Group Dynamics: An Observational Case Study in Group Behaviour
Group dynamics encompass a system of complex interactions and behaviours influenced by social norms and individual motives. This study analyzes three key areas of group behaviour: formation, structure, and conflict. These areas are explored through a comparative approach, juxtaposing in-class group experiences with relevant peer-reviewed literature. The study of group behaviour, a popular topic in scholarly literature, has versatile applicability, including understanding group decision-making and facilitating teamwork. However, what remains unknown is the generalizability of research findings. This observational case study of group behaviour shows the development of structure and norms by an in-class group. The in-class group, consisting of four members, met weekly to work on a variety of academic tasks over 12 weeks for a Behaviour in Groups course at York University (Toronto, Canada). Both the psychology literature and the in-class group experiences reveal that group formation, structure, and conflict resolution are all dynamic processes, and that challenges and conflicts are inevitable. The findings of this observational study present support for previous research on social influences, group developmental stages, and the negative impact of group members’ conflicting perceptions of task conflict on task performance.
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