Under organizational behavior comes group behavior, how individual behave when working in group. This paper examines the posible errors that can be found in tasks done in group. The result showed that some of the errors are done on purpose due to laziness of IIUM students. Although, these students are aware of what causes the problems and what they should avoid to have a free-problem group work but they still manage to do them, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Therefore, in reminding them, some ground rules and peer assessment should be adapted in each group. Keywords: free-rider, teamwork, miscommunication, and time management. INTRODUCTION Organizational behavior is the study of individuals and the behaviors they have within an organization and in a workplace setting. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, psychology, communication and management (Organizational Behavior Introduction, Catherwood Library). Group behavior is a part of the organizational behavior in which it falls under the interdiciplinary field of sociolagy, how individual work in small r large groups. Group behaviour differs from mass actions which refers to people behaving similarly on a more global scale while group behaviour refers usually to people in one place and having a coordinated behaviors. The members in a group should each be interdependence (depends on other member’s output as well), have social interaction (there should either be verbal or non-verbal communication), have a perception of a group ( agreeing that they are a part of a group) and mush have common in purpose (to achieve the same goal). Working in groups have their advantages, one of them being, having a collective set of ideas.
Having many people working on the same work allows the work to get not only your input but also from others in the group. This increases the quality, reliability and validity of the work. Although, problems may arise as well, as individuals have their own behaviors and may not be compatible with other people, and that then will effect the quality of your group work’s output. The purpose of this research paper is to investigate the possible errors that can be found in tasks done in groups. In details, the objectives that i want to reach is: 1. to understand how miscommunications can happen in a group among the IIUM students, . to determine whether IIUM students work together when given a group assignment, 3. to understand how time becomes a big constraint when working in groups among the IIUM students. Some terms that may be found in this paper are free-riders, teamwork, miscommunication, and time management. • Free-rider A person that is in a group but not doing any work but still get rewards and benefits from the work done. • Teamwork The collective work that members in a group put in to accomplish the assignment (task/job) that is given to their group. Each one of them gives contribution and work together in harmony in doint the work. Miscommunication When the members are not interacting among each other in doing the work, each are working separately, not knowing the growth of their work and not refereing to one another when one has reached a dead end with their work. • Time management The way that a person manages or allocate their time in doing specific things in terms of whether they are on-time or not. LITERATURE REVIEW Working in groups are complicated because one has to adapt to all behaviors of the group members and if one cannot adapt, problems will start to rise.
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Some students are used to working alone all the time, therefore they will have difficulties in working in group. They will have to listen to other’s ideas, accept them, know how to interact and so much more. Like what Whatley (2009) said, without experience in group working, it will be hard for students to overcome the problems of working in group in which it will show in the quality output of your group’s work. Although, these students may not have the experience, their group members whom might have some (experience), may teach them or can lead the group knowing what and how to do it.
This is the best part of working in groups, the students get to learn from one another. Leaning on one another in the group allows issues to be solved that arises from group work, the students should together come up with some basic rules that each should agree on and follow. If problems are left unsolved or undealt with, it may either grow bigger causing more and more problem but if lucky it would just go away. In either way, the members will be affected as they will feel some tension going around and might not perform as well as they could have.
It is possible to go through the motion of a team project exercise and still not learn fundamental lessons about the essence of working in teams, ranging from communication skill to the ability to motivate others (Wolfe, Student Attitudes toward Team Projects). In the study of Dunne and Rawlins (2000), Hansen (2006) and Prichard, Stratford, & Bizo (2006) taken by Whatley (2009), it is known that a team project in higher level of education can provide a safe environment for learning about group working, with the help of guidance as a base for them to work on.
Ford & Morice (2003), suggests that a micro management strategy should be opted in group assignments that would teach the students about how to act in when in group so that they can prepare themselves for when they enter the workforce. From Chang (1999), in the study, it was found that most students participated well and put effort in the group because they will be assessed by their fellow group members. Therefore, in the ground rules, assessment should be included, too, as Chang (1999) study showed how it motivates the student to perform.
Running on ground rules, communication should be highlighted and stressed on it’s importance when working in group. In cases of free-riders or not distributing equal work among the group members, they should voice out and let other members know how you feel about it and how unfair it is for that to happen. They need to communicate amongst themselves and take part in doing the work. Whether the communications are done in all direction, horizontally or vertically, what is important is that it should be clearly communicated and spoken in language and terms that is able to be understood.
Not only should communication be put in the ground rule but also the importance of time management. Therefore, as Whatley (2009) said, to ensure trust in the group, they (the group members) should agree on some ground rules and follow them. From Whatley (2009) again, she had mentioned that in gaining consensus among all the group members, a group must have some face-to-face meeting as well as having selecting some ground rules in order to have a clear and ambiguous communication in the group. “Conflict involves negotiation, whether it resulted in a Win-Lose or a Win-Win outcome.
Naturally a Win-Win outcome is preferred. ” (Chang, 1999) Free-rider is a serious problem in group work. Students who do not contribute effort and input will effect the other members emotionally, though, most times they do not show. It is very unfortunate that the student still have the decency of wanting their name to be included on submited work. It is all too possible to for students to let others do the heavy lifting of a team project, and yet reap the benefits of the eventual outcome (Wolfe, Student Attitudes toward Team Projects).
It is possible for high levels of individual accomplishment to go unrewarded, or even punished, as a result of the factors beyong their control (Wolfe, Student Attitudes toward Team Projects). Yes, tonnes and tonnes of problems may arise from group work, but it offers some beneficial rewards also. For example, one get to share it’s ideas among the othe groupmates and in turn gets some ideas or feedbacks back from their groupmates. Futhermore, doing work in group eases the workload one has to do if is working alone. In groups, tasks are divided among all members and each are given own responsibilies in the group.
From Ford & Morice (2003) findings, they found that even though students frequently encounter problems working in group but they would still prefer to work in group rather than individually. This shows that, eventhough they had problems but having the knowledge and ideas being shared in groups are more important that it can scratch out the negative side of group work to them. After conducting a statistical analysis on the test scores, it was found that students who participated in collaborative learning had performed significantly better on the critical- thinking test than students who studied individually (Gokhale, 1995).
RESEARCH METHODOLGY This section discusses the methodology of the research. The main purpose of the research is to investigate to investigate the possible errors that can be found in tasks done in groups. To evaluate and assess the student of IIUM, 20 students were selected randomly. Data for the research were collected through questionnaire. This research uses only the quantitative research methodology. The instrument used to collect the data was questionnaire. A set of questionnaire containing 18 questions are divided into 4 sections was newly developed.
Different question types, such as, ranking, yes-no, and open-ended were used in the questionnaire. The different sections of the questionnaire were: i) Background , ii) Communication , iii) Team work iv) Time management. The respondents of the study were the undergraduate students of IIUM from different kulliyyahs. On 3rd December 2011, a total of 20 questionnaires were distributed to IIUM students at different kulliyyahs and all questionnaire was returned. Of these number, 11 were male and the rest, 9, were female. No approval was needed in handing out the questionnaires in IIUM.
During the actual study, questionnaire were distributed at various locations on campus, such as Economics Cafe’, KENMS, mahallah, HS kulliyyah and etc. Data were entered into the computer and analyzed using excel. Results were presented through frequency counts and other descriptive statistics. FINDINGS From the data collected, 11 of the respondents were male and nine of them were female, in which there were five of them who were 20 years old, two were 21 years old, seven respondents were 22 years old, two respondents were 23 years old and four of them were 24 years old.
Most of the respondents are Malaysian, totaling to seven of them and the rest were Singaporean (four), Kyrgyz (three), Vietnamese (three), Indonesian (two) and Siamese (one). Most of the respondents were from Kulliyyah of Economics (six), one were from Kulliyyah of IRK, one from Architecture, one from Law, another one from Education, four being from HS, two were engineering students and the remaining four were from Kulliyyah of ICT. In which four of the respondents were first year students, another four were in their second year, seven being a third year student and five were in the fourth year of studying in IIUM.
Figure 1: Student’s thought on group works [pic] Figure 1 shows the percentage of rankings on what students of IIUM think about group works, whether they like it or they prefer to work individually. As seen in the figure above, only 10% did not like working in groups whereas 25% said it was less preferred. 25% ranked them to be neutral on the issue, while another 25% and 15% of the respondents saying it is preferable and most preferable to work in groups, consequtively. Figure 2: Student’s preferred communication method [pic] Table 1: Communication method ranking |5 |4 |3 |2 |1 | |Call |0 |0 |3 |8 |9 | |Text |0 |0 |2 |5 |13 | |Email/Chatroom |13 |4 |2 |1 |0 | |Meet |7 |7 |6 |0 |0 | | | | | | | | Although, from Figure 2 and Table 1, the respondents showed otherwise. In Figure 2, comparison between the ‘Most prefered’ and ‘Not prefered’ ranks on the communication method is shown just to have clearer view of those who prefered to work in group and those who do not. The data in the table shows the whole data gathered on about how they really communicate with their groupmates. Figure 3 below shows the percentage on the students’ opinion to why miscommunication happens among their group members, in which most of them said because of misunderstanding, that is misinterpreting what one another is saying. 0% of them said because of language barrier (having hard time to commute in mutual language), 20% said it is because there are lack of meetings and the remaining 15% ticked ‘Others’. Those who ticked ‘Others’ said that because they are not able to accept other’s ideas and views. Figure 3 [pic] Figure 4: Experience with free-riders [pic] Figure 4 is for the section on teamwork. In which this figure shows the number of respondents having experience to grouping with a free-rider. As shown, 11 of them said they have and the rest never had. Apart from that, 35% of the respondents said yes that all their members assigned the tasks equally, 10% does not and the highest percentage (55%) said only in some of their groups gives equal work and their other group does not.
Refering to the questionnaire, Question 13 is similar to question 12, this is to make sure that there is reliability in the respondents’ answers, and there is. Basically, for those who answered that ‘only some of their group give out equal tasks’ (55% being 11 in number) said they were given extra tasks. These datas charts can be refered to in the appendix as Figure 7 and 8. Figure 5: Reason for finishing work late [pic] For the time management section, 15 of the respondents said yes it does take a long time for them to finish only their part. Interpreting that into percentage, 75% said yes (can be refered to Figure 9 in the appendix). Figure 5 above are data from those 75% that answered yes to taking a long period to finish own part, those who answered yes only answer this question.
Therefore, seven of them said they are busy with other assignments, five says because the assignment is complicated therefore they need longer time and another three said they are just lazy to do their part earlier. Figure 6: Reasons for late to meetings [pic] In Figure 6, not all 20 respondents are being analyzed on, only thos who answered yes in showing up on-time to group meetings are being analyzed, that is 60%, the other 40% does not come on-time. For a better picture, this data is graphed into Figure 10 in the appendix. Moving on, most of these respondents said they come late because they are busy with other things, four of them said they do not like to be on-time, another four said things always comes up during those times and five of them do nont normally check the time therefore it is either their luck that they came on-time or not.
Apart from asking about the respondents coming on-time, from the collected data none of the respondents’ other groupmates comes early to all meetings, but 7 said their group came early to most meetings, ten said their members came early to some of the meetings and the remaining three said none of them ever came early. DISCUSSION Under the communication part, it can be seen that with 20% respondents saying lack of meetings leads to miscommunication and not almost but all respondents agreed that the best communication method would be meetings. With that, looking at what they answered for the rest of communication part’s question, knowingly that face-to-face meetings are crucial, most of them only communicate through emails and chatrooms leaving with only seven respondents who actually is walking the talk (doing the meetings).
This is supported by Whatley (2009), she had mentioned that in gaining consensus among all the group members, a group must have some face-to-face meeting as well as having selecting some ground rules in order to have a clear and ambiguous communication in the group. Miscommunication happens when they meet less, have language barrier, misunderstand one another, and being unable to accept what others have to say. These seven respondents sees the importance of ‘teamwork’ in accomplishing group works, therefore, they have them. From the analysis, the IIUM students have the awareness on the importance of having quality communication but somehow they are lazy in actually doing the things that would increase their communication’s quality.
By having this meet-ups, all miscommunication can be overcome, even with language barrier, (if and only if the group members do not keep quiet about how they feel and what problems they ecounter with the group or task being assigned) when they have meet-ups and talk out their problems, and making sure each and every members understands the task they are being assigned. One of this paper’s research objective is to determine whether the IIUM students work together in their group, the obvious data that is graphed into Figure 8, shows that 55% of the respondents had been given extra tasks. From the datas gathered it can be seen that there are still those who free-rides on group assignment. Up to 11 respondents have had free-riders as their group member and all of the respondents said their group members would care if there was a free-rider in the group.
Free-riders do not do any work, therefore when a free-rider exist in a group, tasks are not being allocated equally among all members as some of them have to do the task that was assigned to the free-rider. Proving this by the 55% of respondents saying yes that in some groups only that tasks were being distributed equally, other way of looking at it is that some does not distribute equally and another 10% said none of their group ever equally distribute them. Obviously, all members would not know that there is a free-rider until reaching to the compilation date, in which the free-rider do not have any work to send and would be giving excuses for it instead of doing it, and those members who care so much for the assignment would be doing the free-rider’s part of the work. Here are some statements to prove this.
It is all too possible for students to let others do the heavy lifting of a team project, and yet reap the benefits of the eventual outcome (Wolfe, Student Attitudes toward Team Projects). It is possible for high levels of individual accomplishment to go unrewarded, or even punished, as a result of the factors beyond their control (Student Attitudes toward Team Projects). Looking at the time management aspect of the IIUM students, they are very undisciplined in finishing and submiting their part to other member, with a 75% of the respondents says they are usually late. Making their reasons to be because they are busy with other things, the assignment is complicated, and some even said they are just too lazy to get it done early.
These students with this mentality (lazy to get assignment done early) are bad to be having in a group because they like to do things at the very last minute and with constraint in time, quality of work production would definitly not reach the standard. Although, in terms of being on-time at meetings, these respondents showed otherwise. Majority of them are on-time meaning that they do have time management under control. In some aspects the IIUM students are good with time management and in some they are bad. As proven by Chang (1999), in her study, she found that most students participated well and put effort in the group because they will be assessed by their fellow group members. In the peer assessment form, how each member manages their time in coming to meetings or submiting work on-time, should be included as this will motivate the students to manage their time better. CONCLUSION
This study investigates the posible errors that are found in group work. It includes a bit on the importance of teamwork, how to overcome the issues and why the issues rise in the first place. The objectives of this study is to understand how miscommunications can happen in a group among the IIUM students, to determine whether IIUM students work together when given a group assignment, to understand how time becomes a big constraint when working in groups among the IIUM students. In overall, the findings shown that the IIUM students know the importance of group work, how to eliminate problems and so on so forth but they still do not do the things that will cut out problems.
Like in time management, the respondents know that that should be one of the things to be disciplined on but still they do not submit or come on-time due to valid reasons or simply because they are lazy. All the communication, team work and time management are crucial issues that are linked to each other in a certain way. The IIUM students have to overcome the miscommunication problems because when working real jobs later, it is crucial to have a smooth flow of communication amongst all members, because work cannot be completed with quality without communication. Therefore, these students have to start training themselves from now so that it would not affect them later in working life. Without communication, there would be no team work.
Without teamwork, tasks are harder to be accomplised bacause the reason they are being given to work in groups because it would create a better work outcome having variety of ideas coming from each members and that it would quicken up the complition time of the assignment because tasks are divided. Therefore, serious actions should be taken on free-riders because they create dissatisfaction among all the other members in which will lead to stress and tension among the members. Some ideas on how to iradicate some of the group work problems as were shown in Chang (1999), in which peer assessments were done on each group members, in which they have to be honest and truthful about each comment. As for the limitations that were encountered in finishing this research, in which there were not many, searching for articles and journals to do reviews on was a bit of a fuss.
To find the ones that are compatible and having some point being similar to this research was difficult, although successfully, some was found. APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE The data to be collected will be used for academic purposes under the subject LE 4000, strictly. Background 1. Gender:( ) Male( ) Female 2. Age:……………. 3. Nationality:……………………………………….. 4. Kulliyyah:( ) Economics ( ) IRK( ) HS( ) Architecture ( ) Engineering( ) ICT( ) Law( ) Education 5. Level of study:1/2/3/4 Communication For Q6 & Q7, rank them with these; 5 = most prefered, 4 = prefered, 3 = neutral, 2 = less prefered, 1 = not prefered 6. With you working in groups are:……. 7.
Your communication method:( ) Call( ) Text( ) Email/Chatroom( ) Meet 8. Which do you think is the best communication method? (Among the methods given in Q8) …………………… 9. In your opinion, why miscommunication happen? ( ) Lack of meeting( ) Language barrier( ) misunderstanding( ) Others Specify others: ……….. Team work 10. Have you had any free-rider as a groupmate? ( ) Yes( ) No 11. Does your other groupmates care that there is a free-rider/s in the group? ( ) Yes( ) No 12. Do you and your groups equally distribute the work? ( ) Yes( ) No( ) In some groups, yes 13. Have you ever been given extra task to do in the group? ) Yes( ) No Time management 14. Does it take a long time to finish your part of your group assignment? ( ) Yes( ) No 15. If you answered ‘Yes’ to Q15, why so: ( ) Busy with other assignment( ) Complicated assignment ( ) Too lazy to get it done early 16. Are you always on-time for your group meetings? ( ) Yes( ) No 17. If you answered ‘No’, why so: ( ) Don’t keep track of time( ) Busy with other things ( )Things always come up( ) Don’t like to come early 18. How many of your groupmates usually come on-time to group meetings? ( ) All( ) Most( ) Some( ) None Thank you for your time. Figure 7: Equal work distribution pic] Figure 8: Extra task given [pic] Figure 9: Needs long time to complete task [pic] Figure 10: On-time to meetings [pic] REFERENCES Whatley, J. (2009). Ground Rules in Team Projects: Findings from a Prototype System to Support Student. Journal of Information Technology Education, 8, 161-176. Ford, M. & Morice, J. (2003). How Fair are Group Assignments? A Survey of Students and Faculty and a Modest Proposal. Journal of Information Technology Education, 2, 367-378. Gokhale, A. A. (1995). Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking. Journal of Technology Education, 7(1). Chang, V. (1999). How can conflict within a group be managed? In K.
Martin, N. Stanley and N. Davison (Eds), Teaching in the Disciplines/ Learning in Context, 59-66. Proceedings of the 8th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, The University of Western Australia, February 1999. Wolfe A. M. (n. d. ). Student Attitudes toward Team Projects. Organizational Behavior. http://www. ilr. cornell. edu/library/research/subjectguides/organizationalbehavior. html Group Behavior. Wikipedia. 10 November 2011. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Group_behaviour Nishan Wimalachandra. Organizational Behavior. www. nishanw. org Jex, S. M. ,& Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational Psychology: A Scientist-Practitioners Approach. Wiley; 2 Edition.