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Research paper topic: David, Mary And Erica - 1296 words
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.. he rest of the group made their own. For example, David had broken down the work and told everyone what they were responsible for, when they would take lunch and how he was going to deal with a problem like this if it occurred again. The group stuck to his order quite closely at first, but we slowly brought it to a level that we were all comfortable at. David had told Paul that he was to give Mary his best work, that she was there to catch David's mistakes not Paul's.
He told Mary that whether Paul is actually a good writer didn't matter because it was her responsibility to make sure the courts will accept the material. Erica was given the responsibility of getting everything necessary to client's and keeping the office organized, but without saying it, she was given the duty of keeping Paul and Mary in-line. After about a week of following his orders, they started to settle into their own regime, knowing that if they step on anyone's toes they could lose their jobs. Mary started picking up some of Paul's slack and Paul made sure his work was up to a certain level before it left his office. Now they were overlapping, doing a little extra on each end which was bringing them together.
When Erica was added to the mix, a friendly tone appeared. They were now doing work at the same time. If Paul started a project he told Mary and Erica what he was doing to they could all work on it. This way they would finish about the same time and one project could be finished in less than a day. The communication level increased as well as the comfort level.
As a result of this ability to work together, the group was clearly at the working (performing) stage. Now that everyone was working together and on the same project, there was more added to the group. They could discuss any problems with the project and move on. While working through the project, I noticed everyone working on a personal level. There was small talk at first, than more personal conversation.
Before long they were able to discuss life and issues in their everyday lives as well a finish a project in a third the time it would have taken them during the conflict stage. Without any intentions, the work group was meeting up outside of the office at different functions, and enjoying each other's company. However, the most important aspect was never lost, production. Because production was so high, both Mary and Erica had the opportunity to really learn about the law. Everyone started gaining in so many different ways.
They haven't really reached the dissolution (adjourning) stage, mainly because they make such a good team. There had been a few different Erica's and Mary's within this group, but they seemed to reach the dissolution stage too soon. Since cohesion is multidimensional, I wanted to examine the different aspect of cohesion and how they apply to this group. Cohesion, in this case, is definitely a social force. Cohesion is the aspect that was keeping them together, and helping them work with one another.
It was obvious that they were working in group unity. They constantly spoke of themselves as a team. If one was out for the day, the entire office seemed to go on hold. Everyone's job was important to the group and its production. The had working as a team down to a science, where they could reach new levels between each other without hindering their production. Which would also apply to the teamwork aspect of cohesion.
I think the group had both personal and social attraction between its members. Everyone seemed to have their own relationship with each member after sometime. As a group we all had relationships with one another. Their separate relationships were possible because they had developed a liking for each other as a part of a group. This was the point where I had the courage to do a sociogram. If you look at appendix A you can see that I asked two questions (at separate occasions).
First I asked who you feel you work the best with. Than I asked who you liked the best. I found it very interesting that everyone felt they worked the best with the person closest to their level. Paul chose David, and David chose Paul, likewise, Erica chose Mary and Mary chose Erica. Take into consideration that David and Paul do very similar work and a Mary and Erica also work on a comparable jobs.
As far as the person everyone liked the best, was the most interesting of all. Everyone seemed to choose the person right above them. Erica chose Mary, Mary chose Paul, and Paul chose David. I thought this may be so because everyone saw how the person above them had to adjust to work with them. Although, David chose Erica, and I think that has to do with the fact that Erica was the lightest of the group. She didn't have stress the other individuals in the group had, which is why she was able to mediate in the beginning.
This cohesion has brought the group to a level where their task work never really falls below disjunctive. More often than not they work with results of additive or compensatory. They work at everyone's best level and pull the others up with them. They work as a group, considering and needing everyone's input. They also have their size in their favor. Because the group is so small they really aren't affected by the Ringelmann effect, although I can see where that would apply if the group did increase, mainly because there would not be enough work for more people so someone would have to loaf a little.
At this point, there is no room for social loafing. Everyone is needed to do their specific job. I'm sure they could use some work on motivation, but I don't see their motivation as a problem. As of now they work nicely together, and keep each other motivated. I feel that if they set higher standards they may produce more, or if they increase their unity a little more they may perform a little better. Altogether though I think the five stages have brought them to a level where they preform close to their best.
While observing this group and applying it to the concepts we have learned in class, I am definitely seeing how and why the five stages to developing cohesion are so important. The orientation stage is inevitable. Whenever you are thrown into a group you have to feel the members out and be on you best behavior until you become settled. To become settled you have to have some sort of conflict. The problem come when a group doesn't leave either of these stages. If you don't ever conflict with anyone else, you will be stuck on an impersonal, unreal polite stage.
Once you conflict, it is important to work though that so you can reach a point where you can really work with the other members in the group. This structural stage is very important so as to acquire trust and relationships, and develop roles that everyone can work with. All of which is important for the development and production of the group. With this worked out the group can then move to a level of pure performance. Then when the group is finished it will dissolve, breakdown and eventually finish up.
Even though this group has not reached this level, I think it was a great representation of the importance of each step toward cohesion and eventually outstanding production. APPENDIX A Social Issues Essays.
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