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Title: A self-help methodology to analyse groups and map their dynamics
Author: Kosteletos, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 214X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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Groups play a significant role in our lives from a diverse number of perspectives; at work, psychologically, socially and personally. Therefore, it could reasonably be argued that it is imperative for us to seek to gain a deeper understanding of what a group is, how they operate (their dynamics) and which of these elements are important to enable them to function. Simultaneously, it could be argued that it is essential that groups understand each of these factors, which may affect them. If it was possible to identify factors that could enhance their understanding of group life, this may enable them to identify the aspects that need to be in place to strengthen their dynamics. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the construction of a methodology, which brings together some elements of group dynamics to provide a framework that groups can use to reflect on their dynamics and aid their effectiveness. This methodology builds from a number of theories and it is argued that it may allow groups to explore their dynamics and effectiveness (with the guidance of a facilitator in the first instance). This includes an exploration of their behaviours/attitudes to enable them to build an understanding of the cause-effect underpinning these so that they can better understand their dynamics whilst they were at work. The research findings from this study are interesting but the conclusions drawn currently are only tentative, as the methodology needs to be tested further. However, a number of correlations were identified in the research between some elements of group dynamics and their effectiveness. In particular, as shared goals, goal direction, verbal, and non-verbal communication, energy, tension, effectiveness and balance converged the groups attained their goals. This may indicate that balanced dynamics enhance group effectiveness and goal attainment. Additionally, the implementation of this new methodology enabled new patterns to be observed that led to some interesting findings where groups with an informal structure, agenda, roles, and leadership were able to achieve their objectives over a short time period whilst achieving a stronger group dynamic. These findings to some extent contradict those in the management literature (Robbins, 2004; Weick, 1979), which stipulates that groups that have formal structures, roles, tasks and leadership operate more effectively. These patterns of behaviour may not be common to all groups; however, they do challenge the consensus opinion that has been presented by scholars in recent years.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available