Monday, March 15, 2010

Group Sizing: Effective or Not?

What stood out to me in this chapter is the discussion about group sizing. As a manager, determining group size is essential to whatever objective you are trying to accomplish. A meta-analysis of eight studies showed: "as group size increased, group leaders tended to become more directive, and group member satisfaction tended to decline slightly" (Kreitner 285).

In a laboratory simulation of group behavior, Bottger and Yetton discovered that to maxamize decision quality, groups should be comprised of no more than 5 members. For objectives other than decision-making, larger groups may prove to be more useful. Although group size is ultimately up to the manager, it is recommended that odd numbered groups are more effective in decision making. Group size can determine the overall performance at hand.

I find this particularly true in the groups I have worked with in the past. The smaller, more intimate groups are usually more straight-forward. The larger groups are more useful in discussions because there are many opinions and perceptive offered.

Source: Yetton, Philip, and Preston Bottger. "The Relationships among Group Size, Member Ability, Social Decision Schemes, and Performance." Organizational Behavior & Human Performance 32.2 (1983): 145-159. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 27 Feb. 2010.


  1. I agree that working in smaller groups helps create better, more compromised decisions and ideas as opposed to having big groups with many people. Controlling the discussions and figuring out similar schedules to meet are harder to do with in bigger groups, and social loafing is more likely to happen in bigger groups due to the many members.

  2. I agree as well. The smaller the group, the better performance and effectiveness the group displays in decision making. When a group needs to be developed for brainstorming ideas, a manager would then put together a larger group to be more effective. It is important to keep social loafing away from your group work. Even with five members in a group, it can still be present. Managers must stick to the different techniques to prevent it.

  3. i to agree smaller the group the more work you get done and more you get to interact with your teammates.The bigger the group the less work, but it takes more time to clearify the objectives and sometimes its easy to misscommunicate your ideas which could be bad in the longrun.