Group dynamics relates to various unseen forces occurring within a social group or between a social group. These unseen forces are behaviors and psychological processes occurring in a particular group. Group dynamics influence how a group behaves and performs (Team technology, n.d).
The study of group dynamics can be useful in understanding decision-making behavior, racism, sexism and other forms of social discriminations.
Two types of group dynamics are found. One is intragroup dynamics (refers to within-group) and other is intergroup dynamics (refers to between two or more groups) (Team technology, n.d).
Intragroup dynamics refers to the underlying processes that give rise to a set of pattern, roles, communion, and collective objectives that typify a particular social group. These groups can be political-religious, workgroups, environmental groups, sports groups, etc. The dynamics of a particular group are affected by the fact that how the boundaries of the group are defined. The groups can be further narrow down to subgroups. For instance, the residents of London can be defined as one group. However, more specifically the subgroup can be people living in Central London or East London (Griffin, 2011).
More importantly, the study of the groups on the broader levels can be termed as studying the dynamics of the culture.
Intergroup dynamics refers to the behavioral and psychological relationship between two or more groups. Inter group dynamics are related to the cognition, endowment, ideology, and behaviors towards not only for one’s own group however towards another group. At times inter group dynamics are positive and beneficial especially when some research teams re working together for the achievement of a particular assignment. However, at times the intergroup dynamics can create conflicts between the groups (Griffin, 2011).
The technological tools for the interaction of the groups include email, bulletin board, information pool enabling hidden communication etc. the technological tools have their pros and cons while dealing with the group dynamics.
The advantages include that technology provides a high degree of interactivity” between groups who are separated both geographically and temporally. This helps them in understanding and creating sync among each other. Another advantage includes that technology helps a diverse population of people working in-groups the accessibility of the information that can be shared easily.
Another advantage is the speed of obtaining and transferring opinions and information. The sync in-groups are created with a lot of integration. Hence, the technology provides the facility to communicate very easily and quickly that mitigates a lot of confusions and misunderstandings, thus resolving the potential conflicts (Magia3e, 2007).
However, the disadvantages of using the technological tool include the absence of physical presence. As per the psychologist, human beings are social animals that need interaction among each other. The technology creates barriers against the physical presence and lack of emotional factor. Thus using the technology cannot create the association that could be created through the physical presence (Griffin, 2011).
The technological tools also at times become reasons for the confusions and misunderstanding due to non-proper interpretation of the meaning of the sender. The receiver can interpret the meaning of the sender’s message based on its own perceptions and opinions thus creating the conflicts.
However, we can infer that besides the disadvantages the prudent use of technological tools can help mitigate the conflicts of group dynamics. However, the human element cannot be neglected that can only be best described in the physical presence (Griffin, 2011).
Griffin, R.W. (2011). Management. (10th edition). New York: Houghton Mifflin
Magia3e.(2007). Social computing—the effect of group dynamics and
interpersonal interaction on adoption behavior. Retrieved December 08, 2011 from. http://magia3e.wordpress.com/2007/07/06/social-computing-the-effect-of-group-dynamics-and-interpersonal-interaction-on-adoption-behaviour/
Team technology. (n.d). team dynamics. Retrieved December 08, 2011 from.