A group contract refers to a file created by a group to formulate the group members expectations. A group contract should contain the following: names of the group members and contact details. In other words, it refers to a shared document written and signed jointly by group members. It’s essentially a mutual agreement made throughout the project by all group members to set the norms for collaboration. When a group contract is developed for some investment purpose, it is known as an investment group contract.
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Elements of a Group Contract
A typical group contract needs to include the following elements:
- The names and the contact details of the members of the group.
- Expectations or ground rules about community meetings planning and attendance, the frequency and length of sessions, and communication. The contract needs to be focused on the behavior expected of all group members and should include only those behavior that is crucial to the effectiveness of the group. Groups could be targeting five to seven ground rules.
- Different duties, roles, and responsibilities are delegated along with due dates. The group should specify the tasks for the project to be accomplished, and provide a place for each team member to sign up for that assignment.
- There should be a specific process outline for handling unmet expectations or other issues that may arise.
- A stipulated-upon peer support process during the project so that issues can be dealt with before the project is finished.
- A spot for each member of the group to sign, indicating their commitment to the contract.
- A place for all the members of the group to sign once the project is completed to indicate whether or not they agree to contribute as expected by all group members and thus earn the group grade.
Importance of a Group Contract
There are three main benefits of using a group contract:
- Assist the members of the group to identify each other’s expectations, communicate those expectations and articulate their expectations.
- Enhance reflection by the members of the group on their previous experiences and correspondence practices, essential transferable skills for future personal and work relations.
- Increase a sense of belonging in the project and team as the members get to know each other and work with each other.
Strengths and Weaknesses of a Group Contract
The development of a group contract begins with a discussion among the group members about the strengths and weaknesses of each other concerning the task or project taken into consideration. For instance, if the group contract is for investment purposes, it is advantageous for everyone to know if everyone has an idea about the investment strategy. In the case that there is a video element, a member with video skills can let all the other members know. If the venture includes public speaking, and a member is scared of that, during this part of the process they would share this with their group members. This does not mean that if someone is strong in a certain area a certain task will be assigned to them, or that a member who is afraid of public speaking will not have to present it.
Ways and Consequences of Violating a Group Contract
A contract violation can occur when an involved party of the contract has:
- Neglects to meet its contractual obligations in whole or in part.
- Behaves in ways that demonstrate an inclination not to fulfill its contractual obligations in the future.
- As a consequence of the defaulting party’s act, the contract becomes impossible to perform.
These categories only define how it is possible to breach a contract and not how serious the breach is. The first form among the above is, in reality, a contract violation. The first type mentioned above is a true violation of the contract. The second two kinds are infringements of the contract’s future performance and are technically known as renunciation infringements. The defaulting party resigns from the agreement in advance of the date it is expected to fulfill its duties. A renunciatory breach is more commonly referred to as ‘predictive breach’.
Remedies for a Breach of a Contract
Under the existing laws, the guilty party must remedy the infringement once a contract is infringed. The principal alternatives are damage, particular performance, or cancelation and restitution of contracts.
- Damage Compensation: The objective with compensatory damages is to make the whole of the non-breaching party as if the breach never happened.
- Punitive injuries. While rare, this occurs when the breach came to a standstill, acting outright. The non-breaching party gets a payment that goes further than the damaging amount.
- Nominal Damages: Damage nominal. The court or the arbitrator may award nominal damages as a token grant if the non-breaching group has not suffered a loss of money.
- Damages paid in liquidation: There are situations in which both parties outline contract costs. That is called liquidated damage. The amount of damage has to be a reasonable estimate of actual damages.