Solution Manual
Book Title
Organizational Behavior 18th Edition

978-0134729329 Chapter 9 Lecture Note Part 4

January 2, 2020
B. Groupthink and Groupshift
1. Groupthink is related to norms.
2. Groupshift
they hold.
b. In some situations, caution dominates and there is a conservative shift, while in
others, groups tend toward a risky shift.
3. Groupthink
a. Groupthink appears closely aligned with the conclusions Solomon Asch drew in
his experiments with a lone dissenter.
would improve effectiveness.
c. Groups that are more focused on performance than learning are especially likely
agree with the majority.
d. Does groupthink attack all groups? No. It seems to occur most often when there is
a clear group identity, when members hold a positive image of their group they
e. What can managers do to minimize groupthink?
i. First, they can monitor group size. People grow more intimidated and hesitant
Leaders should actively seek input from all members and avoid expressing
their own opinions, especially in the early stages of deliberation.
divergent perspectives.
iv. Yet another suggestion is to use exercises that stimulate active discussion of
diverse alternatives without threatening the group or intensifying identity
4. Group shift and group polarization
a. There are differences between group decisions and the individual decisions of
group members.
b. What appears to happen in groups is that the discussion leads members toward a
more extreme view of the position they already held.
i. Conservatives become more cautious, and more aggressive types take on more
ii. The group discussion tends to exaggerate the initial position of the group.
c. Group polarization can be viewed actually as a special case of groupthink.
i. The decision of the group reflects the dominant decision-making norm that
develops during the group’s discussion.
ii. Whether the shift in the group’s decision is toward greater caution or more
risk depends on the dominant pre-discussion norm.
(a) The shift toward polarization has generated several explanations.
(i) It’s been argued, for instance, that discussion makes the members more
comfortable with each other and, thus, more willing to express extreme
versions of their original positions.
(ii) Another argument is that the group diffuses responsibility.
(iii) Group decisions free any single member from accountability for the
group’s final choice, so more extreme position can be taken.
(iv) It’s also likely that people take on extreme positions because they
want to demonstrate how different they are from the out-group.
(v) People on the fringes of political or social movements take on ever-
more extreme positions just to prove they are really committed to the
cause, whereas those who are more cautious tend to take exceptionally
moderate positions to demonstrate how reasonable they are.
d. Using the findings of groupshift?
i. Recognize that group decisions exaggerate the initial position of the individual
members, that the shift has been shown more often to be toward greater risk,
and that which way a group will shift is a function of the members’
pre-discussion inclinations.
C. Group Decision-Making Techniques
1. Most group decision making takes place in interacting groups.
interaction to communicate with each other.
b. Interacting groups often censor themselves and pressure individual members
toward conformity of opinion.
interacting group.
2. Brainstorming is meant to overcome pressures for conformity in the interacting
3. The nominal group technique restricts discussion or interpersonal communication
during the decision-making process.
his or her ideas on the problem.
ii. After this silent period, each member presents one idea to the group.
iii. The group now discusses the ideas for clarity and evaluates them.
4. Each of the group-decision techniques has its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
a. The choice depends on what criteria you want to emphasize and the cost–benefit
b. As Exhibit 9-5 indicates, an interacting group is good for achieving commitment
to a solution, brainstorming develops group cohesiveness, and the nominal group
technique is an inexpensive means for generating a large number of ideas.
II. Summary and Implications for Managers
A. We can draw several implications from our discussion of groups.
B. First, norms control behavior by establishing standards of right and wrong. The norms of
a given group can help explain members’ behaviors for managers.
C. Second, status inequities create frustration and can adversely influence productivity and
willingness to remain with an organization.
D. Third, the impact of size on a group’s performance depends on the type of task. Larger
groups are associated with lower satisfaction.
E. Fourth, cohesiveness may influence a group’s level of productivity, depending on the
group’s performance-related norms.
F. Fifth, diversity appears to have a mixed impact on group performance, with some studies
suggesting that diversity can help performance and others suggesting it can hurt it.
G. Sixth, role conflict is associated with job-induced tension and job dissatisfaction.
Specific implications for managers are below:
a. Recognize that groups can dramatically affect individual behavior in
organizations, to either positive or negative effect. Therefore, pay special
attention to roles, norms, and cohesion—to understand how these are
operating within a group is to understand how the group is likely to behave.
norms do not support antisocial behavior.
c. Pay attention to the status aspect of groups. Because lower-status people tend
to participate less in group discussions, groups with high status differences are
likely to inhibit input from lower-status members and reduce their potential.
d. Use larger groups for fact-finding activities and smaller groups for
e. To increase employee satisfaction, make certain people perceive their job roles
Myth or Science?
Gossip and Exclusion Are Toxic For Groups
This exercise contributes to:
influence on an individual’s behavior
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices for utilizing groups and work teams in organizations
AACSB: Diversity and multicultural work environment; Reflective thinking
The statement is not necessarily true. But it is certainly counterintuitive, so let’s explore the
project, which might limit Alex’s opportunities with the organization, preventing him from
bullying more people. Alternatively, as the gossip spreads, Alex might feel exposed for his
behavior and conform to group expectations against bullying behavior. In fact, according to
research, Alex is likely to cooperate with the group in response to the gossip, and others hearing
What about excluding Alex? There are two types of exclusion in the workplace: leaving someone
out of a group, and ostracizing an individual. Both lead to the same end—the person isn’t part of
the group—but while simply leaving someone out of a group might not send a message of
exclusion, ostracism certainly does. Ostracism is more of a felt punishment than gossip since it is
Can gossip and ostracism work together? Yes, according to a recent study. When subjects were
given an opportunity to gossip about the work of another subject, that subject cooperated more
than before; when the opportunity to gossip was paired with the ability to ostracize, that subject
cooperated to a much greater degree.
Out-Groups: The Interactive Effect of Moral Identity and the Binding Moral Foundations,” Psychological Science (2014): 1554–1562.
Class Exercise
1. Divide the class into groups of three to five students each.
2. Ask each group to discuss gossip and exclusion using social media.
3. Among the things they should address is how gossip and exclusion via social media
differs from face to face interaction. Which is more effective? Which could hurt or harm
a group more?
Teaching Notes
ipwith-drexel-university-e-learning-2-0-conference-march-2011.html) for more information.
MyLab Management
Watch It!
Witness.org: Managing Groups & Teams
complete the video exercise.
MyLab Management
Personal Inventory Assessments
Communicating Supportively
How do you communicate? Take this PIA to determine learn about supportive communication.
MyLab Management
Try It!
Group Behavior
complete the video exercise.
An Ethical Choice
Using Peer Pressure as an Influence Tactic
This exercise contributes to:
Learning Objective: Demonstrate how norms and status exert influence on an individual’s behavior
Peer pressure can be a positive force in some ways. In groups or departments where high effort
and performance are the norms, peer pressure from coworkers, whether direct or indirect, can
encourage high performance from those not meeting expectations. For example, vehicle
accidents at a Ghanaian gold mine were lowered when good drivers, rather than managers or
an unethical practice that unduly influences workers’ behavior and thoughts. And while groups
might pressure others into performing good behaviors, they can just as easily pressure them into
performing bad behaviors.
Should you use group peer pressure? As a leader, you may need to. One recent survey found that
the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2011); and J. Meer, “Brother, Can You Spare a
Dime? Peer Pressure in Charitable Solicitation,” Journal of Public Economics 95, no. 7–8 (2011), pp. 926–941; and L. Potter, “Lack Influence at
Work? Why Most Leaders Struggle to Lead Positive Change,” The Wall Street Journal (May 14, 2013), downloaded on May 28, 2013.
Class Exercise
1. Divide the class into teams of three to five students each.
2. Ask each team to view scenes from the movie The Music Man. The first can be seen at
3. These scenes are important—first is the scene where Professor Hill is looking for a
4. Ask students to evaluate how group pressure is used by Hill to sway the behavior of the
town’s people in the direction he desires. They should evaluate the process as follows:
a. Hill finds a subject that’s important to the townspeople—the morals of their children.
b. Hill persuasively targets that common concern using very persuasive argument about
the dangers, even if they are not really all that serious.
c. His actions at the Fourth of July ceremony thrust the peoples’ opinions into the idea
that occupying the children in a summer band will prevent the moral danger.
d. People come together as a group with a social norm that the band is a legitimate
solution to the common perceived problem.
e. This is a manipulative use of the concept that develops quickly. Could this technique
be used to promote positive behaviors in a group?
Teaching Notes
This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as
BlackBoard 9.1, Breeze, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See
(http://go.secondlife.com/landing/education/) and
ipwith-drexel-university-e-learning-2-0-conference-march-2011.html) for more information.
Career OBjectives
Can I fudge the numbers and not take the blame?
This exercise contributes to:
Learning Objective: Describe how issues of cohesiveness and diversity can be integrated for group effectiveness
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices for utilizing groups and work teams in organizations
AACSB: Diversity and multicultural work environment; Reflective thinking
I’ve got a great workgroup, except for one thing: the others make me omit negative information
Dear Jean-Claude:
The short answer is that, since you are in a leadership role in the group, you may not have the
option of blaming the others. Further, you may be held individually accountable as a leader for
the outcomes of this situation.
Your dilemma is not unusual. Once we think of ourselves as part of a collective, we want to stay
group standing may feel powerful.
So you have a choice: Submit to the pressure and continue misrepresenting your group’s success,
or adhere to the responsibility you have as the treasurer and come clean. From an ethical
standpoint, we hope you don’t consider the first option an acceptable choice. To make a change,
you may be able to use social identification to your advantage. Rather than challenging the group
Science 9, no. 3 (2014): 245–274; M. A. Korsgaard, H. H. Brower, and S. W. Lester, “It Isn’t Always Mutual: A Critical Review of Dyadic Trust,”
Journal of Management 41, no. 1 (2015): 47–70; R. L. Priem and P. C. Nystrom, “Exploring the Dynamics of Workgroup Fracture: Common
Ground, Trust-With- Trepidation, and Warranted Distrust,” Journal of Management 40, no. 3 (2014): 674–795.
This exercise contributes to:
Learning Objective: Distinguish between different types of groups
Learning Outcome: Describe best practices for utilizing groups and work teams in organizations
AACSB: Reflective thinking
Diversity at lower levels of the organization may also be helpful, as companies with more
diverse workgroups have higher financial returns than companies with fewer minority or female
Diverse groups think smarter. When people are asked to work with people who are different from
may also be beneficial. In a murder mystery task, groups with a mix of organizational tenure
were more likely to guess the correct suspect. When cultural diversity of UK businesses were
analyzed, more culturally diverse leadership teams created more new products.
So the next time you’re worried about working with someone you don’t have a lot in common
There is some evidence that having diverse leadership may benefit companies. What about the
research that has shown that diversity is linked to lower employee morale and wellbeing, slower
decision making, and increased conflict? Organizations with more diverse work groups are also
more likely to be sued for discrimination.
when team members don’t openly discuss and acknowledge their differing backgrounds.
Even if employees feel comfortable enough to express themselves, that’s no guarantee that they
will actually get along. Group members with diverse racial, gender, and educational backgrounds
might have a slight advantage over homogenous groups in some tasks. Yet they can be less
to overcome these differences.
It may be tempting to think a diverse team is better, but remember, there’s a reason like attracts
Sources: S. Bailey, “Why Diversity Is Bad for Business (And Inclusion is the Answer),” Forbes, May 20, 2014,
https://www.forbes.com/sites/sebastianbailey/2014/05/20/why-we-should-prioritize-the-i-in-d-and-i/#2c6b0e54600d; D. Rock, H. Grant, and J.
Class Exercise:
1. Divide the class into paired teams of three to five students each.
2. Assign one team in each pair to take the Point position and the other in the pair to take
the Counterpoint position.
3. Have each side prepare a presentation to support its position.
5. Ask the class to vote on the debate that was the most creative, well supported, and
Teaching Notes
(http://go.secondlife.com/landing/education/) and
ipwith-drexel-university-e-learning-2-0-conference-march-2011.html) for more information.

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