Social Relations and Morale in Small Groups

By Eric F. Gardner; George G. Thompson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
Value Concepts as Morale Indicators

As another approach to the measurement of esprit de corps morale we have attempted to ascertain the kinds of personal goal satisfactions the group affords its members. This we have done indirectly by asking the members of each fraternity to list reasons why fraternities should be maintained at Syracuse University. This is somewhat similar in approach to the pleasant "reflex reserve" notion of morale but with a significant difference. We can conceive of some group members as quite unhappy with their personal satisfactions in everyday group living but devoted to the values (actual and mythical) for which the group stands. Since the group has a perceived potentiality for personal goal satisfactions we would expect such unhappy members to expend energy to maintain and perpetuate the group's status and existence.

Following this line of reasoning one might set up a number of situations in which measurements were obtained like the following: Propose to the members of an aircraft squadron that they are to be fitted into other incomplete units as needed, and ask for reasons (if any) why they should be maintained as an intact group, reasons to be presented to the officer ordering their dispersal. Propose to a Marine unit that the Secretary for Defense is contemplating the amalgamation of all Marines into other branches of the armed services, and ask for reasons why the Marines should be maintained as a separate and distinct branch of our

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