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Negative Effects of Group Cohesion?
While groups, particularly groups that function as teams, have numerous benefits. There are also certain negative attributes commonly associated with groups.
Cohesion is generally a positive group attribute. It can also lead to groups function as teams. High levels of cohesion can have negative impacts on individual member productivity and group performance.
High levels of cohesion can cause pressure for members to conform their behavior to adhere to group norms. In an effort to maintain civility and not be criticized or ostracized by other members, individuals stop voicing their individual opinions. This sacrifices diversity of thought and critical feedback from group members.
This can further close off the group from external inputs and ideas. This has a tendency to result in an inability to see environmental changes. It also results in groups adopting extreme ideas that go unchallenged.
“Groupthink” is a further result of a failure of a diverse and critical input. It leads to flawed decision making caused by reductions in mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.
High levels of cohesion can also result in group members spending more time interacting socially than working on individual tasks.
Further, high levels of cohesion and common though can cause group goals that may begin to diverge from organizational goals. Cohesion is marked by acceptance of group norms.
The method of avoiding the complacency and drifting of group goals is to integrate a high level of focus on task completion.