The purpose of this paper is to explore the elements of tie formation and group cohesiveness in a loosely organized group with no clearly stated goal, commitment, or purpose. We employed participant observation and personal interviews to discover factors related to group cohesiveness. With inductive approach based on our thick description of the study sites, such as meeting space and group conversations, we found the nature of relationships within these groups is affected by how each group was started and organized. Having an expressive leader may increase group cohesiveness in a loosely organized group, especially when the leader has a long history with the organization which confers authority as a leader. In addition, use of humor by an expressive leader enhances group cohesiveness. Finally, the arrangement of the group meeting space impacts group cohesiveness. The focus of previous studies was to examine group cohesiveness of task-oriented groups with measurable goals; however, this study compares two loosely organized groups.


Tie Formation, Loosely Organized Group, Expressive Leadership, Group Genealogy, Knitters, Inductive Approach, Participant Observation

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