Groups and Formal Organizations
Chapter 6: Sociology, Schaefer, 1995-2012
Consumption and Group Behavior
- Nicole Woolsey Biggart
(1989):Charismatic, Missionary zeal, Female, often homemakers.
- Dimaggio (1990): income,
marital power and sense of community, but "pre-feminist."
Mary Kay, Avon
People as Joiners
- Humans as Social Animals
- Groups and their impact
on social interaction.
- Or, maybe not...
- Or, maybe
Side of the Internet. Pew Internet & American Life Project.
January 18, 2011.
- A collection of people
interacting together in an orderly way on the basis of shared norms, values
and expectations about one another's behavior.
- vs. aggregate, vs.
- Groups develop their
own internal structure: norms, value, statuses, roles. They can be rigid and
formal or loose and flexible.
- There is a sense of
belonging, individuals identify with the group. Outsiders are distinguished
from members and treated differently.
- Groups are formed
for a PURPOSE--specific or diffuse.
- People in a group
tend to be similar, and the more they participate, the more similar they become.
- Groups and changing
TYPES OF GROUPS:
and Out Groups
- Ethnocentrism, often
fostered by the group
- Feeling of distinctiveness
- "In group virtues/Out
- Any group we use to
evaluate ourselves, don't necessarily belong.
- Normative function: set
and enforce standards of conduct and belief.
- Comparison function:
a standard by which people can measure themselves or others.
- Anticipatory socialization.
- Pain and Religion: Jews
and Protestants, Jews display 20% greater tolerance.
- Marketing: Target Groups-
- May be primary or
- Interaction is simultaneous
- Patterns and predictability:
Cecilia Ridgeway: non-verbal behavior and dominance--eye contact, posture
Most important determinate of the type of interaction. As size increases,
structure changes, and therefore interaction.
- Simmel: Small group as
distinctive, not needing formal structures found in larger.
- Dyad: unstable and intense,
members must take each other into account.
- Triad: stability, 3rd
as unifier, mediator, coalitions (deals, negotiations), divide and rule.
- Range in size from 2-20:
Up to 7 or 8, all can take part in interaction.
- Qualities of activity
varies as the relative number increases: dominance, non-participation, etc:
The smallest groups are more constraining, but offer more intimacy and individuality;
As size increase, freedom increases, but intimacy declines and the emerging
group structure tends to limit individuality.
- 6 vs. 12 person juries:
No difference on not guilty, but juries with 12 members are more hesitant
to produce a guilty verdict.
- As more people are added
to the group, complexity increases, subdivisions appear.
- At 10-12 formal leaders
- Gradual change is
accommodated, sudden change disrupts interaction and there is often resistance.
- Always present, product
of group needs and situation.
- Two types of leaders:
- Instrumental: task
oriented, planning and directing.
- Expressive: consensus
building, within group support.
- Both roles may be performed
by a single individual, but often there are two different "leaders."
- Leaders tend to fall
from popularity, especially instrumental.
- Authoritarian: Orders
and organizes. Directs (less likely to accept input from members).
- Democratic: Solicits
group input, coordinates joint efforts.
- Laissez-faire: "Hands-off"
- Leadership style
is relevant to type and purpose of group.
- Minorities often less
active and less committed.
- Basic inequalities reproduced
in group context.
- Determinate vs. indeterminate
- Room Size: Big room--members
will group together, small room, members spread out.
Chair Comfort: Distractions.
- Table Shape and chair
placement: Sides and opposition.
- All these factors (and
more) shape the interaction that occurs
- Large secondary groups
that are deliberately and rationally designed to achieve specific objectives.
- Carefully designed structure.
- Status clearly separated
from the individual.
- Designed for efficiency:
- Vary in size.
- Fulfill a variety of
personal and social needs.
- Impact all our lives.
- So dominant that we create
formal organizations to supervise and coordinate other organizations.
- Link to emergence
of centralized governments: Incas, Egypt, China
- Coordination of agricultural
development: irrigation networks.
Growth and Dominance
- Crafts and Guilds
- Industrialization: Regulate
work force, Large scale coordination.
- Mass production, maximize
profit. As technology improved, sophisticated management emerged to maximize
production in order to serve new markets brought about by improved transportation
and consumer demand.
Increasing controls and standardization, Irrationality, Technological dominance
Associations--around 22,000, 30% up since1980.
- AAA=29 million members
- School Bus Manufacturers=5
- Functional in shift
from community based to formal base: Mutual Aid Societies.
- Wide variety of
reasons and types: Self-help; AA new image of self and biography.
- Not random: Membership
takes $, SES higher, female and 1/5 male exclusively.
Side of the Internet. Pew Internet & American Life Project.
January 18, 2011
- Mediate government/individual:
- Training in organization
- Minority representation:
- Social control and
regulation: impose norms, assist in government activities: resettle refugees,
Drug awareness and prevention, neighborhood watch.
- Little credit for skills
developed through volunteer work
- Often viewed as
"female" work, filling the days of the wives of the Captains of
- Self expression
- Reference groups
WEBER: IDEAL TYPE
Title vs. Power
in Unusual Cases, Goal Displacement, Subversion: "Work to the Rule"
Chefs," Goal Displacement
Personality, Alienation of Clientele
as a Process
Evolution of Bureaucratization: McDonaldization
as a negotiated Order:
Blau-FBI; rather than
look stupid and ask supervisor, develop strategies, "interesting case,"
in order to solicit advice from peers.
(Roy, 1959): How workers informally structure the work environment to make
it more meaningful. How productivity and satisfaction relate more to the quality
of informal social interaction than to the official rules and rewards of the
$, performance standards, hard supervision, worker as another machine.
- Human: informal
groups, human needs, Hawthorne Plant
vs. informal rules; chiseler; rate buster.
- Bureaucratic enlargement
- Goal succession (some
avoid: Rooney and Skid row missions-succeed through failure; also DEA) and
goal multiplication (YMCA)
- Technology: social networks, the internet, mobile computing.
(Rainie, Lee and Wellman, Barry. 2012. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.)
- The globalization of work
- From "atom-work" to "bit-work": Shift from making things to selling, describing and analyzing (Richard Florida's "creative class": USA from 22% in 1960 to 43% in 2006)
- The internet and the mobile revolution have accelerated the shift to "networked work." Connections and collaboration.
- Distanciation. Sharing, communicating across vast distances: work form anywhere and at any time.
- Mobility: "road-warriors"
- The Networked Organization: reduction in hierarchies, formalization of informal processes, variety and sharing--breakdown of boundaries. "Switchboard" versus "Fish Bowl" operation, working on multiple projects an in multiple teams, blurring the home-work boundary.
to small group dynamics
changing structure of society