This second article on group Cohesion Theory has been adapted by Dave Wagner indigenous the LAFDLA presentation that Michael Ellington – LAPD retired.

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One the your goals as a fire company leader is to construct cohesive, high performing teams. Competition between these cohesive groups can benefit the overall organization, but competition becomes problem when it transforms dysfunctional – as soon as it results negatively upon organizational performance.

The symptoms of conflict are periodically blatant and obvious, such together loud arguments or physics fights. The can likewise be much more subtle. Once one firm denigrates the occupational of another, when mechanics take longer than vital to keep the vehicles the the rated members who have been rude come them, or the battalion chief go not provide an overworked firm a break, then intergroup dispute has end up being dysfunctional.

“Groupthink wake up when individuals lose the ability to think because that themselves and also rely top top the group to make their decisions…”

Most that the time, the problem is not the villainous plan to subvert the mission, but an honest distinction in what is seen as the best method to gain the project done. Organizational policies and also procedures, or also individual leaders, can “set the stage” because that conflict in between groups to erupt. Consider, because that example, the built-in conflict in between the In-Service Training department and ar units. IST’s job is to carry all members right into compliance v state cultivate requirements, pro-actively attend to work setting shortcomings, minimize civil liability, and improve the professionalism and knowledge basic of all Department personnel. Comparison these goals with those of ar resources – they operation calls, deal with community connections problems, rookie maintain issues, and also citizens screaming to walk to the hospital. In this example, and in thousands of others that will certainly occur throughout your career, the members of every of this work teams will feel righteous and correct in their attempts to attain their very own objectives. Bolstered through the cohesive impact of your “team,” they will certainly staunchly protect their own positions and also aggressively attack any other allude of view. Native the business perspective, execute you watch any better way come use and manage such differences?


Groupthink is one more potential risk of high team cohesiveness. This happens as soon as individual group members shed the capacity to think because that themselves and rely top top the group to do their decisions. Opinions hosted by the bulk or by key group members are thought about unanimous and alternative views room not encouraged. Overly cohesive units deserve to be suspiciously of inconsistent opinions voiced by outsiders. Any outside information that contradicts the group’s opinion may be purposefully hidden from the team. Negative or irrational decisions can be the an outcome of this type of groupthink.

Group Norms

Another situation in which group cohesion might not contribute to greater performance is when teams’ norms dispute with business goals. Researchers uncovered that once such dispute is high, greater team cohesion actually outcomes in reduced task performance.

Potentially an adverse outcomes can happen when extremely cohesive teams exert pressure on their members to conform to team norms. While this adherence to standards has numerous benefits because that the team as a whole, the same system may result in an adverse social consequences. Because that example, the reality that abuses against individual members in armed forces units, which have tendency to be highly cohesive, deserve to go for long times unexposed, can be meeting in a big part come the tight standards of these really cohesive groups.

In a competitive atmosphere like a firehouse, the norm of a cohesive team may be to isolation themselves from external influences. Instances are inter-shift rivalries that room taken beyond friendly and constructive competition, or the exclusion of a new member that transfers in with an unknown or unwarranted reputation. Leader with any kind of degree that emotional knowledge will recognize these instances early on and also work come defuse them.

Resistance come Change

Members of cohesive teams tend come rely greatly on other team members and also resist outside ideas and input. This deserve to lead to self-imposed isolation and a feeling of superiority end other teams within the organization. As a result, these groups uncover it an overwhelming to change their behaviors and values, particularly when the change is pushed by exterior forces. Also if an separation, personal, instance member that the team becomes persuaded of the require for change, it might be daunting to put into practice because of the toughness of the team dynamic.

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Leadership decisions and strategies have the right to be customized for the situation. Informed, enlightened leaders perform not seek to remove conflict, however to usage such arguments to diagnose and repair systemic weaknesses. Then, through the benefit of part good, healthy and balanced competition, the power of the organization deserve to be introduced to new heights the effectiveness and also growth.

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