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Group cohesiveness also called group cohesion and social cohesion arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although cohesion is a multi-faceted process, it can be broken down into four main components: social relations , task relations, perceived unity, and emotions. Thereby, there are different ways to define group cohesion, depending on how researchers conceptualize this concept. However, most researchers define cohesion to be task commitment and interpersonal attraction to the group.
Cohesion can be more specifically defined as the tendency for a group to be in unity while working towards a goal or to satisfy the emotional needs of its members. Its dynamic nature refers to how it gradually changes over time in its strength and form from the time a group is formed to when a group is disbanded. Its instrumental basis refers to how people cohere for some purpose, whether it be for a task or for social reasons.
Its emotional dimension refers to how cohesion is pleasing to its group members. This definition can be generalized to most groups characterized by the group definition discussed above. These groups include sports teams , work groups , military units , fraternity groups, and social groups.
The bonds between group members do not develop spontaneously. They develop from a number of components such as attraction, coordination, sense of belonging and shared emotions.
The components can be known as antecedents of cohesion. Each component is explained in-depth below. Festinger and his colleagues highly focused on attraction as a force in comparison to any other forces. In a study, they asked the group members to identify all their good friends and calculated the ratio of ingroup choices to outgroup choices. According to Dion , the greater the ratio, the greater the cohesiveness of the group. Group cohesion is similar to a type of group-level attraction which, according to Hogg, is known as social attraction.
Attraction is a basic ingredient for most groups, however, when interpersonal relations between group members intensify, it can transform a conjoined group into a cohesive one. In a cohesive group, individuals tend to fuse together to form a whole.
Nonmembers who would encounter a group will be convinced that it is a tightly bonded group. Group members would express their sense of belonging to the group by being loyal to the group, identifying with the group and classifying themselves as members. They would also describe their unity by using terms such as family, us, community, team, etc.
It is believed that cohesion is more about the willingness to work together to accomplish a set of goals than the interpersonal relationships between group members.
According to Siebold , task-oriented groups such as flight crews and military squads share a drive to accomplish their goals. One of the most obvious features of a cohesive group is a shared positive emotion. Emotional cohesion is a multilevel process as emotions can be collective. An emotion is a collective emotion when all the members of a group experience the same emotional reaction. The intensity of such emotions is high when the members strongly identify with their group.
The forces that push group members together can be positive group-based rewards or negative things lost upon leaving the group. The main factors that influence group cohesiveness are: members' similarity,   group size,  entry difficulty,  group success   and external competition and threats. Similarity of group members has different influences on group cohesiveness depending on how to define this concept.
Lott and Lott who refer to interpersonal attraction as group cohesiveness conducted an extensive review on the literature and found that individuals' similarities in background e.
On the other hand, from the perspective of social attraction as the basis of group cohesiveness, similarity among group members is the cue for individuals to categorize themselves and others into either an ingroup or outgroup. In addition, similar background makes it more likely that members share similar views on various issues, including group objectives, communication methods and the type of desired leadership.
In general, higher agreement among members on group rules and norms results in greater trust and less dysfunctional conflict. This, in turn, strengthens both emotional and task cohesiveness. Difficult entry criteria or procedures to a group tend to present it in more exclusive light. The more elite the group is perceived to be, the more prestigious it is to be a member in that group [ citation needed ]. As shown in dissonance studies conducted by Aronson and Mills and confirmed by Gerard and Mathewson , this effect can be due to dissonance reduction see cognitive dissonance.
Dissonance reduction can occur when a person has endured arduous initiation into a group; if some aspects of the group are unpleasant, the person may distort their perception of the group because of the difficulty of entry. Small groups are more cohesive than large groups. This is often caused by social loafing , a theory that says individual members of a group will actually put in less effort, because they believe other members will make up for the slack.
It has been found that social loafing is eliminated when group members believe their individual performances are identifiable — much more the case in smaller groups. In primatology and anthropology , the limits to group size are theorized to accord with Dunbar's number. Group cohesion has been linked to a range of positive and negative consequences.
Its consequences on motivation, performance, member satisfaction, member emotional adjustment, and the pressures felt by the member will be examined in the sections below. Cohesion and motivation of team members are key factors that contribute to a company's performance.
By adaptability development, self-worth, and personal motivation growth, each member becomes able to feel confident and progress in the team. Social loafing is less frequent when there is cohesion in a team; the motivation of each team member is considerably greater.
Studies have shown that cohesion can cause performance and that performance can cause cohesion. In general, cohesion defined in all these ways was positively related with performance. However, some groups may have a stronger cohesion-performance relationship than others. Smaller groups have a better cohesion-performance relationship than larger groups. There is some evidence that cohesion may be more strongly related to performance for groups that have highly interdependent roles than for groups in which members are independent.
In regards to group productivity, having attraction and group pride may not be enough. Furthermore, groups with high performance goals were extremely productive. However, it is important to note that the link between cohesion and performance can differ depending on the nature of the group that is studied.
Some studies that have focused on this relationship have led to divergent results. For example, a study conducted on the link between cohesion and performance in a governmental social service department found a low positive association between these two variables, while a separate study on groups in a Danish military unit found a high negative association between these two variables.
Studies have shown that people in cohesive groups have reported more satisfaction than members of a noncohesive group. Members in cohesive groups also are more optimistic and suffer less from social problems than those in non-cohesive groups.
One study involved a team of masons and carpenters working on a housing development. These groups changed over the course of five months. This was to help the men get to know everyone working on this development project and naturally, likes and dislikes for the people around them emerged.
The experimenter then formed cohesive groups by grouping people who liked each other. It was found that the masons and carpenters were more satisfied when they worked in cohesive groups. As quoted from one of the workers "the work is more interesting when you've got a buddy working with you. You certainly like it a lot better anyway. People in cohesive groups experience better emotional adjustment.
In particular, people experience less anxiety and tension. One study showed that cohesion as task commitment can improve group decision making when the group is under stress, more than when it is not under stress.
The study manipulated whether or not the teams had high cohesion or low cohesion and how urgent the task was to be done. The study found that teams with low cohesion and high urgency performed worse than teams with high cohesion and high urgency. This indicates that cohesion can improve group decision-making in times of stress.
Attachment theory has also asserted that adolescents with behavioral problems do not have close interpersonal relationships or have superficial ones.
While people may experience better emotional in cohesive groups, they may also face many demands on their emotions, such as those that result from scapegoating and hostility. People in cohesive groups have greater pressure to conform than people in non-cohesive groups.
The theory of groupthink suggests that the pressures hinder the group from critically thinking about the decisions it is making. Giordano has suggested that this is because people within a group frequently interact with one another and create many opportunities for influence. It is also because a person within a group perceive other members as similar to themselves and are thus, more willing to give into conformity pressures.
Another reason is because people value the group and are thus, more willing to give into conformity pressures to maintain or enhance their relationships.
Illegal activities have been stemmed from conformity pressures within a group. Haynie found that the degree to which a group of friends engaged in illegal activities was a predictor of an individual's participation in the illegal activity. This was even after the individual's prior behavior was controlled for and other controls were set in place. Furthermore, those with friends who all engaged in illegal activities were most likely to engage in illegal activities themselves.
Another study found that adolescents with no friends did not engage in as many illegal activities as those with at least one friend. Albert Lott and Bernice Lott investigated how group cohesiveness influenced individual learning. They wanted to test whether learning would be better if children studied with peers they liked than peers they did not like. They found that children with a high IQ performed better on learning tests when they learnt in high cohesive groups than low cohesive groups.
For children with a low IQ, however, the cohesiveness factor made little difference. Still, there was a slight tendency for low IQ children to perform better in high cohesive groups. The researchers believed that if children worked with other students whom they liked, they would more likely have a greater drive to learn than if they had neutral or negative attitudes towards the group.
Social cohesion has become an important theme in British social policy in the period since the disturbances in Britain's Northern mill towns Oldham , Bradford and Burnley in the summer of see Oldham riots , Bradford riots , Burnley riots. In investigating these, academic Ted Cantle drew heavily on the concept of social cohesion, and the New Labour government particularly then Home Secretary David Blunkett in turn widely promoted the notion.
According to the government-commissioned, State of the English Cities thematic reports, there are five different dimensions of social cohesion: material conditions, passive relationships, active relationships, solidarity , inclusion and equality. On a societal level Albrekt Larsen defines social cohesion 'as the belief—held by citizens in a given nation state—that they share a moral community, which enables them to trust each other'.
In a comparative study of the US, UK, Sweden and Denmark he shows that the perceived trustworthiness of fellow citizens is strongly influenced by the level of social inequality and how 'poor' and 'middle classes' are represented in the mass media. Analysts at the credit rating agency Moody's have also introduced the possibility of adding social cohesion as a formal rating into their sovereign debt indices.
Group cohesion means the degree to which the group members are attracted to each other and remain within the group. It is usually reflected by its resiliency to disruption by outside forces. Group cohesion develops out of the activities, interactions and sentiments of the members. Cohesiveness binds all the group members to work as one man to attain the set goals. Group cohesiveness is another important factor besides group norms which affects group behaviour.
This article throws light on the twelve major factors influencing group cohesiveness, i. One of the strongest sources of group cohesiveness is the similarity in attitudes and values among group members. We enjoy the company of people who hold similar opinions, morals, beliefs and code of conduct, because the person who shares the same opinions as we do provide us with a kind of social validation for our beliefs. He provides us with a feeling that we are right. If someone disagrees with us, this might make us scared that we are wrong.
Examine the way teams develop and integrate norms, both social and performance based, in the evolution of the team dynamic. Social norms are sets of shared beliefs about how people should behave. Teams and other types of groups develop norms to indicate acceptable ways of interacting. Norms create expectations, set standards, and reflect the collective value of the team members.
Teams do not operate in a vacuum, but in specific real-world contexts. For many teams, this context includes high-demand, high-stress conditions which can negatively impact team functioning. In this chapter, we discuss how stress may impact team cohesion and examine stress mitigation strategies to overcome these effects.
Read this article to learn about the meaning, its consequences and managerial actions for increase and decrease of cohesiveness. Group cohesiveness is one of the characteristic features of the groups, which is very important from behaviouristic point of view. Cohesiveness is the degree to which the group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the groups. Cohesiveness defines the degree of closeness that the members feel with the groups. It is understood as the extent of liking each member has towards others in the group and how far everyone wants to remain as a member of the group. The more the members feel attracted to the group, the greater will be the group cohesiveness.
Group cohesiveness also called group cohesion and social cohesion arises when bonds link members of a social group to one another and to the group as a whole. Although cohesion is a multi-faceted process, it can be broken down into four main components: social relations , task relations, perceived unity, and emotions. Thereby, there are different ways to define group cohesion, depending on how researchers conceptualize this concept. However, most researchers define cohesion to be task commitment and interpersonal attraction to the group. Cohesion can be more specifically defined as the tendency for a group to be in unity while working towards a goal or to satisfy the emotional needs of its members. Its dynamic nature refers to how it gradually changes over time in its strength and form from the time a group is formed to when a group is disbanded.
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Cohesiveness defines the degree of closeness that the members feel with the group. The extent of cohesiveness depends upon many factors including the compatibility of individual goals with group goals. Similarly, less attraction of members towards each other will lessen the strength of cohesiveness.
Based upon a careful perusal of all major theoretical reviews and most available controlled, empirical studies from the last 30 years, a five factor model of group cohesion is proposed. These factors are: attraction and bonding; support and caring; listening and empathy; self-disclosure and feedback; and process performance and goal attainment. To understand more fully the complex phenomenon of group cohesion, certain preconditions to the cohesive therapy group must be considered. The most significant of these are: selection of suitable participants; a balanced composition of the group; and effective orientation, training, and contracting.
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