leaders - often criticized for
fostering intergroup hostility.
Democratic leaders - praised for supportive
behavior and blamed for being indecisive in a
Laissez-faire leaders - do not provide active
Research on Group Conformity
Asch - demonstrated that people will bow to
social pressure in small group settings.
Milgram - obedience to authority may be more
common than most of us would like to believe.
Pryor and McKinney - suggest a relationship
between group conformity and harassment.
Members of groups limit their opinions to focus
on consensus.
Members of a group arrive at a decision that
individual members believe is unwise.
1986 challenger tragedy has been cited as an
example of this process.
Types of Formal Organizations
Normative Organizations we join voluntarily to pursue a common
interest or gain satisfaction or prestige.
Coercive Associations people are forced to join
(example: boot camps and prisons).
Utilitarian Organizations we join voluntarily when they can
provide us with a material reward.
Weber’s Ideal Characteristics of
Division of Labor
Hierarchy of Authority
Rules and Regulations
Qualification-Based Employment
Shortcomings of Bureaucracy
Inefficiency and Rigidity
Resistance to Change
Perpetuation of Race, Class, and Gender
Alternative Forms of Organization
“Humanizing” the bureaucracy:
1. Greater sharing of power and responsibility.
2. Encouragement of participants to share their
ideas and try new approaches.
3. Efforts to reduce the number of people in
dead-end jobs and to help people meet family
Elements of the Horizontal Model
for Corporations
Work is organized around “core” processes.
Hierarchy is flattened.
Teams manage everything and are
accountable for measurable performance
Elements of the Horizontal Model
for Corporations
Performance is measured by customer
satisfaction, not profits.
Team performance is rewarded.
Employees have regular contact with
suppliers and customers.
Employees are trained in how to use
information to make their own decisions.