Sharing some real Life happenings / experiences …….. 7 (Group Work)

In the life, you get different experiences good or bad especially when you work in a group and sometimes it taste sweet and bitter too.

I recently joined a local renowned university for a 2 years degree program. One of the course required us to write a literature review on any topic of our choice (about 5000 to 7000 words) as a assignment and in a group of two students and within about 50 days time period. But before writing, we had to submit an abstract of one page (under 500 words) about the topic in a week. The topic i wanted to do was a broad one in many aspects (Government Policy on Education) and no one in the class was willing to join me because all were doing a small scale studies at the primary school education level. So, i volunteered and asked the teacher that i am ready to join anyone without any hesitation and willing to work on their choice of topic. The basic purpose of volunteering on doing others topic was to learn and participate in a group work with equal efforts. She paired me up with a girl who was working on play therapy for school children’s.

See the following one week situation of group work which started on wednesday 10th October, 2018;

  • Wednesday: Teacher asked me that if i could join a girl who didn’t had any group member on the topic of her choice and i willfully volunteered.  First she verbally informed about the topic and then shared her topic on Whatsapp in the same day.
  • Thursday: We discussed for 15 minutes after the class at around 11:15 am in the morning and went to the computer lab where i started searching for different articles on the topic and she was doing her other assignment instead of doing the search as i was doing
    • I sent her about 10 articles on the topic via email as my contribution in the evening so that she may study them and provide feedback which she didn’t.
  • Friday: We didn’t met because classes were off
  • Saturday: In he night, I had developed the rough draft of Abstract on the topic along with list of articles, websites, books according to the parts of topic (total 3 pages) and sent her via email. I made the task easier by listing out 30 plus articles and links
  • Monday: We met for 30 minutes and she started altering on the same rough draft i mailed her in the night of Saturday as it was her right to do so because of the conceptualization of topic. It was decided that we would bring summaries of articles (in 3 lines) to discuss on next day i.e. Tuesday
  • Tuesday: We sat again at 11:15 am after the class but i forgot the paper (in which i wrote 3 lines summaries of all searched articles) at home. However, i went to computer lab and developed another paper in one hour and came back to the meeting point.
    • I informed her that we also have to submit “Statement of Authorship” along with one page abstract which will inform  the teacher about the percentage of work we together have contributed in the development of Abstract. She replied with an aggressive attitude that i (means me) have not contributed a single inch in the development of Abstract and all efforts have been put up by her.

I was literally shocked to hear her remarks. I thought that she might have not understood what i wanted to inform as she was in hurry to go back to home. In the night of the same day, i sent her the “Statement of Authorship” by writing 50% contribution from each side for further submission along with the Abstract to the teacher but she again replied that i haven’t contribute a single inch towards the development of Abstract. Following is her Whatsapp response;



Whatsapp Chat

She said in the above chat that i had not contributed whereas she was making changes in my developed Abstract (hehehehe….) and she forgot about my all efforts in a minute and more then 10 research articles i had mailed her before as well as list attached with the Abstract. she used the word misplaced whereas i informed her that left the paper at home.

This situation was totally surprising for me about the group dynamics. Even upon her response, i had allowed her to write what ever percentage of work / contribution she wanted to write because i never had desired to indulge myself in a conflict with her at the most earlier stage of the assignment and tried to avoid it….


I still even don’t get her motive behind it except that might be she wanted to take all credit of the assignment or may be it was her attitude. She never had attended any of the class and was relying on her past good image in the eyes of faculty which was created during her undergraduate studies in the same university and scored good CGP i.e. 3.83 out of 4.00.

I decided in that night that i should inform the teacher about the situation  as early as possible and to request her for my separation from the group assignment in order to avoid any high conflict in future and doing work alone. The other option that i thought was to send her (teacher) a copy via email of what ever i would contribute towards the assignment with the girl, so that she can make wise decision in case of any conflict an have better idea about the contribution. However, I am thankful to the teacher (faculty) that she understood my issue and permitted me to do the assignment alone on my desired topic of research.

When you work in a group then it means your contribution shall be count 50% in all manner either you practically work / contribute only 10% or 80% towards the assignment / objective. Group means that you are one body like four wheels of a car”

About ***** Azfar Abbas *****

My name is Azfar Abbas I am an MPA, a Development Sector Consultant & Operations Management Specialist. Worked with the IBRD (The World Bank), PIFD and international organizations. A Lahoree by birth, Taurian by Star, music freak, a writter, singer and a food lover from Lahore, Pakistan
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