Dysfunctional groups divide and conquer

and end up being less than the sum of the parts

In a dysfunctional group, the group mark is often lower than the average individual marks. The members actually make each other worse. Dysfunctional groups take their direction from the person who shouts the loudest rather than the person with the clearest understanding of the mandate, best judgement, or most persuasive logic. This results from two complementary weaknesses in the group. One is that the people who are shouting the loudest have missed the point. This could be that they have been indoctrinated in lower levels of the school system to treat assignments as a formula rather than a minimum requirement, or they want to do the assignment with the least amount of work. If they get enough teammates on board with their proposed approach, they can often shout down the wiser suggestions.

Author: Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (https://thrilllab.blog.ryerson.ca), and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.