Primary and Secondary Groups

There are fundamentally two types of groups that can be observed in many contexts, from church to

school, family to work. These two types are primary and secondary groups. The hierarchy denotes the

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Primary and Secondary Groups
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

degree to which the group(s) meet your interpersonal needs. Primary groups meet most, if not all, of

one’s needs. Groups that meet some, but not all, needs are called secondary groups. Secondary groups

often include work groups, where the goal is to complete a task or solve a problem. If you are a member of

the sales department, your purpose is to sell.


In terms of problem solving, work groups can accomplish more than individuals can. People, each of

whom have specialized skills, talents, experience, or education come together in new combinations with

new challenges, find new perspectives to create unique approaches that they themselves would not have

formulated alone.


Secondary groups may meet your need for professional acceptance and celebrate your success, but they

may not meet your need for understanding and sharing on a personal level. Family members may

understand you in ways that your coworkers cannot, and vice versa.