This article is about Benne and Sheats’ Group Roles, a study on the roles played by different team members and how it is related to team management. It is a. Two leading theorists on group behavior, Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheats developed the following typology to describe group roles by dividing. folklore as well as in personality structure are illustrated. Over 50 years ago, Benne and Sheats () identified 27 functional roles in small-group settings.

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Documents Flashcards Grammar checker. How these people interact sueats relate to one another is a key factor in determining how successful the team will be at achieving its mission.

So, how do people behave in the teams that you work with? The way that people sheahs in teams varies. Some people are helpful and supportive, others are more concerned with getting the work done, and still others can cause friction, disharmony or discord within the team. You’ve probably worked in some teams that are effective and some rolee aren’t. While there is no magic elixir, knowing what moves teams forward and what limits toles progress can be helpful whenever you are working in a group or team.

Two influential theorists on group behavior were Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheats, who wrote an respected article titled “Functional Roles of Group Members” back in the s. In it, they defined 26 different group roles that can be played by one or more people within a group. Their work influenced other early research and thinking on group functions.

And whilst more recent research has refined many of these ideas, Benne and Brnne Group Roles remains a useful and interesting way of looking at group behavior. Benne and Sheats defined three categories of group roles: Task Roles These are the roles that relate to eheats the work done. They represent the different roles needed to take a project step-by-step from initial conception through to action.

Individuals may fulfill many of these roles during the life of a project. This role initiates discussions and move groups into new areas of exploration. Seeks expert information or facts relevant to the problem. Determines what information is missing and needs to be found before moving forward.

Benne And Sheats’ Group Roles Training Course In Singapore – Knowles Training Institute

Is seen as an authority on the subject and relates own experience when relevant. Checks to make sure different perspectives are given. Often states opinions in terms of what the group “should” do. Also looks at the consequences of proposed ideas and actions. May pull together a few different ideas and make them cohesive. Provides bennne summary of what has been accomplished, notes where the group has veered off course, and suggests how to get back on target.


Assesses the reasonableness of a gfoup and looks at whether it is fact-based and manageable as a solution. Challenges and stimulates the group to take further action. Recorder — Acts as the secretary or minute-keeper. Records ideas and keeps track of what goes on at each meeting. Demonstrates warmth and provides a positive attitude in meetings. Seeks ways to reduce tension and diffuse a situation by providing further explanations or using humor. Willing to yield position or meet others half way.

Makes sure all members have a chance to express themselves by encouraging the shy and quiet members to contribute their ideas. Limits those who dominate the ajd and may suggest group rules or standards that ensure everyone gets a chance to speak up. Often seen when a group wants to set, evaluate, or change its standards and processes. Seen as a listener not a contributor.

May brag about past accomplishments or relay irrelevant stories that paint him or her in a positive light. Sometimes pulls crazy stunts to attract attention like acting silly, making excess noise, or otherwise directing members away from the task at hand.

Benne and Sheats’ Group Roles – Identifying Both

Tries to slip these comments in under the guise of relevance, such as “That reminds me of a time when. For example, if two others are disagreeing about something, the Self-confessor may say, “You guys fight just like me and my wife.

Distracts other people by telling jokes, playing pranks, or even reading unrelated material. Often exaggerates his or her knowledge and will monopolize any conversation claiming to know more about the situation and have better solutions than anybody else. Acts helpless, self deprecating and unable to contribute, e. Avoids revealing his or her own biases or opinions by using a stereotypical position instead, for example, “The people over in Admin sure wouldn’t like that idea.

However, we can use the theory to look at and improve group effectiveness and harmony, by asking what roles are being filled, which additional ones might be required, and which may need to be eliminated. Benne and Sheats noted that the roles required in a group can vary depending on the stage of group development and the tasks in hand. And it’s useful to consider how your group is developing and how the task may vary when reviewing your group’s roles.

Follow these steps to use Benne and Sheats’ theory to consider the roles in your group: Determine what stage or function your group is at, based on what you are working on or discussing. Here are some examples: You will, however, need Energizers, Procedural Technicians, and a Reporter. Benne and Sheats suggested that the more group members playing Task and Social roles, the more successful the group would be.

Help the group understand where there are gaps in the functions being represented and discuss how filling these roles would help the group’s success. Benne and Sheats also said that the more flexible the group members are, the better; meaning that group members should be able to adapt their roles depending on the group’s need. With a flexible group structure like this, members each use a wide range of talents, and provide maximum contribution to the team.


Identify any dysfunctional roles being played within the group.

Make a plan to eliminate this behavior either through increased awareness, coaching, or feedback. These selfserving roles really must be minimized or eliminated for effective group work to emerge.

By making the whole group aware of these maladaptive behaviors, individuals can monitor the behavior and put a name to it when it occurs. This alone should decrease much of the disruptive behavior. This is an important and particularly useful part of this theory: These behaviors are disruptive and damaging.

By spotting these behaviors and coaching people out of them, you can significantly improve your group process. Groups are constantly changing their function and purpose. Make sure you continuously evaluate what is going on within the group and take action to maximize effectiveness. Benne and Sheats’ work is based on their observations, but there is no clear evidence to support the notion that you need to have all of these roles represented or to suggest what combination is the most effective.

As such, don’t depend too heavily on this theory when structuring your team. That said, just knowing about Benne and Sheatw Team Roles can bring more harmony to your team, as it helps members appreciate the breadth of roles that can contribute to the work of a team and its social harmony, as well as the behaviors shwats will obstruct it’s path.

Key Points There are many different explanations of group roles and functions. Each takes a slightly different perspective.

However, the consensus seems to be that an effective group has a wide representation of positive roles. Groups need to be able to adapt to the changes from outside and within the group itself. People change, opinions change, conflicts occur; all of these require group flexibility and social understanding.

Benne and Sheats’ role definitions are useful for looking at specific behaviors that occur within a group.

By using the definitions given and evaluating the current function and needs of the group, you can plan to encourage the sorts of behaviors you need and discourage those that you don’t. These definitions sehats provide a guide for team member development, as the more positive behaviors each person can display, the better able the whole group will be to respond to the demands put on it.

Team roles – My Working Life. Leading and managing teams. Annotation of Group Behaviour: Friendly Functional Assessment Interview. Functional Roles of Group Sheeats. Educational Theory in the Fifties.