Joining Together Group Theory and Group Skills

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  • Edition: 12th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/18/2016
  • Publisher: Pearson

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A broad, integrative, unique overview of group dynamics, Joining Together bridges the gap between theory, research, and practice, and combines a conceptual understanding of group dynamics with what’s needed to develop effective small group skills. In it readers are involved in the content that combines the theoretical and empirical knowledge now available on group dynamics with practical ways to apply that knowledge in groups to which readers actually belong. Constructed so that the theory and research on group dynamics is taught experientially through exercises and simulations included in the book, Joining Together provides the ideal combination for ensuring success in working with groups.


All important areas of group dynamics are included, from the history of the field to decision making and conflict management, and applied chapters focus on such practical areas as valuing diversity, cooperative learning, leading counseling groups, and team development and training. Accessible, clear, and practical, it gives students the tools and skills they need to be effective group members and to ensure the effectiveness of any group to which they belong. 

Author Biography

David W. Johnson is an Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota.  He is Co-Director of the Cooperative Learning Center.  He received his doctoral degree from Columbia University.  He has authored over 500 research articles and book chapters.  He is the author of over 50 books.  He is a past-editor of the American Educational Research Journal.  He held the Emma M. Birkmaier Professorship in Educational Leadership at the University of Minnesota from 1994 to 1997 and the Libra Endowed Chair for Visiting Professor at the University of Maine in 1996-1997.  He received the American Psychological Association’s 2003 Award for Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education and Practice.  In 2007 he received (with his brother Roger) Brock International Prize in Education administered by the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma.  In 2008 he received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award from the American Education Research Association.  In 2010 he received the Jeffrey Rubin Theory To Practice Award, awarded by the International Association for Conflict Management and the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School.  In 2011 he received the A. M. Wellner Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.  For the past 40 years Dr. Johnson has served as an organizational consultant to schools and businesses throughout the world.  He is a practicing psychotherapist.


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

Brief Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 Group Dynamics 1

CHAPTER 2 Experiential Learning 46

CHAPTER 3 Group Goals, Social Interdependence, and Trust 69

CHAPTER 4 Communication Within Groups 137

CHAPTER 5 Leadership 171

CHAPTER 6 Using Power 210

CHAPTER 7 Decision Making 257

CHAPTER 8 Controversy and Creativity 315

CHAPTER 9 Managing Conflicts of Interest 371

CHAPTER 10 Valuing Diversity 435

CHAPTER 11 Group Dynamics, Democracy, and Peace 000

CHAPTER 12 Cooperative Learning in the Classroom 467

CHAPTER 13 Leading Growth and Counseling Groups 494

CHAPTER 14 Team Development, Team Training 519

CHAPTER 15 Epilogue 548


Detailed Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 Group Dynamics 1

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 1

Group Dynamics and Me 2

What Is a Group? 5

The Importance of Groups 11

Group Structure 14

Creating Productive Groups 18

How to Create an Effective Group 24

The Development of Groups Over Time 27

The Field of Group Dynamics 34

Online Groups 40

The Nature of this text and how to Use it 42

Summary 45

CHAPTER 2 Experiential Learning 46

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 46

Procedural Learning 47

Action Theories 48

Gaining Expertise Through Experiential Learning 50

Experiential Learning and Motivation 53

Learning Group Skills 54

Role Playing 57

Learning How to Be a Participant–Observer 58

Conducting Skill-Training Exercises 61

Ethics of Experiential Learning 65

Summary 67

CHAPTER 3 Group Goals, Social Interdependence, and Trust 69

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 69

Introduction 70

What Is a Goal? 73

Start with Goals 76

Clarity of Goals 78

Operational Goals 78

Performance and Mastery Goals 79

Group Goals and Level of Aspiration 80

Dealing with Hidden Agendas 81

Helping Groups Set Effective Goals 82

Group Goals and Social Interdependence Among Members 88

Outcomes of Social Interdependence 93

Effort to Achieve 95

Positive Relationships and Social Support 98

Psychological Health and Self-Esteem 101

Reciprocal Relationships among the Three Outcomes 108

Mediating Variables: The Basic Elements of Cooperation 108

The Stability of Cooperation 116

Using Technology to Enhance Cooperation 116

Distributive Justice: The Allocation of Benefits Among Group Members 120

Conditions for Constructive Individualistic Efforts 123

Mixed-Motive Situations 124

Developing and Maintaining Trust 129

Summary 135

CHAPTER 4 Communication Within Groups 137

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 137

Introduction and Definitions 138

Group Communication 140

Sending and Receiving Messages 142

Communication in a Problem-Solving Group 152

Interaction Analysis 152

Communication Networks 160

Communication Patterns in an Authority Hierarchy 161

Influences on Effectiveness of Group Communication 166

Effects of Cooperation and Competition on Communication 166

Physical Influences on Communication 167

Seating Arrangements 168

Humor 168

Summary 169

CHAPTER 5 Leadership 171

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 171

What Is Leadership? 172

Trait Theories of Leadership 181

Leadership Styles 186

Influence Theory of Leadership 189

Role Position/Group Structure Approach to Leadership 190

Situational Theories of Leadership 195

Organizational Leadership 199

What If You Do Not Want to Be a Leader? 203

Summary 209

CHAPTER 6 Using Power 210

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 210

Introduction 211

What Is Power? 214

The Dynamic-Interdependence View of Power 216

Mobilizing Power to Achieve Goals 220

The Trait-Factor Approach to Power 223

The Bases of Power 226

Conflict Model of Social Influence 229

Power and Problem Solving 232

Unequal Power 235

Group Norms: Indirect Power 248

The Group Mind 251

Individual Versus Relationship Perspectives 254

Summary 255

CHAPTER 7 Decision Making 257

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 257

Making Effective Decisions 258

Individual Versus Group Decision Making 261

Methods of Decision Making 275

Factors Enhancing Group Decision Making 284

Factors Hindering Group Decision Making 284

Considered and Thoughtful Decision Making 298

Potential Problems in Decision Making 306

Problems with Theorizing on Decision Making 308

Summary 314

CHAPTER 8 Controversy and Creativity 315

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 315

Controversy and Decision Making 316

Nature of Controversy 316

Theory of Constructive Controversy 333

Process of Controversy 333

Outcomes of Controversy 340

Conditions Determining the Constructiveness of Controversy 347

Inquiry-Based Advocacy 350

Minority Influence, Controversy, And Decision Making 350

Structuring Constructive Controversies 352

Being A Citizen In A Democracy 352

In Conclusion 353

Creativity 356

Developing and Fostering Creativity 359

Open Versus Closed Belief Systems 362

Brainstorming 364

Summary 369

CHAPTER 9 Managing Conflicts of Interest 371

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 371

Conflict-Positive Group 372

Nature of Conflicts of Interest 372

Conflicts Can be Destructive or Constructive 373

Conflict and Aggression 375

Conflict Management Strategies: What Are you Like? 378

Controlling the Occurrence of Conflicts 382

The Nature of Negotiations 383

Two Types of Negotiating 386

The Integrative Negotiating Procedure 392

Defining the Conflict As a Mutual Problem 395

Try, Try Again 409

Negotiating in Good Faith 412

Refusal Skills: This Issue Is Nonnegotiable 412

Intergroup Conflict 415

Third-Party Mediation 429

Summary 434

CHAPTER 10 Valuing Diversity 435

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 435

Introduction 436


The Value of Diversity 441

Barriers to Interacting with Diverse Peers 444

Attribution Theory 450

Making Member Diversity a Strength 453

Summary 458

CHAPTER 11 Group Dynamics, Democracy, and Peace 000

Introduction 000

Group Dynamics and Peace 000

Ways of Establishing Peace 000

Role of Group Dynamics in Establishing and Maintaining Consensual Peace 000

CHAPTER 12 Cooperative Learning in the Classroom 467

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 467

Nature of Cooperative Learning 468

Formal Cooperative Learning: Being “A Guide on the Side” 470

Preinstructional Decisions 473

Explaining the Task and Cooperative Structure 478

Monitoring and Intervening 480

Evaluating Learning and Processing Interaction 483

Informal Cooperative Learning Groups 484

Using Informal Cooperative Learning 485

Base Groups 487

Integrated Use of All Three Goal Structures 489

The Cooperative School 491

Summary 492

CHAPTER 13 Leading Growth and Counseling Groups 494

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 494

Introduction 495

Types of Therapeutic Groups 495

The Unique Power of Group Experiences 502

Importance of Disclosing Emotions 507

Leading a Growth Group 509

Conceptual Frameworks, Feelings, and Intuition 514

Growth Groups and Participant Anxiety 516

Costs of Growth and Therapy Groups 516

Comparative Effectiveness 517

Summary 517

CHAPTER 14 Team Development, Team Training 519

Basic Concepts to Be Covered in This Chapter 519

Introduction 520

What Is a Team? 521

Organizational Context 525

Organizational Development 526

Building Productive Teams 530

Assessing Quality of Work 534

Run Chart 538

Use of Teams in Training Programs 541

Total Quality Management 542

Dealing with Problem Behaviors in Teams 544

Summary 546

CHAPTER 15 Epilogue 548

Guidelines for Creating Effective Groups 549

Learning Group Skills 551

Summary 552

Appendix: Answers 553

Glossary 567

References 581

Name Index 641

Subject Index 651

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