Sense of community
Sense of community is a feeling of connectedness, belonging, and inclusion among a group of people. It is a social bond that encourages collective action, mutual support, and shared responsibility. In the context of management, sense of community is the shared commitment to a common purpose, shared values, and collective identity that unites a group, often centered around a business or organization. It fosters collaboration, trust, and cooperation among members, and encourages meaningful relationships, shared experiences, and a collective identity.
Example of sense of community
- A small business owner who regularly hosts networking events and encourages coworkers to share their successes and challenges.
- A local community organization that hosts volunteer events and fundraisers, bringing people together to work toward a common goal.
- A school or university that offers a wide range of activities, clubs, and social events, creating a shared sense of identity among students and faculty.
- A neighborhood that comes together to celebrate holidays and special occasions, creating a sense of belonging and connection.
- An online forum or discussion group that provides a safe and supportive space for members to share experiences, ask questions, and gain advice from one another.
When to use sense of community
Sense of community is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of ways. It can help to create a positive and collaborative atmosphere in any workplace, and it can be used to drive meaningful relationships, shared experiences, and collective identity within a business or organization. Here are some of the ways sense of community can be used:
- Creating a sense of belonging: Sense of community can be used to create a feeling of belonging and inclusion among members of a group, fostering a sense of trust, collaboration, and cooperation.
- Building relationships: Sense of community can be used to foster meaningful relationships between members of a group, encouraging them to develop a shared identity and shared experiences.
- Promoting collective action: Sense of community can be used to encourage collective action and shared responsibility among members of a group, which can lead to improved performance and productivity.
- Developing loyalty: Sense of community can be used to foster loyalty and commitment to a common purpose, shared values, and collective identity. This can help to create a sense of loyalty among members and drive better engagement and commitment.
- Enhancing team dynamics: Sense of community can be used to enhance team dynamics, allowing members to better understand and relate to one another, and encouraging a positive working environment.
Types of sense of community
A sense of community is an important element of group dynamics and can come in many forms. Some of the most common types of sense of community include:
- Geographic: This type of sense of community is based on physical location, such as a city, region, or country. People who share the same physical space often develop a sense of belonging and connection to one another.
- Social: This type of sense of community is based on shared experiences and interests. People who share common activities, hobbies, beliefs, or values may develop a strong sense of community.
- Organizational: This type of sense of community is based on shared goals and objectives within an organization. People who are united by a mission or purpose may develop a strong sense of connection and loyalty to the organization.
- Virtual: This type of sense of community is formed online, through social media and other digital platforms. People who share similar interests or engage in online conversations may develop a strong sense of community even if they are geographically dispersed.
Steps of building sense of community
- An introduction to the sense of community should begin by creating a shared vision and purpose. This should include a shared understanding of the desired outcomes and objectives, as well as a set of guiding principles and values to ensure the group is unified and working towards the same goals.
- Developing trust and communication within the group should be the next step, as it is key for members to feel safe and connected. This can be done through activities such as team building, open dialogue, and getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
- A sense of community is built through shared experiences, so team building activities and outings can be a great way to foster a strong bond. These activities can be as simple as going out for lunch or as complex as a weekend retreat.
- As the group begins to grow, it's important to create a sense of ownership and responsibility within the group. This can be done by encouraging members to take on roles and responsibilities and involving them in the decision-making process.
- Finally, it is important to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion. This can be done through recognition and appreciation of members’ contributions, as well as providing spaces and activities that celebrate diversity and promote mutual respect.
Advantages of sense of community
Sense of community offers numerous advantages to businesses and organizations, including increased collaboration and productivity, improved morale and motivation, enhanced communication and problem solving, and more. Here are some of the main benefits of building a sense of community among members:
- Increased collaboration and productivity: Sense of community encourages members to work together and share ideas, which can lead to increased productivity and collaboration.
- Improved morale and motivation: A sense of community can help create a positive environment, building morale and motivation among members.
- Enhanced communication and problem solving: Sense of community allows members to communicate more effectively, which can lead to better problem solving and decision making.
- Greater sense of belonging and inclusion: Sense of community helps members feel like they belong and are valued members of the group, which can lead to higher levels of engagement and loyalty.
- More meaningful relationships: Sense of community encourages members to build meaningful relationships with each other, which can help foster trust and collaboration.
Limitations of sense of community
Sense of community is an important means of creating positive relationships and fostering collective action and shared responsibility, but there are some limitations that should be taken into consideration. These include:
- Vulnerability to outsiders: A strong sense of community can lead to a feeling of exclusion of those outside the group, creating a lack of trust and communication.
- Exclusion of minority voices: A sense of community can lead to a dominant majority culture, where minority voices are not heard.
- Differences in levels of commitment: In a sense of community, there may be differences in how deeply members are committed to the group, leading to a lack of shared values or direction.
- Inability to adapt to changing conditions: Sense of community can lead to a stagnant environment where members are unwilling or unable to make changes or adjust to new circumstances.
- Increased risk of groupthink: A strong sense of community can lead to a conformity of opinion and decisions that are not based on research or critical thinking.
|Sense of community — recommended articles
|Sense of belonging — Ingroup and outgroup — Relationships at work — Informational social influence — Transformational leadership — Shared mental models — Sense of identity — Low power distance — Servant leadership
- McMillan, D. W. (1996). Sense of community. Journal of community psychology, 24(4), 315-325.
- McMillan, D. W., & Chavis, D. M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of community psychology, 14(1), 6-23.
- Francis, J., Giles-Corti, B., Wood, L., & Knuiman, M. (2012). Creating sense of community: The role of public space. Journal of environmental psychology, 32(4), 401-409.