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Group Dynamics Ch4

Updated 2007-02-07 21:15
Chapter 4

What is a status system? What is ascribed status? What is achieved status? How can status hierarchies be formal or informal?

Status systemThe distribution of power and prestige among a group’s members, including the chain of command.
Ascribed statusStatus given to individuals by virtue of their having some characteristic that a group has designated as prestigious and valuable.
Achieved statusstatus that is earned.
Formal status hierarchies havetitles that separate them.
Informal status hierarchies arewithout the title but is still considered by the group to be a leader.

What are status markers? How can you tell who the high status members of a group are?

Status markersnon-verbal and verbal behaviors that signify status, such as strong eye contact and commanding and interrupting others.
High status members act differentlyThey stand up straighter, maintain eye contact, speak in a firm voice, speak the most, and criticize, command, and interrupt others.
What is a status dues system What happens when a member commits a status violation?
Status Dueshave to prove before you are awarded a higher status.
Status violationwhen low-status members engage in behaviors that are inappropriate given their rank and face resistance from higher-status members.
How does the ethological theory explain ascribed status?Ethological theory-suggest that the physical strength and size of members influences their status in the group. Follows ascribed status which is awarded not earned by their size.

How does expectation states theory explain how status is ascribed in groups? What are performance expectations, specific-status characteristics and diffuse-status characteristics?

Expectation States Theoryproposes that groups make status assignments based on expectations of each member’s ability and potential to contribute to the group.
Performance expectationsAssumptions about the ability of other group members to contribute to the group’s goals, often based on status characteristics.
Specificstatus characteristics-skill or experience related characteristics that influence performance expectations.
Diffusestatus characteristics-Demographically derived status characteristics, such as age, ethnicity, gender or attractiveness.

What is the focus of status characteristics theory? What is status generalization? How does this theory explain the often lower status in group of members from traditionally discriminated against groups?

Status characteristics theoryA branch of expectation states theory that focuses on how status hierarchies in groups will form consistent with statuses that members possess in society at large. If you are a minority in society you’ll be a minority in the group.
What are self-fulfilling prophecies and stereotype threats?Self-fulfilling prophecies- are when our stereotypes lead us to treat stereotyped members differently and this treatment elicits stereotype-confirming behavior from them.
Sterotype threatesHow awareness of others’ sterotypes of us may create performance anxiety and lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How can we change early status assignments? May change as the group situation changes
How can we change early status assignments? They may come torecognize the value of the member
Or How can we change early status assignments? they come torecognize the skills and contributions.
How can we change early status assignments? Be aware ofreserving higher status roles for members of a gender and ethnic group more valued by society.
How can we change early status assignments? Give all membersthe experiences and training needed
How can we change early status assignments? Model assigning status onbasis of true merit.

What is the effect of status differences on members and groups? What is political behavior? What do equity theory and relative deprivation theory say about status differences in groups? What recommendations are made in the chapter for preventing the negative effects of status contests and enhancing group effectiveness?

Status differences isunhealthy for group functioning
Political behaviorActions taken by group members to gain a power of status advantage over others.
Equity theorysays that people desire equity and decide whether what they receive is fair depending on how it compares to what others receive.
Relative deprivation theoryThe perception that one’s group is unfairly given a low status relative to other groups.

Recommendations for preventing the negative effects of status contests:

Question Answer
Model respect and appreciation forwhat each member contributes-low and high status.
Do not make statusa scarce resource for which group members must compete.
Use a fair system toawkward status and it trappings.
Minimizethe influences of status differences on group decisions. Keep titles and seating equal.
Listen tomembers who feel they are not receiving the respect they deserve.

What is power? Explain the different “bases” of power identified by social power theory.

PowerThe ability of a group member to get other members to do what he or she wants them to do.
Legitimate powerwhen a member is seen as having the right to ell other members what to do because of his/her position of authority in the group.
Reward PowerWhen a member has power over other members because he or she controls resources and can administer rewards that other members want.
Coercive Powerwhen a member has power over other members because she or he can deliver punishments to members who do not comply.
Expert Powerwhen a member is able to influence others because of his or her knowledge or expertise
Referent powerwhen others take up the suggestions of a member out of respect and liking for the member.
Information PowerWhen a person has power because he or she possesses information that others want.

What are influence tactics? Which ones are most effective and when? What suggestions regarding the use of power and influence tactics were provided in the chapter?

Influence tactics The specific behaviors that individuals use to wield power and influence others.Rational persuasion, Inspirational appeals, Consultation, Ingratiation, Personal appeals, Exchange, Coalition tactics, Pressure, Legitimating tactics-right to do it,
Most effective influence tactics Dependson the situation. For example coercive strategies are okay for military recruits.
Do you have the most appropriate power base for that tactic?
Higher status members useinfluence tactics
The status of the agent and the target shouldaffect your choice of influence tactics-upward or downward.
Think about the relativecosts and benefits of using a particular style. For example using ingratiation in an upward way appears manipulative or self serving to others.
Enhance your power bydemonstrating your knowledge and expertise. Be honest.
Beingfriendly, warm, positive, and interest in others.
Avoid the use ofcoercive power
Pay attention toothers’ responses to your directives
When socializing a new group beexplicit about the chain of command
Low-status may haveconsiderable power like secretaries and computer people
Influence tactics willchange from culture to culture.
Handle group members who want to dominate byemphasizing norms of cooperation and adopt group decision making.