The Dynamics of Groups

  • Jonathan H. Turner


This chapter is the first of three on the dynamics of all corporate units, focusing on group dynamics. The macrolevel environments and fields of all corporate units are emphasized in the first portion of this chapter. The two dimensions of macroenvironments—fields and resource niches—are given particular emphasis. Then the structure and culture of corporate units in general are examined, with an emphasis on variations in their structure with respect to size, clarity of status order, hierarchy of authority, centralization of decision making, boundaries, distributions of categoric-unit members in their divisions of labor, embeddedness in an institutional domain, and mechanism integrating corporate units within an institutional domain. Next, the cultural variations in corporate units are examined with an eye to the generalized symbolic media used by members of corporate units to form corporate-unit culture (ideologies and norms). The microlevel environment of all corporate units is then examined, emphasizing interpersonal processes among individuals in encounters within divisions of labor of corporate units. In particular, the emotional responses of individuals and their experiences in encounters are stressed since these emotions have large effects on whether individuals are committed to corporate-unit goals and divisions of labor or, alternatively, alienated from, or motivated to change, the structure and culture of a corporate unit. After this overview, this chapter turns to group dynamics in particular, examining their macro- and microlevel environments. Then, key dynamic processes are examined: group size, status-organizing processes, tasks and responsibilities, emotional arousal, commitments, alienation, sense of efficacy, intersections or consolidations with parameters marking categoric-unit memberships, need states, roles, culture formation, ecology, and demography. This chapter closes with an abstract set of principles on group dynamics as they operate within macro- and microlevel sociocultural environments.


Positive Emotion Status Belief Stratification System Expectation State Categoric Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan H. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California at RiversideRiversideUSA

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