Final Blog entry for Group Project
We have finished the presentation for our group project and here is a summary of key points from what has been learned.
Our topic was: Factors in Motivation for Employees & Groups.
This was a broad categorization of many things that we have been learning throughout the semester, but will present relative to three primary concepts of social identity,(Ellemers, Tajfel) hygience factors and group motivators and then implications of hygiene factors. These are primarily derived from Herzbergs' principles of motivation and work.
My personal interest was the effect of organizational culture and extrinsic rewards on the motivation of an individual within a group environment. The reward structure that an organization uses can either erode or enhance motivation of the individual that affects group performance. This is especially pertinent now with the increased usage of groups in organizations.
In addition to this, we used this chart that helps explain Herzberg's principles.
From an implications perspective, our presentation discusses hygiene factors as important to be aware of in and HRD or education setting. These include understanding how evaluation methods affect experience and success in group work.
The important concepts here are the understanding of process, communication and collaboration within groups in the workplace. These points also draw on the concepts of learning or personality styles of people working within a work. Utilizing personal inventories and interviews can help with identifying how people may work with each other in a group.
Individuals can broadly be divided into Explorers, Organizers, Controllers and Advisors.
There is generally a linkage of these personalty types through the task at hand. There is also a tendency to have these types overlap.
Creator, Innovator, Explorer, Promoter, Assessor, Developer.
Assessor, Developer, Thruster, Organizer, Concluder, Producer.
Concluder, Producer, Controller, Inspector, Upholder, Maintainer.
Upholder, Maintainer, Reporter, Adviser, Creator, Innovator.
Other concepts explored within the group was
Group identification activities that helped with group formation and maintaining cohesion.
Group efficacy. How group efficacy builds group productivity.
Effect of organizational change on motivation and formation.
This was interesting in that we actually are practicing the dynamics that we are studying!
This project assignment revealed many of the elements we discussed in our presentation. One of the factors that we did not discuss directly in our presentation is the effective use of technology within groups. Specifically the use of various Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) for group task accomplishment. This has become a major way that individuals communicate with each other within the group and also within the organization. In our group initially used CMC sporadically. This could of been for a couple of reasons, but primarily because the formation part of the topic was done face to face in meetings held before class, in transit to class and in meetings outside of class. There was some initial use of e-mail that was probably used mostly for each of to become familiar with each other in cyber-space. Crossing over from the classroom into cyber space may put us into a more personal realm that many people may be uncomfortable with.
One of the aspects that probably changed our perspective was the ability to utilize the course management system WebCT to help with interactivity and documentation of the group activity. As we were going to be individually rewarded and our syllabus calls for this, students became aware of the need to contribute to these areas in order to be potentially rewarded. Is this more of a intrinsic or extrinsic reward? I would say more extrensic as it is required to make entries as an online course would be.
After we divided different aspects that to work on, we then were able to make additions to the group project through methods that we were comfortable with.
What has been interesting from a CMC perspective also is the amount of communication and entries that have been made over the last few days. My thought is that this is because of the distance that members have from each other. Not being physically close prevents the kind of "in the hall" type of communication that can occur within a workplace. On the other hand, people may like the ability to have communication seen in a visual mode that allows for review and possibly creativity? (Amabile)
As we come to closure for this project, I realize the importance of being flexible when it comes to working with groups using CMC. Everyone brings different personalities, strengths and weaknesses to the project. However when we recognize this and collaborate successfully, the result from group work can be very productive relative to learning and results!