benefits of group cohesiveness
ways to measure, increase and develop group cohesiveness
consequences of too much cohesiveness
A formal definition of group cohesiveness is, " the resultant of all the forces acting on members to remain in the group."(Festinger-source at bottom of website) In other words, group cohesiveness is the 'stick togetherness' of the group, its peanut butter. Group cohesiveness provides the bonds that hold a group together.
Are there any benefits to group cohesion?
There are many benefits to group cohesiveness. Here are just four general benefits of having a group that 'sticks together' :
The communication within the group is much more extensive. In other words, people who like each other communicate better and more frequently with each other.
Groups that are more cohesive have positive interactions with one another. People are more friendly and there is an increased feeling of the group as a whole. As a result, the group acts as a whole not as individuals.
A group that has a high level of group cohesiveness is much more successful in achieving their goal. The feeling of togetherness in the group motivates members to achieve the desired goal and their efforts increase.
The members in groups that are cohesive are much more satisfied with that group. As a result, they are more willing to stay in the group longer and often recommend the group to others.
General Indicators- These are things that can be seen directly at a regular meeting of the group. Attendance and punctuality are easy ways of measuring the cohesiveness of a group. If attendance is high then the members feel a connection to the group and have a want to be there. Punctuality functions the same way, when members are on time it shows that they are anxious to be at the meeting.
Questions and Surveys- The benefits of questions and surveys in measuring group cohesiveness is that they allow the gathering of information that is more insightful and truthful, especially when members are able to answer anonymously. An analysis of the results of the following surveys will help to perceive how members feel about the group's climate. They will also help you to gain information as to how well individuals personal needs are being met, which is a very big factor in the group's cohesiveness.
Survey 1: This survey was developed to be used by various types of groups. It consists of nine questions and should be taken individually. The results should then be summarized and presented to the group as a whole.
1. How many of your group members fit what you feel to be the ideal of a good group member?
2. To what degree do you feel that you are included by the group in the group's activities?
3. How attractive do you find the activities in which you participate as a member of your group?
4. If most members of your group decided to dissolve the group by leaving, would you try to dissuade them?
5. If you were asked to participate in another project like this one, would you like to be with the same people in the group?
6. How well do you like the group you are in?
7. How often do you think your group should meet?
8. Do you feel
that working with the particular group you are in will help you to
attain your personal goals for which you sought the group?
9. Compared to
other groups like yours, how well would you imagine your group
Source: Stokes, J.P. Components of Group Cohesion: Intermember Attraction, INstrumental Value, and Risktaking, 1983
Survey 2: This survey was developed to focus on paid work groups. The questions may be answered individually or as a group.
Check one response for each question:
1. Do you feel that you are really a part of your work group?
- really a part of your work group
- included in most ways
- included in some ways, but not in others
- don't feel I really belong
- don't work with any one group of people
- not ascertained
2. If you had the chance to do the same kind of work, for the same pay
another work group, how would you feel about moving?
- would want very much to move
- would rather move than stay where I am
- would make no difference to me
- would want very much to stay where I am
- not ascertained
3. How does your group compare with other similar groups on each of the
- the way members get along
- the way members stick together
- the way members help each other on the job
Source: Seashore, S: Group Cohesiveness in the Industrial Workd Group; 1954
Increasing group cohesiveness in a group can be an easy thing to do. There are many activities and methods that can be used. Below are just a few of these things, if you wish to see more ways to increase group cohesion, there are links to a few other websites also.
For Permanent Groups: Here is a list of four things that can be done or worked on within a more established group to make it 'stick together'.
Try to make the group more need satifying for the members. In other words, rebuild the activities to become more satisfying to the needs of the members. Remember fufilling individuals needs is a big factor that contributes to the level of cohesiveness in a group.
A heightening of the group's prestige will also help increase a sense of cohesiveness. This helps to make each member feel they have a higher status by being in the group. A group will work better if each member knows they have an esteemed place within the group.
An increase in group interactions helps to increase togetherness. More activities within the group helps members to be more aware of each other and more aware of the group's benefits.
Teamwork should be stressed. The group should become group centered as quickly as possible in order to have a good level of cohesion.
Recognize contributions of members. The efforts of a group member towards the goal of the group should be recognized and rewarded. Members who feel appreciated will work better. This is especially helpful with new members.
Deal with personal needs. The group should take the time to deal with the personal needs and tensions of individual members.
Introductions and Ice Breakers:
-talked to individuals not known before
-participated in the activity of the group
-members introduce themselves to 4 other people and tell them 3 things about themselves, then the group tries to remember what they learned about others
-a bean-bag is thrown between the members, each is to call out their name as they catch it
-groups of 4 or 5 spend time finding out what they have in common, then report to the whole group
-skiils audit: each student writes
down 3 things they're poor at and three things they're good at and could
offer help on
Introductions and Icebreakers -this page has a list of introductions and icebreakers that are aimed at getting the members to know each other better and to increase group cohesiveness.
Circle Compliments -this page provides an activity called circle compliments that will help build cohesion within a group.
Guidelines for Goals: The goals of a group can greatly effect the cohesiveness of that group. The goals chosen, and the way they are approached help to determine the level of cohesiveness a group will have.
Just a few last words of wisdom that will hopefully help your group to achieve the level of togetherness it desires.
The group should create a climate of supportiveness so that every member feels appreciated and that they are valued.
Finally, if this page leaves you wanting to see more, here are a few links to similar pages: