Management Skill Berde, Csaba Management Skill

ábra - Figure 2: The managerial process of group operation (based on own examination)

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8.2. ábra - Figure 2: The managerial process of group operation (based on own examination)

Figure 2 details that group operation has connection with the managerial activity. A basic managerial task is the definition of tasks and then whether to set up a team or not. Condition, type and membership are also important factors, which influence the characteristics of the groups. The collective of participants then possibly will go through the stages of development, where specific managerial interventions may be necessary (such as described in Blanchard et al, 2000).  The operating groups will have its specific operation dynamics. The quite frequently referred faulty symptoms (errors) of dynamics may be the following:

  • Group thinking. It is the mode of thinking that happens when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints (although debates lie under the surface). Antecedent factors such as group cohesiveness, structural faults, and situational context play into the likelihood of whether or not groupthink will impact the decision-making process (Internet 5). A typical instance of the groupthink was observed when President Kennedy and his advisors have uniformly decided to attack Cuba in 1961, and the expert group respecting the symbolic status of the president excessively tried to agree and overwhelming individual doubts. Awaring the failure, later the President explicitly asked them to think critically and often missed the meeting so that he would not influence members by his personality (Diamond, 2007).  This symptom first was observed by Jannis (1972) and later (Jannis-Mann, 1977) analyzed the possibility to avoid or manage group think, by analyzing numerous results of group decision processes.

  • Apollo syndrome. The Apollo syndrome' is a phenomenon discovered by Belbin, (2000) where teams of highly capable individuals can, collectively, perform badly. In experiments competing groups were set up of different composition, where an Apollo group was set up (which included members of good, analytical minds and high mental ability). However, the Apollo teams always proved to be ineffective or worse when competing with teams of more heterogeneous make-ups. One of the most important reason for that was that major time and effort spent in pointing and arguing about the flaws put forward by other people. The researcher also proposed a specific leverage called the Belbin–test, where individuals may identify themselves with the roles of Belbin: company worker, implementer, team worker, monitor-evaluator, shaper, resource investigator, plant and the chairman. In a typical group those functions should be connected to a member and the duplication of roles is advisable to be eliminated (Internet 6).       

Management of organizational groups may be considered as a private managerial function. Activity should be studied in its process, or some kinds of milestones be inserted, by which activity may be controlled from time to time and offers the possibility of intervention.

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