Types of Small Group - QS Study
QS Study

Types of Small Group

Groups are formed to accomplish some objectives. The objectives of group may be completing some kind of task or promoting the interpersonal relationships between the group members. Many groups, however, fulfill both of these objectives. The various groups formed in the organizations for different purposes are discussed below:

Social Groups: Groups of any type should have both social and task dimensions. However, some groups are predominantly social in nature. Examples of these groups would be family and social clubs. These groups satisfy our safety and solidarity needs and they help us in developing self-esteem.

Work Groups: Work groups are formed to complete a particular task. In this group, the group members employ their expertise to carry out the task. Examples of such groups would be workplaces, jury board or board of directors etc. Ivan Steiner has identified several types of work groups, such as:

  • Additive Work Group: In this group, all group members perform the same activity and pool their results at the end. An example of this would be gathering signatures for a petition drive.
  • Conjunctive Work Group: Here group members perform different but related tasks that are required for the completion of a goal. Every group member must complete his or her task in an orderly way so that the group task can be completed. An example of this would be an assembly line, in which each worker performs tasks to manufacture a complete car.
  • Disjunctive Task group: In this group, members meet to determine the best alternative for a problem or issue. There are two types of disjunctive tasks: (i) Judgment Task: Group members must choose one correct answer from all alternatives; and (ii) Decision-Making Task: Group members must choose the best alternative from a set of options. There is no one correct answer for a decision-making group.
  • Contrived or emergent Groups: Some groups form spontaneously, such as a group of friends. Other groups are contrived and they are formed for a specific purpose. Organized clubs, social groups or committees are contrived groups.