The Woodson Group who has currently teamed up with a public school system in Washington D.C. and The National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education (NCPIE) as presented in the case study, are currently in the second stage of the group development process, known as the storming stage. According to our text, “The storming stage is one of intra-group conflict. Members accept the existence of the group but resist the constraints it imposes on individuality. There is conflict over who will control the group. When this stage is complete, there will be a relatively clear hierarchy of leadership within the group” (Robbins 275). In order for all three parties to move forward in the development process, they need to establish an executive team who will be able to define the hierarchy of the group while incorporating each participants’ background and experiences. As team leaders are established, they will be able to pronounce their purpose and projected goals, which in this case is the result of student improvement. Currently it seems as though the primary struggle lies within one another’s status in regards to the school district operating as a unionized organization and the Woodson Group operating as a foundation.
Each organization should understand that, “Even the smallest group will develop roles, rights, and rituals to differentiate its members. Status is a significant motivator and has major behavioral consequences when individuals perceive a disparity between what they believe their status is and what others perceive it to be” (Robbins 285). Additionally, each group is facing a secondary struggle that is they have their own diverse backgrounds which according to our text, “Appears to increase group conflict, especially in the early stages of a group’s tenure, which often lowers group morale and raises dropout rates” (Robbins 288). The Woodson Group is at a disadvantage in this case because they are staffed with predominately Caucasian professionals’ verses both the students involved and the parental organization which are mostly African American.
By understanding how each group works, the functions most efficient within each and the leaders’ ethnical backgrounds, the school district, parents and Woodson Group leaders can utilize these operations and experiences collectively in order to proceed with exceptional service. First and foremost, as the cast study recommends, is to elect the team that will be overseeing the implementation of the program for student improvement. Team leaders should be diverse in both union and foundation backgrounds as well as varied ethnicities in order to relate to the situation at hand. Once a team is formed, it is easier for each leader to identify with one another in order to discover their similarities, differences and improvise as to how to go about combining them to meet the needs of the prospective program. Overall, the team shares the same values, which is providing a positive and influential environment for the students.
Once the team leaders familiarize themselves with one another, I believe the most effective technique for them to establish their handbook is to have nominal group technique sessions. “The chief advantage of the nominal group technique is that it permits a group to meet formally but does not restrict independent thinking,” (Robbins 295). Using the nominal approach would allow such a diversified team to write down their ideas in private, present them to the group, evaluate the pros and cons independently and decide which ideas are the most valuable to move forward with in the program.
I believe overall the best strategy for the program leaders is to promote both ethics and leadership in order for the students, parents and Woodson Group to unite as one for a more effective and promising environment. Ethics and leadership overlap several times throughout a constructive process. As a leader, you strive to change the behaviors of your followers and by instilling your ethics in a positive way you can boost the group’s morale. “Leaders who treat their followers with fairness, especially by providing honest, frequent, and accurate information, are seen as more effective. Leaders rated highly ethical tend to have followers who engage in more organizational citizenship behaviors and who are more willing to bring problems to the leaders’ attention” (Robbins 386-387).
Robbins, Stephen P., Timothy Judge. Organizational Behavior, 15th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 01/2012. VitalBook file.