Joining Together Group Theory and Group Skills

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-14
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Joining Together introduces readers to the theory and research needed to understand how to make groups effective and, through exercises and thorough explanations, equips them with the skills required to apply that knowledge to practical situations. Chapters discuss the history of groups and group dynamics, the nature of experiential learning, group goals, communication within groups, leadership, power, decision making, controversy and creativity, and conflict management. More applied chapters focus on valuing diversity, cooperative learning, leading counseling groups, and team development and training. The new edition of this best-selling textfeatures: Newsections on controversy and creativity Newindividual and group exercises A focuson new technologies Greater focuson minority influence, group goals, and diversity and many other updates and changes. Joining Together introduces readers to the theory and research needed to understand how to make groups effective and, through exercises and thorough explanations, equips them with the skills required to apply that knowledge to practical situations.

Author Biography

David W. Johnson is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota.  He is Co-Director of the Cooperative Learning Center.  He received his doctoral degree in social psychology from Columbia University.  His research areas include social interdependence (cooperation and competition) and conflict resolution.  He is a past-editor of the American Educational Research Journal.  He has authored over 500 research articles and book chapters.  He is the author of over 50 books, including Reaching Out:  Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-Actualization, Active Learning:  Cooperation in the College Classroom, Cooperation in the Classroom, Creative Controversy, Teaching Students To Be Peacemakers, and Cooperation and Competition:  Theory and Research.  He has received numerous awards from such organizations as the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, and the Interactional Association for Conflict Management. 


Frank P. Johnson graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and received a Masters of  Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston and his Doctor in Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological School. He has 35 years experience in the field of Applied Behavioral Science, with professional recognition from NTL Institute of Applied Behavioral Science, Association for Creative Change, Consultant/Trainers Southwest, and the Mid-Atlantic Association for Training and Consulting. He was employed for 13 years at the University of Maryland Counseling Center, teaching group counseling, and, during that time was a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Maryland School of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. He has written many journal articles, contributed chapters to books, and is the co-author of Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills. He has been a consultant with a variety of organizations, including educational, governmental, religious, and industrial. From 1984 - 1996 he was employed at Ethyl Corporation as a Human Resources Development Associate. Since his retirement from Ethyl, he has served as an Interim Minister in several churches and is now employed as a Chaplain for Canon Hospice in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Group Dynamics

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Group Dynamics and Me

What Is a Group?

The Importance of Groups

Group Structure

Creating Productive Groups

How to Create an Effective Group

The Development of Groups Over Time

The Field of Group Dynamics

The Nature of This Book and How to Use It


Chapter 2: Experiential Learning

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Procedural Learning

Action Theories

Gaining Expertise Through Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning and Motivation

Learning Group Skills

Role Playing

Learning How to Be a Participant—Observer

Conducting Skill-Training Exercises

Ethics of Experiential Learning



Chapter 3: Group Goals, Social Interdependence, and Trust

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter


What Is a Goal?


Clarity of Goals

Operational Goals

Group Goals and Level of Aspiration

Dealing with Hidden Agendas

Helping Groups Set Effective Goals

Group Goals and Social Interdependence Among Members

Outcomes of Social Interdependence

Effort to Achieve and Produce

Reciprocal Relationships Among the Three Outcomes

Mediating Variables: The Basic Elements of Cooperation 1

The Stability of Cooperation

Goal Structures and the Allocation of Benefits

Among Group Members

Mixed-Motive Situations

Developing and Maintaining Trust


Chapter 4: Communication Within Groups

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Introduction and Definitions

Group Communication

Sending and Receiving Messages

Communication in a Problem-Solving Group

Interaction Analysis

Communication Networks

Communication Patterns in an Authority Hierarchy

Influences on Effectiveness of Group Communication

Effects of Cooperation and Competition on Communication

Physical Influences on Communication

Seating Arrangements



Chapter 5: Leadership

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

What Is Leadership?

Trait Theories of Leadership

Leadership Styles

Influence Theory of Leadership

Role Position/Group Structure Approach to Leadership

Situational Theories of Leadership

Organizational Leadership

What If You Do Not Want to Be a Leader?


Chapter 6: Using Power

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter


What Is Power?

The Dynamic Interdependence View of Power

Mobilizing Power to Achieve Goals

The Trait Factor Approach to Power

The Bases of Power

Conflict Model of Social Influence

Power and Problem Solving

Unequal Power

Group Norms: Indirect Power

The Group Mind

Individual Versus Relationship Perspectives


Chapter 7: Decision Making

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Making Effective Decisions

Individual Versus Group Decision Making

Methods of Decision Making

Factors Enhancing Group Decision Making

Factors Hindering Group Decision Making

Considered and Thoughtful Decision Making

Problems with Theorizing on Decision Making


Chapter 8 Controversy and Creativity

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Controversy and Decision Making

Outcomes of Controversy


Process of Controversy

Conditions Determining the Constructiveness

of Controversy

Minority Influence, Controversy, and Decision Making

Structuring Constructive Controversies

Being a Citizen in a Democracy


Developing and Fostering Creativity

Open versus Closed Belief Systems



Chapter 9: Managing Conflicts of Interest

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Conflict-Positive Groups

Nature of Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts Can Be Destructive or Constructive

Conflict and Aggression

Conflict Management Strategies: What Are You Like?

Controlling the Occurrence of Conflicts

The Nature of Negotiations

Two Types of Negotiating

The Integrative Negotiating Procedure

Defining the Conflict as a Mutual Problem

Try, Try Again

Negotiating in Good Faith

Refusal Skills: This Issue Is Non-Negotiable

Intergroup Conflict

Third-Party Mediation


Chapter 10: Valuing Diversity

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter


Sources of Diversity

The Importance of Managing Diversity

The Value of Diversity

Barriers to Interacting with Diverse Peers

Making Member Diversity a Strength


Chapter 11: Cooperative Learning in the Classroom

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter

Nature of Cooperative Learning

Formal Cooperative Learning: Being A “Guide on the Side”

Preinstructional Decisions

Explaining the Task and Cooperative Structure

Monitoring and Intervening

Evaluating Learning and Processing Interaction

Informal Cooperative Learning Groups

Using Informal Cooperative Learning

Base Groups

Integrated Use of All Three Goal Structures

The Cooperative School


Chapter 12: Leading Growth and Counseling Groups

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter


Types of Therapeutic Groups

The Unique Power of Group Experiences

Importance of Disclosing Emotions

Leading a Growth Group

Conceptual Frameworks, Feelings, and Intuition

Growth Groups and Participant Anxiety

Costs of Growth and Therapy Groups

Comparative Effectiveness


Chapter 13: Team Development, Team Training

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter


What Is a Team?

Organizational Context

Building Productive Teams

Assessing Quality of Work

Use of Teams in Training Programs

Total Quality Management

Dealing with Problem Behaviors in Teams


Chapter 14: Epilogue

Guidelines for Creating Effective Groups

Learning Group Skills


Appendix: Answers



Name Index

Subject Index


Rewards Program

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