Almost all organisations consist of groups, whether formally defined or informally defined. Collaboration plays out within, between, and across these formal and informal groups. It is vital for a manager to be familiar with the group dynamic of both types of groups, since they play a decisive role for the flourishing of employees and the effectiveness of cooperation within the group.

This chapter describes how one can view groups as partially independent of the individual members of the group, and how groups can be defined by the feeling of community among the members.

To support the feeling of community among the members, all groups must constantly seek to find a productive balance in the dilemma between individual and group and the dilemma between stability and change. The authors call this the motivational structure of groups and point out how management of the group involves helping the group to establish a constructive motivational structure.

The text furthermore explains how the tendency of groups to make their members uniform to some extent takes place through an unconscious exchange of emotions whereby members “learn to feel the same” about topics or events relevant to the group.

The text is illuminated by cases.