Group cohesiveness means the degree of attachment of the members or their groups. If group cohesion is high,the interaction between members of the group is high and the degree of agreement in group opinion. Members of a cohesive group tend to have the following characteristics:
- They have collective identity
- They share the group goals and norms and have common interests and backgrounds
- They share a sense of purpose, working together on a meaningful task or cause
- They establish a structured pattern of communication
- The members interact among themselves quite frequently and interpersonal communication is very effective.
Factors Affecting Group Cohesiveness
Other things being equal, small groups have a greater probability of beng cohesive than larger one. In larger groups the necessary interactions are inhibited, communication between member is reduced to a feeble talk and there is the danger of formation of sub-groups. Small groups offer frequent interaction opportunities leading to better understanding between members.
2. Degree of dependency
The more dependent a person is on group for some result or effect, the greater will be the group’s attractiveness, and consequently greater is its cohesiveness.
People who work closely together in the same geographical location have numerous opportunities to interact and exchange ideas resulting in highly effective and cohesive groups than to people who are geographically separated.
4. Outside Pressure
External threats create higher bonds between members. When there are pressures from outside, group memebrs tend to minimize their personal differences to fight the common enemy.
5. Group Status
A high status group that is successful in achieving its goals tens to have greater cohesiveness. Membership in such a group is highly rated.
There is nothing like success to increase group spirit and cohesiveness. A near universal finding is that cohesiveness generally increases with success.
7. Group Leadership
The qualities of the group leader determine the extent to which the group members bind themselves with the group. If leader is dynamic and energetic, he motivates the group members to work with zeal for the attainment of common goals. He tries to build and maintain high group loyalty among members.