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Purpose – Leadership is a very large topic with a long history of scholarship. Despite this, existing theories of leadership have been mostly silent about group-level…
Purpose – Leadership is a very large topic with a long history of scholarship. Despite this, existing theories of leadership have been mostly silent about group-level phenomena and challenges that leaders of small teams face. Our chapter begins to address this problem by specifying four functions or challenges that any theory of group leadership should address if it is to be helpful to small-group scholars looking for answers about leading teams.
Approach – In order to identify main group functions that should be managed by leaders and be developed into refined leadership theories, we review both leadership and team studies. Based on the four functions that we establish, we briefly review a selection of major leadership theories that we believe can provide the foundations for new and better group-level leadership theories.
Findings – By using two theoretical categorization (managing individual group members vs. managing group; affective/motivational vs. cognitive functions), we suggest that leaders of small groups deal with the four key leadership functions – (1) managing within-group interpersonal dynamics, (2) within-group coordination of information/resources, (3) group-level affect management, and (4) managing group boundaries for information/resources flow and group identity.
Value – This chapter provides specific group functions that groups and teams scholars can use as a foundation to develop better theory of small-group leadership.
This chapter reviews 30 years of Advances in Group Processes. Its primary purpose is to study the part the series has played in the advances in the study of group…
This chapter reviews 30 years of Advances in Group Processes. Its primary purpose is to study the part the series has played in the advances in the study of group processes that have taken place between 1984 and 2014.
This chapter places the 30 years of Advances in Group Processes in the context of the changes that took place between small groups research in the 1950s and group processes research in the 1980s and beyond.
Analyzing the policies of Advances in Group Processes and its contents, this chapter reflects on its role in the advances in group processes that have taken place since the 1980s. Between 1950 and 1980, small group research reinvented, reconceptualized, and reinvigorated itself as group process research. Between the two periods, small group research, its applied research, and its research programs became increasingly theory-driven and its concept of the group and its levels increasingly analytic. As a consequence of these changes, the concept of the field itself became increasingly analytic. The changes between the two periods in its theory, research, application, programs, and in its concept of the group and the way the field was conceptualized led to marked advances in group process research in the 90s and beyond – to more theory, more impact of it on application, and more, and more cumulative, growth of it. Advances in Group Processes was at once a reflection of the changes that took place between the two periods and a driving force in the advances in group processes research that have taken place ever since.
Advances in Group Processes is a fundamental resource for the development of theory and research on small groups and group processes. This chapter provides an overview of its contributions and places them in the context of the development of the field as a whole.
Basic science, sometimes called “curiosity-driven research” at the National Science Foundation and other places, starts with a question that somehow stays in the mind, nagging for an answer. Such questions really are “puzzles”; they arise in an intellectual field or context, asking someone to fit pieces to an improving but incomplete picture of the social world. What makes a worthwhile puzzle is a missing part in understanding the picture, or a new piece of knowledge that does not seem to fit among other parts. Sometimes creative theorists can imagine a solution to one of the holes in the puzzle. If they are also empirical scientists, they devise ways to get evidence bearing on their ideas, and some of those ideas survive to give more complete and detailed pictures of the world. This chapter is the story of puzzles and provisional solutions to them, developed by dozens of men and women investigating status processes and status structures, using a coherent perspective, for over half a century.1
The relationship between intergroup conflict and intragroup cohesion is a longstanding concern in sociology and related disciplines. Past work suggests that intergroup…
The relationship between intergroup conflict and intragroup cohesion is a longstanding concern in sociology and related disciplines. Past work suggests that intergroup conflict shapes emotional bonds between group members, promotes in-group and out-group stereotyping, encourages self-sacrifice for the group, and changes the social structure of groups. Conflict thus plays an important structural role in organizing social interaction. Although sociologists contributed much to the beginnings of this research tradition, sociological attention to the conflict–cohesion link has waned in recent decades. We contend that despite advances in our understanding of the conflict–cohesion hypothesis, more remains to be done, and sociologists are especially equipped to tackle these unanswered questions. As such, we encourage sociologists to revisit the study of intergroup conflict and intragroup cohesion and offer some possibilities for furthering our understanding of this phenomenon. After reviewing and evaluating the relevant literatures on the conflict–cohesion hypothesis, we consider ways in which a broad range of current theories from the group process tradition – including theories of status, exchange, justice, identity, and emotion – could contribute to understanding the conflict–cohesion hypothesis and how those theories could benefit from considering the conflict–cohesion hypothesis. In doing so, we make a case for the continuing importance of sociology in explaining the link between intergroup conflict and intragroup cohesion.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees constitute one of the largest, but least studied, minority groups in the workforce. This article examines what we know, and what…
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) employees constitute one of the largest, but least studied, minority groups in the workforce. This article examines what we know, and what we need to know, about the career and workplace experiences of this understudied population. The construct of sexual identity is defined, followed by a review of the research on sexual orientation in the workplace. Then an analysis of the differences between LGB employees and other stigmatized groups is presented. Three unique challenges facing LGB employees are identified, and conceptual models are developed that explain underlying processes. Finally, career theories are critically analyzed, and an identity-based longitudinal theory of LGB careers is presented.
Companies inevitably interact and entrench in complex organic systems of business relationships with other. These business networks are not objectively defined, instead…
Companies inevitably interact and entrench in complex organic systems of business relationships with other. These business networks are not objectively defined, instead they are shaped by the subjective perception of actors. This inherent subjectivity is associated with the notion of network pictures, that is, a research tool that researchers or managers can use to grasp practitioner theories. In this chapter, we discuss how the importance of identifying these theories results mainly from underlying principles of sense-making theory, as well as from the idea around performativity. Drawing on these theoretical groundings, this chapter has two objectives: to explore how practitioners actually perceive their business surroundings and to assess the extent of overlapping between (IMP Group) academic theories and practitioner theories. To achieve these objectives, the researchers use a dimensional network pictures model previously developed in the literature to analyze the network pictures of 49 top-level managers across 17 companies from two very distinct contexts or networks: a product-based network and a project-based network. Among other practices, findings illustrate how practitioners tend to simplify what is going on in their complex surroundings, to personalize their relationships with those surroundings, and to think in a stereotyped way. Moreover, the juxtaposition between the captured practitioner theories and academic (IMP Group) theories show that these are not always overlapping, and are in some cases quite the opposite. This research contributes to the ongoing discussion of the importance of grasping actors’ views of the world, arguing that sense-making theory and the notion of performativity are the two main conceptual drivers justifying the urgency in making those views more visible. This research also adds to the research on the impact and suitability of IMP Group theories on managerial thinking and practice. Finally, this research reinforces the current call for further practice-based research in business network contexts.
This paper theorizes the role of shared responsibility in the development of affective group attachments, interweaving ideas from social exchange and social identity…
This paper theorizes the role of shared responsibility in the development of affective group attachments, interweaving ideas from social exchange and social identity theories. The main arguments are that (1) people engaged in task interaction experience positive or negative emotions from those interactions; (2) tasks that promote more sense of shared responsibility across members lead people to attribute their individual emotions to groups or organizations; and (3) group attributions of own emotions are the basis for stronger or weaker group attachments. The paper suggests that social categorization and structural interdependence promote group attachments by producing task interactions that have positive emotional effects on those involved.
We survey and organize over fifty years of theoretical research on status and expectation state processes. After defining some key terms in this theoretical approach, we…
We survey and organize over fifty years of theoretical research on status and expectation state processes. After defining some key terms in this theoretical approach, we briefly describe theories and branches in the program.
We also focus on a few theories that illustrate distinct patterns of theory growth, using them to show the variety of ways in which the research program has grown.
The program structure developed from a single set of theories on development and maintenance of group inequality in the 1960s to six interrelated branches by 1988. Between 1988 and today, the overall structure has grown to total 19 different branches. We briefly describe each branch, identifying over 200 resources for the further study of these branches.
Although the various branches share key concepts and processes, they have been developed by different researchers, in a variety of settings from laboratories to schools to business organizations. Second, we outline some important issues for further research in some of the branches. Third, we emphasize the value of developing new research methods for testing and applying the theories.
These theories have been used to explain phenomena of gender, racial, and ethnic inequality among others, and for understanding some cases of personality attributions, deviance and control processes, and application of double standards in hiring.
Status and expectation state processes often operate to produce invidious social inequalities. Understanding these processes can enable social scientists to devise more effective interventions to reduce these inequalities.
Originality/Value of the Chapter
Status and expectation state processes occupy a significant segment of research into group processes. This chapter provides an authoritative overview of ideas in the program, what is known, and what remains to be discovered.
Following from the cutting-edge work of Stephen Wolfram in A New Kind of Science (2002), in this chapter we propose “a new kind of OB” (organizational behavior) based on…
Following from the cutting-edge work of Stephen Wolfram in A New Kind of Science (2002), in this chapter we propose “a new kind of OB” (organizational behavior) based on the varient approach to theory building and testing. In particular, we offer four simple, yet comprehensive theories to account for individual behavior, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, and collectivized processes in organizations. In each case, two constructs, their association, and the levels of analysis of their operation are proposed. While the four theories proposed here are simple notions, they can explain a variety of complex phenomena and behavior in organizations.