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Despite the fact that the presence of cliques in an organization is not always encouraged by company management, they can contribute significantly to the productivity of teams. Nevertheless, there can be times when people join cliques for reasons that are not related to the duties of an employee and are not aimed at meeting organizational goals (Jex & Britt, 2014). The purpose of this paper is to review the case when I became a part of a clique at my previous workplace.
The organization where I used to work decided to employ people who had recently graduated from educational institutions. The existing company workforce consisted of highly skilled employees who had impressive expertise and knowledge in their field. Nevertheless, the top management decided to focus on attracting employees of the younger generation to stimulate company performance. I was among those new workers when I began working there part-time, and I joined the clique of newcomers. Since there were quite a few workers who had just graduated from college or university, it was decided that it would be helpful to form a clique to help the new workers adapt to the workplace more easily and enhance the work through cooperation. The clique gathered to work jointly on projects; the members of the clique assembled during and after working hours to be able to openly discuss those issues that were unclear or complex, and this cooperation helped in resolving problems. In addition, the newcomers’ team began to exhibit greater productivity compared to those workers who did not belong to the clique. Overall, the atmosphere and the environment were indeed harmonious and productive, which contributed greatly to the organizational performance.
It should be stressed that, initially, the clique accomplished its purpose because the employees felt united by the common mission, and everyone worked together well. The generally positive atmosphere encouraged the workers to contribute to their duties to a greater degree (Jex & Britt, 2014). Nonetheless, the setting changed rather quickly, as did the purpose of the clique. After the team had carried out a couple of successful projects, some of the people felt overly empowered and wanted to assume a position of leadership among their co-workers. As a result, these leaders sought to exclude some of the members who were considered less productive. Gradually, this trend resulted in discriminatory behavior, which was inappropriate (Jex & Britt, 2014). Therefore, it can be stated that the clique turned out to be not only ineffective but also disruptive.
Thus, relying on my personal experience, it can be assumed that cliques do not contribute positively to organizational culture and performance. As stated by experts in the field, it is the role of leadership to create an inclusive environment and employ diversity management so that all employees can join the work community (Jex & Britt, 2014). Healthy competition among workers can reinforce creativity; nevertheless, the emergence of cliques can result in harmful exclusionary behavior.
Therefore, it can be concluded that the formation of cliques in a workplace can increase tensions among employees. Even though joining a group can help an employee to integrate into the environment and to become a multifunctional member of the work team, as a rule, cliques gradually will turn to promoting their personal interests. Frequently, certain groups try to gain power over other cliques, and the organization becomes politicized. Consequently, this phenomenon has more negative effects than positive ones, and company management should employ strategies aimed at creating an inclusive work environment.
Jex, S., & Britt, T. (2014). Organizational psychology (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.