Traditional Management:

Five Main Functions of the Manager

Organizing the Group

Dividing the Activities Into Manageable Jobs and Selecting People For the Jobs To Be Done

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!

"The are no bad employees, only bad managers." ~ T.S.Lin 

Ten Instances when Groups are the Best Choice to Advance the Vision2

  1. When you need to have the commitment of the group's members to have any chance at successfully implementing the decision

  2. When the a solution is sprinkled among many in the group

  3. When your organizational climate supports group efforts

  4. When the outcome is so vital that it is worth the time needed to work through groups

  5. When the people want to be empowered

  6. When different kinds of expertise are needed and must be coordinated and integrated

  7. When your group members have interest and experience in teamwork

  8. When the problem has different parts that are suitable for a division of labor.

  9. When the cost of a wrong decision is the main concern

  10. When you have been ordered to do so.



Manager's Tasks in Organizing the Group

  • To analyze the activities, decisions, and relations needed

  • To classify the work

  • To divide the work into manageable activities

  • To divide the activities into manageable jobs

  • To group units and jobs into an organization structure

  • To select people for the management of these units and for the jobs to be done

Forms of Organizational Groups

  • Functional groups

  • Task groups

  • Interest groups

  • Peer groups

  • Formal committees

Group Development Stages

  1. Mutual acceptance getting to know each other

  2. Decision making defining the problem in operational terms and beginning to determine alternative solutions

  3. Group maturity working with maximal efficiency and effectiveness

  4. Control operating group sanctions that can be exercised if group norms (behavior, ideals, opinions) are not met

Group Status: The Four Major Factors

  1. The importance of the assigned task

  2. The level of group accomplishment

  3. The status of the individuals within the group

  4. The nature of organization's rewards to group members

Techniques to Increase Group's Creativity

  • Brainstorming used to generate a large number of alternative solutions to a problem in a short period of time.

  • Nominal Group Technique used in management planning activities to create managerial contingencies and future projections.

  • Delphi Technique used to identify future trends or any other purpose, when personal interaction may influence the quality of the information generated... More

 Discover more!

Team Building and Teamwork

Setting Objectives & Planning

Decentralization and Delegation

Motivation and Communication

Management by Objectives

Dividing Activities and Forming Groups

Unless the way in which your unit, or group, is organized is suitable for its purposes and the people in it, failure will result. Once you have set the objectives, analyzed the activities, decisions, relations needed, and classified the work, divide it into manageable activities and further divide the activities into manageable jobs. Group these units and jobs into an organization structure, select people for the management of these units and for the jobs to be done.


"But beware groups can either be built into highly effective teams or become obstacles to progress that reinforce conformity and kill individual initiatives."2

The Principle of Participation

Research findings consistently validate the "principle of participation" in the team building i.e. group members more readily accept new ideas and new work methods when they are given the opportunity to participate in making the decision to change and to participate in deciding how to implement the change. Leaders practicing participative management can use varying degrees of group member participation. This requires knowledge of specific skills and methods: how to listen so that group members talk about their problems; how to conduct efficient meetings; how to get group members to set performance goals.

Formal and Informal Groups within Organization

Organization is a combination of interrelated groups. These groups can be classified, according to their orientation, as formal and informal ones.

Formal groups are those designated and sanctioned by the organization. These groups possess legitimate power within the organization, and generally are formed to accomplish a designated task or function.

Informal groups are ones created by employees themselves, not sanctioned by the organization. These groups can be created around a work place issue (interest groups) or an activity outside the work place (friendship groups).

Basic Forms of Groups

Groups, classified according to their purpose, can be functional groups; task forces created to complete a specific task; interest groups formed within the work place by a common interest; peer groups joined friendship outside the work place; and formal committees.

Formation and Development of Groups

As groups evolve through the four stages of mutual acceptance, decision making, group maturity, and control, their ability to deal with different and increasingly complex problems also evolves. Management should be aware of the progress of a group and assign tasks accordingly. As a group matures and grows, it evolves standards of expected behaviors and attitudes. These are the group norms that are very important in the reinforcement of group loyalty and identity.

Group Behavior Norms

Behavior within a group conforms to the expectations of its members.  This expected behavior takes place within a range defined by upper and lower performance standards accepted by the management and the group members. If management wishes to increase worker productivity within the group, it must change both the lower and upper performance standards.

Group Status


The status of a group within the organization is dependent upon four major factors: the importance of the task assigned; the success of the group; the status of the individual workers; and the nature of the rewards to the group's members by the organization.  An organization should enhance the status of a group if it wishes willing and enthusiastic participation by the workers.

Groups and Creativity

Techniques to increase creativity and generation of new ideas by a group include brainstorming, nominal group technique, and the Delphi technique.

Brainstorming is used with a small group to generate a large number of alternative solutions to a problem, defined by management, in a short period of time. During the alternatives generation phase, no criticism may be voiced because this would interrupt the generation of potential solutions. During the evaluation phase, each potential solution is evaluated in detail by the group.

Nominal group technique is used in conjunction with the planning activities of management to create managerial contingencies and future projections. In this technique, a problem, defined by management, presented to a small group. Each member individually generates as many solutions to the problem presented as possible, in writing. There is no communication between group members. After a given period of time, group members present their ideas. The ideas of each presenter are recorded. The group members can ask the presenter to clarify the ideas, but no criticism is voiced during these presentations. After all group members have completed their presentations, the recorded ideas are discussed and criticized. After the group discussion, each participant is asked to rank the ideas in writing and anonymously.

Delphi technique is suitable for identifying future trends. It may be used when personal interaction may influence the quality of the information generation. Experts constituting the group do not meet physically. The Delphi group coordinator sends questions to the individual group members in writing. Each member is asked to answer these questions anonymously. Evaluation of these answers by other group members is also done anonymously. Coordinator tabulates and summarizes the answers and returns the summaries to the group members, who are asked to examine the criticism and modify their original answers if necessary.  At no point does any group member know who proposed a specific idea or who criticized it. The focus is exclusively on the merits of the idea, never on the individual personality.




  1. The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker

  2. A Manager's Guide for the New Millennium, Ken Matejka & Richard J. Dunsing