Consequences of Group Cohesiveness
More participation, more conformity, high productivity, more success, more influence, more communication and more personal satisfaction are some of the consequences of group cohesiveness. These positive outcomes of group cohesiveness are explained in more detail below.
More Participation: Because group cohesiveness involves close interpersonal relationship, the members consider the group as their own, just like a family and they are motivated to participate actively in group affairs and activities. Members also try to assist and support other members of the group in times of need and this strengthens the bonds of friendship.
The turnover rate of members is very low and they look forward to group meetings and group activities as it gives them an opportunity of social interaction in addition to devising strategies for achieving individual and group goals.
More Conformity: While all individuals who are in the group are unique in many ways with their own norms, values, beliefs and attitudes and some times these characteristics may be in conflict with the group norms, the members usually make sacrifices in order to conform to group norms. The cohesive group is generally able to put subtle pressure on the individual member who ‘deviated’ from the group norms in order to bring him back to the mainstream.
For example, if a member is working too hard or is playing politics to enhance his personal objectives, the group might put social pressure on him to comply with the group norms. If these pressures do not succeed, then the member may be dropped from the group in order to maintain cohesiveness among other members. ·
More Success: Success and cohesiveness are interdependent factors. Cohesiveness makes the goal achievement easier and goal achievement adds to cohesiveness.
In general, cohesive groups are more successful in achieving their goals. The reason for this relationship is that a high degree of cohesiveness involves a high degree of communication, participation and conformity to group norms and this results in successes in achieving them. Thus such coordinated efforts tend to result in successes in achieving such goals.
More Influence: Individual members will respond favorably to the demands of the cohesive groups in comparison to less cohesive groups. An informally accepted and respected leader of the group can have quite an autocratic authority and influence over the group members specially when confronting an external threat.
Thus the leader will have considerable influence over the members in shaping their opinions and operations. For example, during negotiations between the union and management, if the union leader is satisfied that he has reached an equitable settlement, he will advise the union members to accept it and even if some members are not happy about such an agreement, they will accept it because of the leader’s sincerity and influence.
More Communication: Communication reduces conflict. The better the communication, the less likely is any misunderstanding among members. Because the members of the cohesive groups share common values and goals, they are inclined greater communicativeness. Since communication is key to understanding, respect and closeness, it tends to foster and cement positive social relations as well as deep personal relationships.
More Personal Satisfaction: Satisfaction, though a state of mind, is primarily influenced by positive external factors. These factors include friendliness, respect from other members and self-respect, support, opportunity to interact, achievement, protection against threats and a feeling of security. Members of cohesive groups report that they are more satisfied than members of less cohesive groups. This is expected since the members of a cohesive group will not stay as members if they were dissatisfied.
High Productivity: It is quite easy to understand that unity has synergetic effect. The group effort is expected to bring better results than the sum efforts of individual members. However, the outcome of the efforts is a function of not only group cohesiveness but also group compliance with the organizational goals.
According or Richard M. Steers, ‘specifically, when cohesiveness is high and acceptance of organizational goals is high; performance will probably be high. Similar results would be expected for low cohesiveness and high goal acceptance, although the results may not be as strong. On the other hand, performance would not be expected to be high when cohesiveness is high and goal acceptance is low.’
In that case, group effort will probably be directed away from organizational goals and towards goals valued by the group. Finally, when both cohesiveness and goal acceptance are low, effort will probably become dissipated, leading to low productivity.’
Studies conducted by Katz and Kahn with respect to participation by workers as a group in a Swedish truck factory showed that cohesiveness and togetherness experienced by group members had a significant positive impact on performance outcome. Members of the group identified more strongly with goals and worked harder to improve productivity.