There are a lot of different opinions on the matter of the productivity of group work. Some people believe that it is inefficient and that working alone is more liberating, while others claim that collective efforts lead to the better quality of work. In order to grasp a better understanding on what the benefits and the costs of group work are, it is important to analyze both parties’ arguments.
Evident negative aspects of group work are deindividuation and groupthink which occur quite often. According to Coon, to reach a productive cooperation within group work the developed skills of communication, responsibility and an open mind are crucial (534). In case certain people within the groups do not work on these skills, it can result in higher chances that the teamwork would not be ideally cooperated. For example, within a setting of a group a person might not feel the sense of individual responsibility. This kind of deindividuation will significantly affect the efficiency of groupwork due to the lack of engagement from certain parties. Similarly, some people might struggle with loss of the sense of individuality within the group, as they would feel dominated by the collective opinion. Hence, without high communication skills they might not be able to deliver their initial thoughts to the rest of the group, which would lead them overpowered by the groupthink.
However, there are certainly positive sides to group work as well. Once “multiple people work toward a common goal” consciously, while being considerate towards each other’s ideas, the concept of group work becomes quite beneficial (Coon 534). That being said, multiple perspectives within a collective process enable a larger number of possible strategies and options. Additionally, collective devotion can significantly affect the quality of work and the time spent on it.
Coon, D. (2020). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior. Cengage Learning.