Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Individual behaviour in a group

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3748 words Published: 15th May 2017

Reference this


Organisation behaviour is the study of human behaviour in the workplace. Both Individual and organisational, that influence people behaviour. Organisational behaviour control and direct the way people to work. After all people are organisation’s greatest assets but also greater cost (Ellis and Dick 2000).

According to Ian Brooks, “Organisation Behaviour (OB) is the study of human behaviour in organisational contexts with a focus on individuals and group processes and actions, Hence it involves an exploration of organisation and managerial processes in the dynamic context of the organisation and is primarily concerned with the human implication of such activity” (Brooks, 2009).

Overall assignment tell about the benefits and limitation of individual working in group, individual behaviour in group, formation of group key aspects of group like motivation, intra-group conflict and peer pressure.


Group has always been a characteristic of human behaviour According to Aronson’s (2007) people is ‘Social Animal’, and often need interaction with others to function effectively as individuals.

Definition of Group, “Two or more people who are perceived by themselves or other as a social entity” (Arnold et al, 2005).

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Individual Working in a Group

Individual can perform the work more efficiently than group, but lacks in various departments. Where when individual work in group has to be anticipated each other opinion and so there is some psychological rewards as well as weakness for individual working in group. A number of time questions have been raised whether group problem solving is superior, inferior to individual problem solving. (Hoffman, 1965 and Kelley & Thibaut, 1954).

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

Advantages of individual working in a group

Knowledge and information

The information collected by individual alone will be sufficient for any task. When compared individual knowledge and information will be less against group. Thus problem which required the utilization of knowledge and information will give groups an advantage over individual. For example, a skilled operator may contribute to an engineer’s problem solving and an ordinary workman might supply information on how a new machine might be received by workers (Maier, 1967).

More approaches to a Problem

Individual acquire more thinking by going into the potholes (Duncker, 1945; Maier, 1930). Many problems will face by individual in order to achieving a goal. Thus he become handicapped in his approach and also fails to discover a further approach that may work out problem but in group is opposite to this. For examples the group member do not have the same approach that individual thinks but they will contribute by knocking their ruts in thinking in order to solve the problem.

Better Comprehension of the Decision

Individual make a decision that he has to consult with decision maker to the decision-executors. But when individual performs in a group, decision made is directly utilized by the group member. This helps the individual to enhance the communication skills and to maintain good relationship with other co-members of the group.

Disadvantages of individual working in a group

Social Pressure

Social pressure is a major force making for agreement good member will accept tends to silence disagreement and favours consensus. Minority opinion of group members in leaderless group have little influence on the solution reached, even when their opinions are the correct ones (Maier & Solem, 1952). Even if member have the same opinion in a group frequently member are confused to find the right answer and it is for this reason that the dimensions of a decision’s acceptance and its objective quality must be distinguished (Maier, 1963).

Dominated by Individual

In most of leader less group individual emerges and detains most of the share of authority on the result of the task. According to Hoffman and Maier (1967) “found that the mere fact of appointing a leader causes this person to dominate a discussion and regardless of his problem-solving ability a leader tends to exert a major influence on the outcome of a discussion”

Time consuming

If the work has to be performed individually rather than in a group which it time consuming and put lots of psychological pressure on an individual.

Why do Individual join group:

Since Individual is a social animal who need to be interactive with other human being. Groups lie at the core of the human experience and underpin the structure and accomplishments of human society. A group may belong to various ethnicity, ability, gender, nationality; professional employment etc. working in a group is an excellent way of building the effective interpersonal relationship that organisations needed (Heller, 1997). In group people co-ordinate their action plan and cooperate to accomplish task that individual cannot performance alone (Williams, 2002).

For examples, when I use to do an assignment, ideas relating to topics were minimal, but same things when I performed in group ways of thinking changes and ideas comes automatically. Thus, it directly affecting my work as individual, so prefer to perform task in group and not individual.


  • Stages of forming of group:
  • According to Bass and Ryterband (1979):

    1. Developing Mutual trust: In the stage first initial individual as well as group member have doubts about any things and fear, group members defends and limits fear through conformity and ritual.
    2. Communication and decision making: In second stage group member learned to accepts each other emotions and felling. Norms started to developed and member stared to care for each other. Due to this open communication develop problem -solving and decision- making strategies. For examples when a person involves himself/ herself in group. Then he/she can communicate the problems freely to member, are ready to help.
    3. Motivation and productivity: In this stage members are involved with the working environment of the group, cooperating with every member instead of competing. Individual are now more motivated by their group member and psychologically they reward themselves through increased in productivity
    4. Control and Organisation: In this stages work is allocate to each individual member of a group by agreement and abilities to performance the work. Individual Members also can worker independently and the organisation of the group is more flexible and member can adapts to new challenges.
  • Storming of group
  • This second stage of group development, when group member understand each other Individual member better then the storming stages begin. Under this stage bid for the power arises. Each member of group wondering he or she will get respect. Relationship between members becomes stressed and differences become painful, leader is challenged for controlling the group and also some of the issues must be solved first in order to move on next step (Tuckman, 1965). The storming step is important as it increases the power level of group and its lead to significant changes in creative and innovation.

  • Group Norms: Group norms are the unofficial rules that group member has to adopt in order to regulate and regularize group member’s behaviour. Although these norms are often having a powerful, and consistent, influence on group member’s behaviour (Hackman, 1976). There are four circumstances under which group norms are likely to be enforced.
    1. For Group survival: A group will implements norms that protects member of group from interference or harassment by other groups. For examples a group member should not discuss its salaries part with members of other groups so that attention will not divert from main goal. Enforcing norms also make clear boundaries and behaviour acceptable in the group from every individual (Dentler and Erikson, 1959).
    2. What behaviour is expected of group members: If each member of group decides individually how to behave in group then most of valuable time would be lost. Norms helps group to anticipate each other behaviour and prepare them most appropriate manner to response in the group (Hackman, 1976). For examples I went out with my friend for dinner awkwardness appears about how to split the bill at the end of the meal.
    3. The group avoid embarrassing interpersonal problems: Goffman (1955) argues that each person in a group has a “face” he or she presents to other members of a group. This “face” is analogous to what one would call “self-image,” for example group should not discuss romantic involvement or not getting together socially in people homes.
    4. Express the central values and clarify distinctive about group identity: Norms can pro-vide the social justification for group activities to its members (Katz & Kahn, 1978). Norm say that, safeguarding the group is important than individual profits.
  • Performing
  • In this stages when the group is successfully formed they start implementing the tasks and made progress in its work. Thus the group is now grown-up and capable to operate efficiently (Martin, 1998).

    Different Types of Groups:

    There are two type of group in workplace. Groups can either be formal or informal groups. A formal group is “A planned system of co-operative efforts in which each participant has a recognized role to play and duties or tasks to perform” (Katz, 1965)

    The formal organisation includes the system, policies, rules and regulations that express what the relation of one person to another are supposed to be in order to achieve the task effectively (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1941). For examples supporting formal group my own experiences working for Manchester United Football Club I have to follows the policies, rules and regulation under which I have to performs the tasks. As I am crazy about football, so if I watch the football match between my working hours I am violating the norms of club which will be unsatisfied to my manager as well as group.

    Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

    Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

    View our services

    A informal group “A collection of individuals whose common work experiences result in the development of a system of interpersonal relations beyond those expected of them by values of their employment” (Palazzolo, 1981). Informal group serve to satisfy psychological and social need not related to the task. They also satisfy other need i.e. reduce the felling of insecurity and anxiety, fulfil affiliation needs for friendship, loves support, they also help to shape the group and organisation norms (Brooks, 2009). For examples, a group of employees from different departments of a company respond to a volunteer opportunity to serve the homeless at a nearby soup kitchen, this group evolves into friendship group as a result of this bonding experience (Ivancevich, et al, 2008). Other examples in my graduation days our College has conducted big festival called “CALIBRE FIESTA” where I used to take care of financial and security department under my superior who used to guide always from front and tell how to performs and accomplish the job in right manner. This satisfies me and encourage to perform task efficiently so it a psychology rewarding for me as well as demanding for my head to understand the entire thing.

    Individual Behaviour in a group

    According to Lewin, the theory of B=f (P, E), where Behaviour is a function of interaction between person (p) and environmental factors (E) (Lewin, 1951). This theory’s intend to indicate that individual behaviour should be examined from both the organisational viewpoint the individual’s viewpoint. This help people to developed and change their behaviour by interactional psychology and through which people change behaviour according to innate and environmental factors. Due to this individual make their own personality and characteristics which helps them in future. Variables affecting individual behaviour are innate factors like personality, perception, values, and abilities and environmental factors like work factors, family, peer-group pressures and personal life experiences. For examples the televisions show ROADIES on MTV, where 12 to 14 individual participate and fight for the title of ROADIES. In Roadies participant were divide into two groups and given a certain task, whichever group win the task get the power to survive in the game and from other group a member has to eliminate. Through this possess of game there is a high pressure on every person. This shows their mental and physical personality of individual behaviour which helps them to survive in the game. If individual survive in game it gives them psychological rewarding as well as demanding for individual to perform better in order to be in the next level of game.

    Key Aspects


    “Motivation can be considered to comprise an individual’s effort and persistence and the direction of that effort” (Brook, 2009).

    There are many theories of motivation like Needs hierarchy by Maslow and Alderfer, Herzberg two factor theories and McClelland Achievement needs theory all these theory plays important roles in individual’s life.

    According to Abraham Maslow has created the idea of hierarchy of needs which could explain the individual behavior (Maslow, 1943, 1987).

    Maslow put forward a status of human needs based on two collection, scarcity needs and development needs (Maslow, 1943, 1987). Within the scarcity needs, every lower level need must be satisfied in order to moving to higher level (Huitt, 2004). The stages of Maslow theory are Physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization need (Maslow, 1943). For examples: A individual has to go through the first stage of Maslow theory which is Physiological need includes basic thing of human life i.e. Air, water, food, shelter, sex and better working condition all need must satisfied then only move to Safety and security need where he satisfy security of individual in normal environment, then love and belongingness and self-esteem. An individual is ready to act upon development need if only scarcity needs are fulfilled; Self- actualization is development need of individual. Here individual are differentiate by personality problem-focused, incorporating an ongoing innovation of gratitude of life, a concern about Individual growth and the ability to reach at the peak level with experiences (Maslow & Lowery, 1998).

    Peer Pressure

    Every individual has to perform their part of work equally in order to match the quality of work done by the other member in the group. For examples in a game each member of the group has to know what he has to do. If other member is doing task more efficiently than member who is not performing the task, then automatically pressure goes to member who is not performing and he has to pull up his sock and perform better in order to win the game.

    Intra- Group Conflict

    When individual entire in group the ideas, motivate, and way of thinking differs due to which conflict arise. Conflict in a group is inevitable from time to time; especially when group come under pressure to perform (Ellis and Dick, 2000). Conflict is awareness on the part of the parties involved of discrepancies, incompatible wishes, or irreconcilable desires (Boulding, 1963). The conflict in group can be branded into three type’s relationship, task and process conflict.

    1. Relationship conflict: An alertness of interpersonal incompatibilities, tension and friction. Relationship conflict involves personal issues such as dislike among group members and felling such as frustration and irritation (Amason, 1996; Pinkley, 1990).
    2. Task Conflict: Task conflict is a difference between viewpoints and opinions to be relevant to a group task (Amason & Sapienza, 1997).
    3. Process Conflict: Process Conflict aware about controversies about how task will be accomplishment. Specify what work should be done by each member of group and who much responsibility should each should get (Jehn, Northcraft, & Neale, 1999).

    For examples: The task given to the group member by the leader must be accomplished by member in a desired time frame which leader wants.


    Through this assignment I have learned that individual and group work are important aspects in any organisational field. Working has an individual gives certain benefits to a person but in order to accomplished the task/work, individual has to ruts his mind. Individual working in a group gain knowledge from various member of group and cultivate healthy relationship which will help the individual in their future part of life. Working in a group also enhances the think power and teaches us ability to deal in rough time. So according to me individual working in a group has brighter future prospects and developed his future in a right direction which is essential in today’s competitive scenario.


    1. Amason, A. (1996). Distinguishing effects of functional and dysfunctional conflict on strategic decision making: Resolving a paradox for top management teams. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 123- 148.
    2. Amason, A., & Sapienza, H. (1997). The effects of top management team size and interaction norms on cognitive and affective conflict. Journal of Management, 23, 496-516.
    3. Arnold, J., Silvester, J., Patterson, F., Robertson, I., Cooper, C. and Burnes, B. (2005). Work Psychology, 4th Ed. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
    4. Aronson, E. (2007). The social animal. 10th Ed. New York and Oxford: Freeman
    5. Bass, B. M. and Ryterband, E. C. (1979). Organizational Psychology. 2nd Ed. London: Allyn and Bacon.
    6. Boulding, K. (1963). Conflict and defense. New York: Harper & Row.
    7. Brooks, I. Organisational Behaviour: Individuals, Group and Organisation. 4th ed. London: Pearson Education, 2009.
    8. Dentler, R. A. & Erikson, K. T. (1959). The functions of deviance in groups. Social Problems, 7 pp 98-107.
    9. DUNCKER, K. (1945). On Problem Solving. Psychological Monographs, 58 (S, Whole No. 270).
    10. Ellis, S. and Dick, P. Introduction to Organisation Behaviour. London: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
    11. Goffman, E. (1955). On face-work: An analysis of ritual elements in social interaction. Psychiatry, 18, 213-231.
    12. Hackman, J. R. (1976). Group influences on individuals. In M. Dunnette (Ed.), 9.Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1455-1525.
    13. HOFFMAN, L. R., & MAIER, N. R. F. Valence in the adoption of solutions by problem- solving groups: Concept, method, and results. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1964, 69, 264-271.
    14. HOFFMAN, L. R. Group problem solving. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.). Advances in experimental social psychology. Vol. 2. New York: Academic Press, 1965. Pp. 99-132.
    15. HOFFMAN, L. R., & MAIES, N. R. F. Valence in the Adoption of Solutions by Problem- Solving Groups: II. Quality and acceptance as goals of leaders and members. Unpublished manuscript, 1967. (Mimeo)
    16. Hwitt, W. (2004). Maslow’s hierarchy of need. Education Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta state university.
    17. Ivancevich, J. M., Konopaske, R. & Matteson, M. T. (2008). Organizational Behaviour and Management. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
    18. Jehn, K., Northcraft, G., & Neale, M. (1999). Why differences make a difference: A field study of diversity, conflict, and performance in workgroups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 741-763.
    19. Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. The social psychology of organizations. 2nd Ed. New York: Wiley, 1978.
    20. Katz, F.E. (1965), “Explaining Informal Work Groups in Complex Organizations: The Case of Autonomy in Structure”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Spring, Vol. 10, pp. 204-23.
    21. KELLEY, H. H. & THIBAUT, J. W (1954). Experimental studies of group problem solving and process. In G. Lindzey (Ed.), Handbook of social psychology. Cambridge,Mass.: Addison Wesley, .Pp. 735-785.
    22. Lewin, K. (1951). ‘Formalization and progress in psychology’, in D. Cartwright, (Ed.) Field Research in Social Science. New York: Harper.
    23. MAIER, N. R. F. Reasoning in humans. I. On direction. Journal of ComparativePsychology, 1930, 10, 115-143.
    24. MAIER, N. R. F., & SOLEM, A. R. (1952). The contribution of a discussion leader to the quality of group thinking: The effective use of minority opinions. Human Relations. (5), 277-288.
    25. MAIER, N. R. F. (1963) Problem solving discussions and conferences: Leadership methods and skills. New York: McGraw-Hill.
    26. Martin, J. Organizational Behaviour. 1st ed. London: International Thomson Business Press, 1998.
    27. Maslow, A., and Lowery, R. (1998). Toward a psychology of being.3rd Ed. New York: wileg & sons.
    28. Maslow, A. H (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review.vol 50, pp 370-396.
    29. Maslow, A. H (1987). Motivation and personality. (3rd ed). New York: Harper and Row.
    30. Pinkley, R. (1990). Dimensions of the conflict frame: Disputant interpretations of conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 117-128.
    31. Roethlisberger, F.J. and Dickson, W.J. (1941) Management and the Worker, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
    32. Williams, K. D. (2002). Ostracism: The Power of Silence. New York, NY: Guilford.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: