Informal Group Dynamics
The informal group norms ( values) dynamic
The final characteristic of informal groups is the establishment of the groups norms (values). As we discussed earlier, norms keep a group functioning as a system instead of a collection of individuals.
Norms are of great importance to the informal group in controlling behavior and measuring the performance of members. Because norm (values) violations threaten a group's existence, departures from the norm usually carry severe sanctions. The members must either conform or sever their group affiliation.
The latter action is unlikely, especially if the individual values group membership to satisfy certain needs.
Two points are important to note about the norms of informal groups.
- First, where both formal and informal norms exist, the informal norms transcend the formal. At moments when norms conflict with organizational objectives, organizational effectiveness suffers.
- Second, members of an informal group may be unaware that the norms of the group influence their behavior. Norms are particularly potent because without knowing it members would not even think of acting otherwise-norms are that ingrained into their behavior pattern.
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