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  1. a collection of people who interact with each other, are aware of each other and see themselves as a group. Very small groups, where each member knows the others well and can interact in a face-to-face manner, are often termed primary groups. Those with a larger membership where individuals are unable to interact directly with all the members are called secondary groups. Much of the work conducted in ORGANIZATIONS is done by groups. Work groups may take the form of either a number of people undertaking a particular task, directed by a manager (see MANAGEMENT) or SUPERVISOR, or a team in which coordination of a range of activities takes place and where status is more equal. The distinction is not a hard and fast one, but groups of production workers are generally referred to as ‘work groups’ whilst groups of managers tend to be referred to as teams. Both are formal groups in that they are consciously established to chieve certain work goals. By contrast, informal groups are those which emerge naturally, are based primarily on friendship, shared attributes or status, and whose membership does not necessarily coincide with that of formal groups. An early indication of the importance of social groups in organizations was provided by the HAWTHORNE STUDIES and exemplified in HUMAN RELATIONS philosophy The Hawthorne researchers found that informal groups could emerge alongside formal groups, with work norms which contradicted those of management. An earlier investigation in the research programme, however, seemed to find that a style of management (see MANAGEMENT STYLE, LEADERSHIP) which displayed an interest in workers could help collections of workers to cohere into effective groups, committed to managerial goals.

    Subsequently managers have adopted a variety of means to influence the activities of groups so as to harness them in support of managerial goals. One such measure is basing pay or bonuses on group output, so as to provide a stimulus to group members to work effectively together and to pressurize recalcitrant members into following group policy. Similarly, the creation of ‘semiautonomous work groups’ (see JOB DESIGN AND REDESIGN) with the power to allocate group members' tasks is designed to heighten both group cohesion and commitment to effective task performance. However, a question that still nevertheless vexes managers is why some groups are effective whilst others are not. For this reason substantial research has been conducted into group development and dynamics (i.e. the stages of growth that they go through and the patterns of interaction within them). One approach has suggested that groups go through four stages of development:

    1. forming (i.e. getting to know each other);
    2. storming (initial conflict as individuals compete for leadership positions and to influence the direction taken by the group);
    3. norming (the establishment of shared values);
    4. performing (where the group utilizes its strengths to perform desired activities). Many groups find difficulty in moving beyond the second and third stages. Team-building exercises, to encourage group cohesion, are an attempt to solve such problems. Research has shown that individual contributions to groups differ, and that in some cases they are effective whilst in others they are not. Management writer Meredith Belbin (1926-) has argued that each individual has a preferred team role and a secondary role which he or she adopts if unable to occupy his or her preferred role. These roles are chairman (setting the agenda), shaper (defining the task), plant (generating ideas), monitor/evaluator (evaluating ideas), company worker (organizing the group), resource investigator (seeking out resources), team worker (maintaining group cohesion) and finisher (ensuring deadlines are kept). On the basis of research of this type managers have attempted to influence group performance by selecting appropriate team members.

    Whilst team working is generally thought to be a useful approach to achieving organizational goals, it can have negative effects. The most damaging of these is groupthink, where pressures towards group conformity stifle creativity. See TEAM BREIFING.

  2. a collection of interrelated JOINT-STOCK COMPANIES which usually consists of a HOLDING COMPANY and a number of SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES and ASSOCIATED COMPANIES which tends to operate as a single business unit.
References in periodicals archive ?
The definition of prospective payment system based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs-PPS) is prospective payment management system based on DRGs,[3] which means that the diagnoses of diseases with similar treatments are classified into certain related groups according to the international classification of diseases, and the grouping results are used as the basis in calculating the payment standards for medical institutions in charging patients as well as medical insurance organizations.
Diagnosis-Related Groups in Europe: Moving towards transparency, efficiency and quality in hospitals.
Appendix A--List of abbreviations MoHSS ministry of Healthcare and Social Services AC (Spanish) autonomous Community / Region ICD International Classification of Diseases DRG Diagnosis-related group AP-DRGs An Patients Diagnosis-related groups APR-DRGs All Patients Refined Diagnosis-related Groups IR-DRGs International Refined Diagnosis-related Groups CMS-DRGs medicare Diagnosis-related groups DEP_CCR % contributed to overall hospital cost for a department DRG_CCR % contributed to overall hospital cost for a DRG CC complications (DRG name abbreviation) m.
Under Medicare, hospitals generally receive fixed payments for inpatient stays based on diagnosis-related groups (DRG), a system that classifies stays by patient diagnoses and procedures.
For the next fiscal year, CMS is still using a cost-based method but with updated data, and is proposing to adjust payments based on illness severity with a new set of Medicare Severity diagnosis-related groups (MS-DRGs).
The agency also is embarking on an overhaul of the diagnosis-related groups by creating 20 new DRGs and modifying 32 existing DRGs in 2007 to more accurately adjust for patients' severity of illness.
MedPAC data indicate that specialty hospitals tend to concentrate on certain diagnosis-related groups (DRGs), treating relatively lower-severity patients within them, and lower shares of Medicaid patients.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), if directed by the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC), could create a new series of procedure-specific diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) for transplants performed on patients with complicating conditions, just as it already does for many other surgical procedures.
For the sake of simplicity, no mention was made of diagnosis-related groups (DRG) for hospitals or the Medicare resource-based relative value scale or other physician payout systems.
Nosocomial infections, diagnosis-related groups, and study on the efficacy of nosocomial infection control: economic implications for hospitals under the prospective payment system.
Information tools: The 1996 plan introduced, on a general basis, tools for measuring the performance and productivity of each hospital by comparing their relative costs by diagnosis-related groups (DRGs).
The cost could be passed all the way down to transfusion services, but because hospital transfusion services fall under diagnosis-related groups, there will be no way to directly recoup the expense.