How do group norms and statuses affect individual behavior?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In the field of organizational behavior it is actually the effect on individual behavior that is under study. The field intends to correlate the manner in which rules and expectations influence the decision making choices of each member within the organization.

Group norms are specific parameters, or limitations, within which each member of a group is expected behave personally and towards others. This is done to set the tone of the group; if the group is going to be serious and goal-oriented, discipline and rules are a must. If the tone of the group is casual and lively, then the norms are more lenient. In this manner, group norms affect by setting up the boundaries and the tone of the role of each individual within the group.

Statuses constitute the chain of command that enforces group norms and that sets and maintains the group tone. The upper ranking members of an organization evaluate performance, and confirm whether the organizational mission is being carried out or not. They also should serve as supporters and models to their peers and as examples to those below their own status in the group. In this way, statuses affect individual behavior because statuses represent leverage within the organization; the more leverage someone has, the more influential their control. Therefore, more evident boundaries are created from person to person once a role becomes delineated. These boundaries ultimately affect the dynamics and interaction within the group.

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