Sunday, October 28, 2012


Some people love school projects and others dread them. I find school projects bearable only if the people in the group are friendly and easy to work with. I really believe that it is not about the task being assigned but the dynamic of the people in the group.

One project that I was a part of was with a group of 5 people. The task was to organize and event on campus. The whole thing turned into a great mess. Firstly, we had much disagreement on the theme of the event and basic ideas on how it should look like. After we finally managed to agree, we divided up the tasks. Things started going even more downhill when people responsible for their tasks were not doing their work. The person who was supposed to be in charge of publicity, did not make the posters. The person who was in charge of reserving the space for the event had difficulty doing it and did not tell anyone or asked anyone for help. There were also others frustrated with the process and did not put effort into the event at all. They did their assigned task but to such a minimum state that, others had to pick up their slack. The final event was fine, people came and everything that needed to be done was done. The professor  was satisfied, but none of us were happy with the event. Some were frustrated and angry at the people in the group and did not even care about the final product.

Another project I was engaged in was composed of 5 people as well. We had a product and needed to conduct research about the brand. It required interviewing people as well as writing reports. The group right away was very efficient and quick to agree on the brand to be researched. The work was also divided efficiently and always people would do their part on time and well. What helped with this project is that we used Google docs to keep track of all of our documents and communicate. That means we would meet as a group, but also communicate online if a problem arose. All of the group members were eager to respond and help. The project was accomplished well and we obtained good grades for it.

The first group was unsuccessful because of the lack of communication within the members. Our personalities clashed and too many people wanted to to control the group. We had great ideas, but no one wanted to execute them. Also, people when they became frustrated, they got even less motivated and started doing less work, leading to greater frustration.

In the second group, leaders emerged but there were also those who were willing to listen and compromise. Also, everyone was very communicative when things were going wrong. In the second group, I also knew one of the members in advance which gives me a biased view of the situation. Regardless, from the dynamic of the group, everyone seems satisfied with the group.


  1. Could the first group have ended up like the second group, or was it doomed from the start? With group work for classes on campus, it is normal for everyone to have equal authority - a horizontal structure if you will. Would it be better, in terms of outcomes, to have one of the group members in charge, and also with the ability to punish a group member if that person hasn't done the assigned work?

  2. I think every group has the potential to succeed if the right leader is there to guide it.

    In regards to a group leader with the ability to punish, I am unsure if punishment would be effective or if it would create resentment for the power of that individual especially if it was a self-appointed individual.

    The best thing that I found works is making everyone believe they are the a very vital part of the project and group, so then if they do not get work done, they are disappointing the whole team and that needs to be made known to them. Of course, it does not motivate all, but I found that even those who do not care about the work, can be motivated by expectations of others so they are not singled out for not doing their work.