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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.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Hospital payment based on diagnosis-related groups differs in Europe and holds lessons for the United States.
To do so, the researchers estimate separate models for each hospital and year in which they relate patient billings to diagnoses (defined by "diagnosis-related groups," or DRGs, the classification system used in Medicare prospect payment).
"Differences in the Implementation of Diagnosis-Related Groups across Clinical Departments: A German Hospital Case Study." Health Services Research 42 (6 Pt 1): 2120-39.
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.v.
The cost to the health ministry to send patients to the German hospitals is based on diagnosis-related groups (DRGs), an EU-standard tool for categorising and calculating costs per kinds of treatments.
The differences in continuous variables among 3 diagnosis-related groups and 2 sex-related groups were evaluated by parametric tests.
The glossary has been updated and expanded, and the text has more on Medicare to include Part C and Part D, the conversion of the original Diagnosis-Related Groups system, employer-based insurance, rationing, capitation and salaried physicians, the net-benefit approach and the benefit-cost ratio approach, normal and inferior goods, expectations, and substitution effects, and moral hazard, including Nyman's model.
There have been attempts to align financial incentives through diagnosis-related groups. Gatekeeping by primary care physicians was attempted.
Diagnosis-related groups were developed in the USA, at the Yale University, by a group of doctors, economists, statisticians that were trying to imagine a system for assessing hospital results (the '70s).
These are made-up figures" that have Utile to do with the way Medicare figures reimbursement rates based on "diagnosis-related groups" and other factors.
Yet there is scant mention of patient classification systems (e.g., diagnosis-related groups [DRGs], ambulatory patient classifications, all-patient refined DRGs, resource utilization groups [RUGs], and episode treatment groups) and the corresponding contributions of Yale's R.

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