Ocean’s Eleven movie discloses the brightest example of how group communication and interdependence can lead to the accomplishment of commonly shared goals (Soderbergh, 2001). In this respect, the members of Ocean’s group reveal their ability to think in accordance with group’s objectives and contribute independently to the success of activities they were engaged in.
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The presentation of fictional group proves that independent collection of individuals into a goal-oriented and cooperative interaction is much more effective. The whole of the grouping is more important than roles performed by its parts. The main purpose of the Ocean’s group is to rob three casinos simultaneously.
Denny Oceans, the leader of the group, gathers his friends who will help him to accomplish his plan. First, he meets Rusty Ryan, his best friend and right hand, who is also considered as a co-leader of a future team.
Linus Coldwell, a talented pickpocket thief, also helps Denny to force a casino. He is obsessed with the desire to earn confidence and respect of the group leaders. Other members are less representative of the group, but they perform the functions of information receivers and opinion seekers.
Despite the common goal the group shares, the task-centered approach prevents the leader from considering personal goals of his team. As a result, some of the members’ behaviors are impossible to predict because their personal interest contradict the overall goals of the planned operation.
Scene Analysis: Cohesiveness and Functional Roles
The success of the operation performed by Ocean’s group can be explained its loyalty. Hence, the so-called “groupness” unveils a situation when all group members cooperate with each other to reach a common purpose (Group Decision Making).
What is more important is that each participant’s purpose coincides with the group’s goals, which leads to greater productivity and, as a result, members’ satisfaction with the task performed. Cohesive groups are much more successful than non-cohesive ones whose group principles are more polite and formal.
The cohesiveness of the group is brightly revealed in a situation when explosive expert Basher Tarr discovers the problem with the power supply system, which is impossible to remove.
However, his extreme commitment and dedication to the common purpose of the groups allows him to present an alternative solution, which is immediately confirmed by the group leaders. In the search of oscillator, the group decides to steal the device to prevent the failure of the entire plan.
In the movie, the heroes apply to functional roles distribution to achieve all objectives in the most efficient way. Task accomplishment, therefore, is most relevant in case task roles are introduced where group participates in completing all the tasks.
Hence, their goal is to coordinate and direct group effort in problem identification and its solutions (Group Decision Making). For instance, Denny Ocean performs the role of an initiator-contributor, Rusty takes role of both initiator-contributor and coordinator, Linus is opinion seeker and orienteer; Virgil and Turk Malloys are procedural technicians. Some of the members were active opinion givers, such Bacher and Livingston Dell.
Influence of Diversity on Group Performance
On the one hand, diversity within a group does not contribute to productive communication and goals accomplishment because of the presence of various opinions and alternative solutions. On the other hand, a wide range of decisions made by Ocean’s team lead them to success.
In this respect, Ocean can be considered an experienced and wise leader because he is able to listen to each member’s opinion and choose the ones that suit best the established objectives.
At the same time, the excess confidence and aspiration to leadership prevent Linus Caldwell to meet the requirements of the initiated plan. His personal ambitions make Denny try Linus for his commitment to the common goal. Here the diversity concept fails to increase the productivity of team performance.
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In order to define the positive effect of diversity on decision-making, the presence of a larger information set is vital.
Specifically, due to the fact that all members have various skills and experience in different fields, the team leader have a wider access to a great number of alternatives and solutions that are possibly to critically analyze and evaluate. As a result, each member of the team can have a different opinion concerning how each stage of goal accomplishment can be performed.
All phases of the plan were based on absolute cohesiveness and task performance. However, excessive engagement in the plan and obsession with self-interest did not allowed the team to achieve all the goals in the easiest way.
In particular, the involvement of an emotional factor significantly hampered the team performance. Therefore, Rusty Ryan should have considered this fact before confirming the plan of robbery. Second, Linus’s desire to get respect from Denny and Rusty did not allow him to meet the expectations of the entire team.
Because of his personal goals, the team project was on the edge of failure. Group performance could have been increased if Linus had left his interest behind the project.
Group Decision Making, Chapter 2. Soderbergh, S. (Director). (2001) Ocean’s Eleven [Motion Picture]. USA: Warner Bros.