Bagel Hockey Case Analysis

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In every organization, groups of people are forced to work together regardless of whether or not they like it. Some groups become cohesive while others do not. And sometimes, this cohesion can be a bad thing. The Bagel Hockey case is a prime example of group cohesion being damaging to the workplace. Cohesion was easily attainable for the weekend work group because of the similarities in the employees’ external statuses. But through other background factors, mainly the organizational culture and reward system, the group cohesiveness produced emergent systems that became detrimental to the workplace and overall organization. A major contributing factor for cohesion among the Toronto Training Academy’s (TTA) employees was the similarities in their external, or outside of work, statuses. These include similarity in age and educational background, as well as the fact that most of the participants in the tournament games were male. These characteristics hold true for the two supervisors in the group who participated in bagel hockey as well. Because the supervisors participated in the juvenile game of bagel hockey, it appears that the similarities in external status led to a nonexistent internal ranking system. Therefore, we can assume that the lack of respect and ability of the supervisors to enforce consequences on employee activities contributed to group cohesion. In fact as the case states, “Many friendships were formed, supervisors were treated as equals and joked and fooled around with others” (405). While cohesion in a group is normally desired, it’s not always beneficial. As stated in the text, “Cohesiveness does not cause high productivity, merely similar levels of it among group members” (92). Similar external status is the most basic reason cohesion exists in this group; however, other background factors play a significant role as well. One of these

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