Making Workgroups Effective, 4e
Dimock Series on Groups

Hedley Dimock, Raye Kass    

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-55322-236-1 (2011)
144 pages, 220 g, 6 X 9, $14.50 (US$14.50)

In addition to the basic concepts of workgroup effectiveness, such as leadership styles appropriate for the situation, group structure, individual values and behaviour, and influencing groups for results, the fourth edition of Making Workgroups Effective has doubled its content to fully cover the new groups and different dynamics of the digital generation.

The changes erupting from the digital revolution have led to major paradigm shifts in our society, especially in the role and functions of groups within it. New content in this edition identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the social and cultural changes resulting from digital communication that helps manage group tasks. The digital world permits meetings without travel but risks losing the "human touch". Suggested action steps preserve the "human touch" while utilizing what technology has opened up for us: virtual groups using twitter for task planning and the Internet for data collection. The impact of globalization ‒ multicultural groups, short life-span groups with shifting membership, etc. ‒ and how emotional intelligence [E.Q.] has become as important as I.Q. in leading groups effectively are also thoroughly examined.

Making Workgroups Effective is for the digital generation preparing for group leadership, as well as for the managers/leaders ready to shift their present skills and experience to deal with new group compositions, diversity, shelf life, member expectations, and ways of communicating. This handbook helps readers foster a healthy, productive workgroup environment, even with a large distance between group members.

Instructors from different fields and expertise (management, health, human and social services, recreation, and education) will find the content relevant and can be easily integrated into their courses. Leaders working with groups will also find this to be an invaluable resource.

Table of Contents   top




The New Realities of Workgroups in the Digital Age and Globalization                      

The New Group Factors for the Digital Age                   

Where Do These New Realities Leave Us?    


2  Understanding Group Behaviour                       

Group Leadership

Functions of Group Leaders                     

Managerial Roles and Behaviours                          

Transformational Leadership and Management                 

Women’s Style of Leading                       

Other Characteristics of Leaders                             

Leadership and the Group                        

Leadership Style                         

Situation Leadership Theories                         


The Effectiveness Dimension                  


Some Implications                     

Sex Differences in Leadership and Effectiveness                        

Sex Differences in Group Performance                  

Attitudes versus Behaviour                      

Leadership Summary                

Reader Applications of These Understandings                             


3  Group Structure              

Group Membership                            

Factors Contributing to Strong Groups                           

Group Standards and Social Control                              

The Power of Group Pressure                           

The Impact of Group Pressure                         


Group Structure and Goals                       

Status and Position (Hierarchical Structures)                        

Influence and Status                 

Decision Making Structures                      

Frequently Asked Questions                     

Social Control and Individual Development                        


Understanding Individuals in Groups                 

Emotional Needs and Behaviour Patterns                   

Growth and Development                

Interpersonal Behaviour in Adults                          

What Individuals Bring to New Group Experiences                    

Similarities to Other Groups                      

Attitudes, Beliefs and Values                   

Usual Adjustment Techniques                 

Hidden Influences and Agendas                             

Testing the Authority Figure     


Influencing Groups and Participants                  

Influencing Groups                            

Influencing Individuals                     

Form Groups                               


Peer Training                               

Providing Information and Utilization Frameworks                            

Experiential Learning                

Understanding Cultural Differences                               

Power and Influence                          

An Integrative Approach to Educating and Influencing Individuals                       

In a Nutshell                        


New Factors in Working with Groups                

Team Involvement and Task Accomplishment in Our Digital Age: The good, The Bad and The Ugly                           

Context: Semi-Virtual Teams  in a Graduate Program                       

Power, Influence and Trust Issues Emerge                            

The Digital Village                      

Semi-Virtual Teams, Virtually Break Down                          

Lessons Learned                         

Replenishing Our Human Moments: A Challenge Worth Exploring                

Emotional Intelligence:  The Other Side of Being Smart                            

The New Yardstick of Today                   

Plugged in But Tuned Out                         

Balancing and Managing Team Emotional  Intelligence: The Heart of the Matter                     

The Inner Rudder: Our Most Precious Resource                  

Essentials in An Orbiting Space Station:
Choosing the Right Stuff                          

A Summary of the Significance of E.Q.                 

Diversity Is a Fact — And a Value                 

“Walk the Line”: A Glimpse into How Diversity Is Experienced Today                         

The Diversity Configuration That Emerged                          

Personal Thoughts                      

Personal Narrative about Diversity                         

Making Differences Matter                      

Space Agency/Space Station. Diversity in Action: A Rare View Behind the Scenes                     




Instructor Resources   top

Related Resources   top

About the Author   top

Dr. Hedley Dimock is the Director of the Centre for Human Resource Development, an independent consulting and research organization in Guelph, Ontario. He has been on the faculty of several universities, including McGill, Toronto, Concordia and Guelph. Prior to his university work, he was heavily involved in recreational, educational, health service and community work settings. His consulting work with over 400 organizations has taken him to all provinces in Canada. He has published extensively in both professional and popular magazines, and five of his ten books have been published in Japan.

Dr. Raye Kass is an associate professor of applied human sciences and a program director of the Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. She has led over 1,000 workshops in leadership training, communication skills, team building, problem solving and conflict management throughout the world — in the U.S., Europe and Asia with special programs in Lausanne, London, Manila, Moscow, Singapore, Strasbourg and Toulouse. She is the author of the book Theories of Small Group Development, now in the 4th edition.

Dr. Kass was Principal Investigator on two space simulation missions: the 1994 CAPSULS mission held in Canada; and the 240-day space simulation SFINCSS held in Russia in 1999-2000. Both these projects examined the psychological problems of living and working in an orbiting space station with an international multicultural crew. The project involved providing team building and team talk sessions that would equip crew to deal with problems arising from long-term isolation in close quarters. Dr. Kass is currently involved in a project with NASA-Ames Research Centre, which examines the effectiveness of various training approaches to counteract team dysfunction among multi-cultural and gender-mixed teams. Results from this study will serve as a test bed for similar activities to be performed for the New International Space Station.