Most researchers define small group as an alliance having at least three and no more than twelve or fifteen members. A group needs to have at least three members, otherwise it would simply be a dyad.
Therefore, at least three members are required to form a small group. Too many members in a group (more than twelve or fifteen members) inhibit the group members ability to communicate with each other.
Such a group must have a common purpose or goal and the members work together to achieve that goal. However, an ideal small group should process the following three elements:
- Size: A small group must have at least three members and no more than twelve or fifteen members.
- Interaction: The members of small group can exchange their views freely and liberally with each other.
- Goal: Every small group must have a common purpose or goal and the members work together to achieve that goal.
Why Do People Join Group?
People join groups for a number of reasons. Some group members are motivated by working in group and others are motivated by creating interpersonal relationships with other members of the group.
However, the possible reasons for which people join in groups are discussed below:
Group synergy refers to the idea that two heads (or more) are better than one. There is a saying, “The whole is greater than the sum o fits parts” which also refers to group synergy. Groups are often capable of performing higher quality work and making better decisions than an individual can make alone.
Support And Commitment
A group is generally always being more willing to undertake a large project than would an individual. In addition to its improved ability to perform work, the group can provide encouragement and support to its members while working gin a big project.
Individuals often join a group to meet their interpersonal needs. William Schutz has identified three such needs – inclusion, control and affection.
- Needs For Inclusion: Needs for inclusion is the need to establish self-identify with others.
- Needs For Control: Needs for control is the need to exercise leadership and prove one’s abilities. Groups provide opportunities for this need. Some individuals do not want to be a leader. For them, groups provide the necessary control over aspects of their lives.
- Needs For Affection: Needs for affection is the need to develop relationships with people. Group is an excellent way to make friends and establish relationships.