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MGT 554 Group Dynamics

Get the most out of your team.

8 weeks

Being part of a successful team — the team that seals the deal, makes the deadline, and meets its goals — can be exhilarating. Being part of a dysfunctional team — the team that doesn’t get along, can’t communicate effectively, and doesn’t understand everyone’s role — can be excruciating.

Course Overview

Why do we work in groups? The simple answer is to accomplish goals and tasks that we can't do by ourselves. Ideally, each member of a group plays an important part in reaching the collective goal and feels productive, appreciated, and fulfilled by their participation. If you have experience working in groups, you may realize that this ideal isn’t always achieved.

So how do you change that? How do you ensure that the groups you participate in and/or manage are both effective and happy? In MGT 554, you’ll compare group dynamic theory and practice to see how individual and group behavior systems are designed to best use a company’s human resources.

Your Flex Fit

Where does this course fall in your Flex curriculum?
MGT 554 is one of this program’s miscellaneous elective options.

During this course, you’ll work in a small group and you’ll be able to use your participation in that group as a mirror to reflect the behaviors and techniques covered in course content.

As you explore leadership, conflict, structure and the stage of group development, you’ll see the processes that are shaped by group structures. Different types of roles are common in groups and you’ll see how these roles are filled and how they influence group members.

The predictability of a group’s stages of growth will become apparent to you. In fact, as you see how groups evolve, you’ll understand that it is easier to predict group behavior than individual behavior.

Bruce Tuckman developed a framework for group development and you’ll explore topics and concepts regarding each of his model’s five stages.

  1. Forming
    A group of people is brought together to work in a team. Behavior is polite as team members get to know each other and determine their places in the group.
  2. Storming
    Conflicts in working styles become apparent and group members push against the boundaries of polite behavior.
  3. Norming
    Differences are resolved as the group starts to appreciate each others’ strengths and respect the authority of the group leader.
  4. Performing
    The group is firing on all pistons, working hard toward their goal without friction.
  5. Adjourning
    Groups dissolve, for any number of reasons and the close bonds that have been formed are in flux.
What are some the ways to manage a group in disagreement and ensure the experience is productive/worthwhile for all involved?

Explore this and more in MGT 554.

Sample Course Topics

  • Group Structure
  • Dependency and Inclusion
  • Counterdependency and Flight
  • Trust and Structure
  • Work and Termination
  • The Individual and the Group
  • Creating Effective Teams

What You’ll Learn

Through MGT 554, you’ll gain insight into how groups work and how to overcome obstacles that make them dysfunctional.

  • Know the basic concepts, principles, and common terms of group dynamics.
  • Be able to receive and give valid communication.
  • Better understand how you participate in and relate to a group, and see how your behavior affects the group.
  • Appreciate the various factors affecting the life of a group and see how they appear in action.
  • Have the ability to explore the life cycles of groups from their inception to their demise.

Learn More

When a group works effectively together, it can better propel an organization toward its goals. For more information about The University of Scranton’s online Master of Business Administration degree, request more information or call us today toll-free at (866) 373-9547.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.