Contact/No Contact: Group Orientation?

The Inventory for Work Attitude and Motivation (iWAM) contains a set of companion patterns that give you an indication of how much contact an individual wants with others in the context of work.

The patterns are:

  • Group Orientation: The higher the score, the more contact the individual likes to have with others.
  • Individual Orientation: The higher the score, the more the individual prefers to work alone; that is, to have little contact with others.

Stephen Pastis provides today's example of what is likely to be low Group Orientation in Rat.

What Are Some Implications of the Patterns?

We will often describe the behavior of a high Group Orientation / low Individual Orientation individual as "out-and-about". That is, he or she will often be found visiting co-workers or having someone in her or his office. Contact is motivating.

The high Individual Orientation individual may often prefer to work with the door closed and may find someone coming in or sticking his or her head in the door as annoying. While the individual may have good interpersonal skills, extensive contact in the workplace in a day or week may be de-motivating and de-energizing.

In Pastis's cartoon, Goat is probably high on Group and Rat high on Individual. Each character is acting consistently with the respective pattern.

What are your patterns and how do they play out in the workplace?