David, Mary and Erica
The group I have decided to closely examine, is the group I encounter every day at work Altogether there is only four of us; David is our boss (he is a lawyer), Paul who is also a lawyer but works under David, Mary is the paralegal and Erica is the secretary. We have been together a little shy of a year. Over the course of this past year there have been many changes. I was hoping to look closely at the structure of this group and the changing aspects of it, mainly the cohesion.
To start I would like to explain how the group first worked, the individuals in this group and their roles. Most of the roles have prevailed, but because of the development of our group, and the increased cohesion, some of our roles have changed.
David should defiantly play the role of task orientation, and for the most part he does. He has this fear of being too bossy and tries not to demand too much. He leaves the details up to Mary, and however we wants to accomplish something he tries not to interfere. David is one of the stronger information givers of the group, but that is why we are a team, no one in the group knows how to do everything necessary to finish a project. David knows the law and the rules of the court. He isn't too big on details because both Mary and Paul will pick up where he leaves off. Anything that is related to the client's information, Erica has the appropriate information for doing that. David rarely plays any socioemotional roles. He tries to play the gatekeeper by attempting to keep equal participation, but the truth of the matter is that he is not usually around. Most of his mornings are spent in court and his afternoons consist of work in the field (he is a real estate lawyer so he often goes out to look at property or over see homes he or one of his client's are having built) or desk work which he gets so engulfed in, he doesn't know what is going on in the office. Every now and then though, he plays the playboy role and just spends the day out in the field or home.
Paul is the information seeker and information giver. He has no time for any socioemotional roles, although he loves to be recognized for his work. He has no interest in the other people or their roles, until he wants something. Unfortunately, he played the dominator for quite some time. He was happy to pick up where David left off, in as far as authority, but his lack of interest kept him at a far enough distance so as not to create any enemies.
Mary is the recorder. She is the last person to see the legal documents before they leave the office and must make sure everything is correct and all the necessary people have a copy. I think that just being a woman and a mother lead her to play a few socioemotional roles. She is big on encouraging the group through tough projects and setting standards.
Erica, I feel, has played the most roles. Not all at one time, but through the course of the year she has fit into a couple roles. The biggest factor being that she was the last one to enter the group. Erica played a lot of socioemotional roles because that is where the lack was. Initially she played the follower role, just accepting the environment and observing the details, kind of going with the flow. She slowly came to play the harmonizer and the compromiser because she could. The other three were set in their ways and didn't want to hear otherwise, among themselves or with her.
Most of the socioemotional roles became descriptive norms. It was Erica's responsibility to mediate when a problem arose between people in the group. As a result of David not usually being in the office, somewhere along the line, lunch became one and a half hours. No one would ever say anything to an individual who came back late from lunch because they knew they