Group dynamics are the influential actions, processes and changes that take place in groups. Much of the world's work is accomplished by people working with others in groups, and the processes that take place within these groups--the continual vying for social status, the give-and-take collaboration between members, the pressure of the group on the atypical individual, and the eruption of conflict and discord that can shatter the group--significantly shape members' experiences as well as their accomplishments. It was the eminent social scientist Kurt Lewin (1951) who used the term 'group dynamics' to describe the powerful and complex social processes that emerge in groups.

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Copyright © 2008 Routledge. This book chapter first appeared in Leadership: The Key Concepts.

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