Strategies are specifically formulated for interaction, information flow and integration. Managers depend on hierarchy and rules for improving intergroup performance.
The strategies for managing inter-group performance vary from the low level of rules and procedures to the high level of integrating departments through hierarchy, planning, liaison, task force and teams.
1. Rules and Procedures :
Rules and performances guide methods of managing intergroup performance. Interacting groups learn how to follow a particular set of actions.
Every group has a certain set of functions which are followed by their members. Procedures spell out the required behaviour.
Rules and procedures also delimit the interaction and information flow between groups or units. Within the limits, the groups have to act and interact.
It helps in proper performance as well as in maintaining the discipline. Intergroup activities can anticipate in advance the responses and expected behaviour with the help of rules and procedures.
Employees may come and go, but rules and procedures will always govern the behaviour. When there is a high degree of uncertainty, there is need for increased information flow.
2. Hierarchy :
Hierarchy is the next strategy for managing intergroup performance. It assists follow up of the rules and regulations.
Inadequate inventory management is done by asking hierarchical people to procure the inventory, as the general manager is unable to manage the inventory. Groups are also hierarchically formed.
Higher groups have power and authority, but not the real functional potentialities which are used by lower groups.
Lower groups devote much time to action, whereas higher groups concentrate on thinking. Hierarchy has its basic advantages.
The group performance is based on the strategies of hierarchical procedures and attributes.
3. Planning :
Planning is a part of strategy. Management plans what types of strategies would be used at what time.
Task goals, task procedures and task accomplishment are planned before application of the strategies.
In production units, several groups are assigned jobs for their respective performance. Each group has to perform its own tasks within the time limit to achieve its respective goals.
Success is possible through the proper use of planning and programming of future actions. Group activities are well adapted to suit future requirements.
Strategies are managed for interactions. Selected interactions between groups and units are planned for achieving success of intergroup performance.
4. Liaison :
Liaison is needed for proper coordination between two or more groups. Interaction becomes successful when adequate liaison is exercised.
Liaison is an internal boundary spanner. For example, the applied role spanning boundary is developed between operation research and marketing research.
The liaison officer is generally the higher authority who establishes a coordinating role between two or more related groups.
The liaison may be a formal, time-consuming process such as using formal meetings and coordinating functions.
The liaison role requires information flow, acquainted functions and interaction activities. Liaison is the coordination of different activities, providing the interacting units with better understanding of each other’s functions and responsibilities and providing a continuous way of keeping each interacting unit running smoothly. It helps in the development of intergroup relationships and routine decisions.
Negative effects in the interactions between individuals may be observed in some cases. Conflicting expectations for performances may be observed. Liaison persons have to handle the complexities and interacting problems.
5. Task Forces :
A task force is established by selecting one or more representatives from each of the interacting groups.
It is helpful for interaction and performance achievement. The task force exists till the related interaction remains, after which the interacting task force members return to their respective groups.
Quality problems, developing and selecting alternative solutions and implementation of solutions are taken up by task forces.
6. Teams :
Within the group, teams consisting of one or more members are formed to solve a problem. A team is developed to solve long-term problems, achieve a permanent formal assignment, and maintain dual responsibility and so on.
When the team has achieved its objectives, the team members return to their original departments.
7. Integrating Departments :
An integrating department envisages more permanent, formal and authority-based mechanisms.
It involves information flow, integration requirements and intergroup relations. The integrating department integrates the functions of several departments.
It is responsible for effective integration and intergroup activities. Decision-making authority is given to an integrating department which has a number of subordinates or staff specialists.
The subordinates are specialists in different areas such as research, production, marketing and so on.