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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 ?
se specialise dans l'organisation et la supervision dans leur totalite du transport multimodal et du groupage maritime.
Within the scope of this cooperation, both companies have increased their respective revenue in the groupage segment to and from Spain by over 20 percent annually.
Azkar is one of the biggest Iberian logistics providers and market leader in the Spanish groupage segment.
Services include: Roadfreight Groupage and full trailers to and from Europe as well as around the UK Seafreight Conventional, FCL and LCL imports and exports all over the world Airfreight From small courier shipments to large freighter-type cargo Abnormal Loads Johnson Partners is experienced in moving large and out of gauge pieces by road, sea and air.
The navigation on this line will happen every 14 days and will be made with a ro-ro/container which is able to load every kind of goods, products in containers, rolling stocks and diggers, cars and new and old trucks, various goods stocked in pallets, project-cargos for the oil and gas industry, groupage.
If stocks of the same product code are already present in the coldstore, groupage will be initiated after new production is forwarded.
The most bothersome point is that the third portrait of the first five is of avarice (Ikey and the golden apples), but Dante puts the purgation of that sin on the fifth cornice, in the second, or the upper, groupage.
1, as a result of the analyses made by the specialists in logistics, about the availability of some transport capacities at the level of the carriers market, it results that, in state 1, decision 1, for the palletized materials and products there exists the probability that 70% of them to be shipped by causeway, with a palletized unit loads groupage, at a cost of 30.
DSV, the third largest road operator in Europe, is better known for its groupage services so Mr Timms has been tasked with building the full load market, including European intermodal and container traffic.
Nigel Baxter, a director of RH, said: "We will put 15 of the trailers into the European groupage operation before the end of the year and the rest will come into service in 2010.
From today, the company is operating direct groupage services to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Jeddah.
This product aligns perfectly in the groupage segment, being able to carry cartons or pallets within the same network.

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