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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 ?
Considering the previous discussion, this study aimed to examine, in a sample of Portuguese patients in outpatient treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, if a combined treatment modality (group therapy with individual intervention) had better outcomes, when compared to other three types of treatment without group therapy: group receiving intervention based on individual psychological counseling; group receiving intervention based on individual psychiatric counseling; and group receiving intervention based on individual psychological and psychiatric counseling.
It may also be that group therapy specifically is not a treatment of choice.
Within this perspective, some guiding questions for the study could be laid out: Is group therapy effective as a rehabilitation resource for patients with dysphonia?
Other research has focused on the effects of group therapy on specific symptoms that patients with progressive disease face, such as chronic pain, insomnia and fatigue (Thorn and Kuhajda 2006; Hanson, Gvale, Stubhaug and Thayer 2013; Dopke, Lehner and Wells 2004; Bastien, Morin, Ouellet, Blais and Bouchard 2004; Vandenberghe, Ferro and da Cruz 2004).
(16) Our results revealed that spiritual group therapy enhanced quality of life and its psychological and social dimensions as well as spiritual well-being and its religious and existential aspects.
"Findings from the present study suggest that veterans who received mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy reported significant improvement in mindfulness skills after treatment, while there appeared to be little change in mindfulness skills reported by veterans who received present-centered group therapy," the researchers wrote.
My own doctoral research in counseling psychology studied the use of the sweat lodge ceremony as group therapy for Navajo youth with disruptive behavior disorders.
The authors, in response to their findings of the review, present their trial work of Interpretive Group Therapy and Supportive Group Therapy, identifying strong effect sizes among participants who have been recruited into the study based on severity of CG symptoms.
Group therapy encourages people to share problems and feelings with others.
Dance tune 'Dubai', by Norwegian act Proglifter and remixed by Boxer and Forbes, was recently showcased by trance trio Above and Beyond -- who headlined Dubai's 2011 New Year Sandance festival -- on their hit internet radio show 'Group Therapy'.
Participants were two sexually abused girls who participated in cognitive behavioral group therapy. The cases were selected based on the different responses to group therapy.