KELLER GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT
THE FORGOTTEN GROUP MEMBER
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Course Requirements for
Leadership and Organization Behavior
May 22, 2011
This type of grouping is unique in that they are usually of short duration and do not normally go through all the dynamic stages of group formation, short term project groups if effectively managed will form norm and perform. This dynamic take a strong leader who can focus a group on a specific project with a specific short term goal. It is imperative that the leader ensures the group is onboard and ready to face the challenge at the very first meeting, there may not be another opportunity to make this important assessment. During this initial assessment the group dynamics need to be assessed, what are the expectations of the group, does any member have a particularly difficult scheduled, what are the team strengths and talents and how do we best utilize those talents, how are we going to structure the project, and when and how will we meet to move the project along. In this case Christine has failed to make the required assessment of Mike??™s ability to focus his attention on the project and by doing so she has placed the entire groups mark on the line.
This is where Christine truly dropped the ball. A thorough assessment of the group dynamic would have given Mike a chance to express that he has a very heavy work load. When he missed the first meeting that would have been scheduled around his work load as this was a team limiting factor, Christine should have immediately confronted him to determine what additional factors were affecting his ability to meet group expectations. This would have brought his personal issues to the fore front and his commitment to the group could have been addressed at that point, if his abilities were impaired Christine could have shuffled assignments to ensure proper coverage of the project.
The most humane action would be to carry Mike through the exercise. This will have a negative impact on the group as the rest of the group will have to pick up the slack of Mike??™s non-performance. The group will now all harbor negative feelings towards both Mike and Christine. For Mike because of his unfortunate set of circumstances and toward Christine because of her inability to effectively and efficiently motivate Mike to do his fair share. On the positive side the group knows that Mike will not be producing his share and they can still achieve the desired mark, only it will require a little additional work.
As I believe that everybody should receive a fair chance and had Christine confronted Mike after his first missed meeting and he simply refused to comply with his portion of the group assignment, I am afraid that we would have to relieve Mike of his group responsibilities and membership. Report to the instructor that Mike refuses to comply with his requirements of being a member of our group and that in fairness to the rest of the group we can no longer allow him to participate. As a group the rest of the class will now view us as bad although they are not sure why; as the circumstances of Mike??™s dismissal will only be known to the instructor and the group. The group will now need to work a little harder to meet the group expectations but they are working for the group and all are participation.
Christine was not an effective leader; as she is young and this was one of her first experiences in a leadership position I would hope that she has gained valuable skills and experience from the Mike quandary. As stated above she should have confronted Mike the very first time that he failed to attend a group meeting, especially as we worked our group schedule around his work schedule. As she let this behavior continue she failed the group, Mike??™s inability to perform his tasks were instrumental in the group??™s overall make slipping. Luckily this is in a learning setting and actual jobs were not at stake for her poor performance.