In my circle of friends, we are more bounded by our commonalities in interests. There, we are free to do what we cannot do at work; thus, we are more relaxed and so we experience less stress. We can get emotional if we want. At work, that is a big “no”. A political structure is also visible in my workplace group, as I am their supervisor and they are my subordinates. This political structure is important to keep the group functional. In my other group there is no solid politics involved. Everyone can play any role they want. One can be the initiator, or perhaps he can be the planner.
One can be a mediator, or one can easily take sides on disputes. One can come out with a really strong personality, or he can be quiet in the corner. One can be the life of the party or he can be a killjoy. And so the list of roles goes on. Moreover, one can have shifting roles over time. Ironically, this lack of political structure keeps the group functional though. As a conclusion, let me verbalize this theory in group psychology that I believe would best summarize my two groups. It is called the Emergent-Norm Theory (Aguirre, et al. , 1998). It simply says that groups are not irrational.
However, if similar interests draw people together, distinctive patterns of behavior may emerge in the group itself. Members of a certain group make their own rules as they go along. Thus, group behavior reflects the desire of its members, but is also guided by norms that emerge as situation unfolds (Killian and Turner, 1993). Recommendations As a basis of my recommendations, I would like to mention and then discuss shortly M. Scott Peck’s four stages of community. Chronologically, the four stages are Pseudocommunity, Chaos, Emptiness, and True Community.
Pseudocommunity is a stage where the members of the group pretend to get along with each other. They cover up their differences by simply ignoring them. In this stage, the job of the leader is to shorten this period as much as possible. The next stage is called Chaos. Here, members start to fail upon each other, and so mutual disagreements take place. Chaos is a time when the group members realize that they cannot pretend anymore that their differences do not exist. This stage seems to be counterproductive but according to Scott Peck, it is the first genuine step towards community building.