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Small Group and Team Communication

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Small Group and Team Communicationi ntegrates theory, research, and practical examples into a clear and logical presentation ofhow communication works in a variety of professional, social, civic, and personal groups and teams .   Through the incorporation of new research and the systems theory framework, extensive examples and updated exercises, the Fifth Edition promotes outstanding discussions in critical issues of diversity, ethics, and technology.

Table of Contents

Chapter  1– Small Groups: Power, Definition, Attraction


Types of Small Groups

The Power of Groups

Defining a Small Group and Small Group Communication

Small Groups Best Conceived of as Network

Why Join a Group?

Characteristics of Small Groups

Coordinating Mechanisms

Characteristics of Small Group Communication

Organizational Examples


Quality Decision Making through Group Diversity and Ethics

Chapter  2–Small Group Communication: A System of Interaction

Understanding Small Group Success–Four Ways

Communication in Small Groups–Six Basic Elements

A Systems Approach to Small Group Communication

Systems Theory

Open Systems

Complex Systems

Chapter  3–Norms, Roles, Cohesion, and Groupthink


The Reason for Norms

Types of Norms

Norms and Diversity

Violating Norms


Types of Roles

The Function of Roles


Influences on Cohesion

Consequences of Group Cohesion


Chapter  4–Phases of Group Development: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Forming: Hello, Orientation, and Inclusion

Storming: Conflict In Groups

Norming: Emergence as a Group

Performing: Making Decisions and Solving Problems

Defining the Problem

Considering Possible Solutions

Evaluating Solutions

Deciding on an Action Plan

Terminating: (often called fifth phase)

Usefulness of the Phase Model


Organizational Teams

Overriding influences on the process

Chapter  5–Diversity In Groups: The Strength of Different Perspectives

Defining Diversity in Small Groups

Assumptions and Stereotyping

Communication Contexts

Language Use

Nonverbal Communication

Diversity in Small Groups

Group Commitment and Consensus

Strength in Diversity

Making Diverse Groups Work–Listening is Key

Conflict Management

Hierarchies of Power

Pressures for Conformity

Chapter  6–Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Functions of Verbal Communication

Narratives and Group Fantasies

Structures of Meaning In Verbal Communication

Denotative and Connotative Meaning

Semantic and Symbolic Meaning

Group Talk

Nonverbal Communication

Principles of Nonverbal Communication

Types of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication used along with Verbal

Powerless Stereotypes

Verbal and Nonverbal Cues in Computer-Mediated Communication

Chapter  7–Listening and Feedback: The Other Half of Communication

The Influence of Culture on Listening

Listening as a Critical Leadership Skill


Four Components Of Listening

Evaluating the Message Content

Retaining and Responding to the Message

Active Listening

Eight Barriers

Four Active Listening Response Methods

Feedback: Responding to The Message

Providing Constructive Feedback

Receiving Feedback

Chapter  8–Group Evolution: Teams

Organizations and Teams


Teams provide Four Advantages to Organizations

Organizations and Teams

Four Issues regarding Parallel Teams

Quality Circles

Parallel Teams–Three Problems

Individual Rewards

Inappropriate Management Styles


Self-Managing Work Teams (SMWTs)

Self-Managing Work Team Achievements in 6 Performance Areas

Overcoming Barriers to Self-Managing Work Team Building

Chapter  9–Decision Making And Problem Solving

Decision Making And Problem Solving

Six-Step DECIDE Model

Define the Goal and Problem

Examine the Constraints

Consider the Alternatives

Initiate a Decision

Develop a Decision Implementation Plan

Evaluate the Decision or Solution

Context Influences on Decision-Making, Problem-Solving Groups

Decision Making–Seeking Consensus

Ethical Behaviors for Decision-Making, Problem-Solving Groups

Chapter  10–Creativity in the Small Group Process

What Is Creativity?

Creativity Means A New Way of Looking

Barriers To Creativity

Techniques For Encouraging Creativity

Solving Problems Creatively

Create a Creative Group Climate

Gibb's Six Group Climate Comparisons

Chapter  11–Group Process and Presentation Techniques


Creative Decision Making Techniques

Focus Groups

Nominal Group Technique

Delphi Technique


Buzz Sessions

Idea Writing

Role Playing

Listening Teams

Problem-Solving Tools


Fishbone Diagrams

Pareto's Principle

The Risk Procedure

Pert (Program Evaluation And Review Technique)

How These Techniques Are Used: Six Sigma

When Does Achieving Six Sigma Really Matter?

Small Group Presentational Formats

The Forum

The Panel

The Colloquium

The Symposium

Chapter  12–Productive Conflict Management

Defining Conflict

Conflict within Systems

Conflict Within Small Groups

The Substance of Conflict

Patterns of Conflict Management

Six Styles of Conflict Management







Constructive Conflict Management

Ethics for Productive Conflict Management






Power in Group Conflict








Power In Context

Chapter  13–Leadership in Small Groups

Recognizing Leaders

Three Characteristics of Leaders

Leadership as a Function in a System

Theories Of Leadership

Managerial Grid

Transactional, Transformational Theories

Choosing A Leader

Tasks Of Group Leaders

Influences on Group Leadership

Leadership Styles

Five Coaching Roles

Chapter  14–Observing and Evaluating a Small Group


Systematic Feedback

Four ways to obtain feedback

Success and Failure

Observer-Members Scales

Rating Scales

Likert Scales

Observer Feedback Guidelines

Individual Role Behavior

Bales's Interaction Categories

Verbal Interaction And Content Analyses

Other Methods of Reflection

Chapter  15– Computer-Mediated Small Group Communication

Using Technology to Communicate

Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)

Group Performance in CMC

Second Life Group Discussions

Comparisons of CMC and Face-to-Face Group Discussions

Social Networking through Facebook

Audio and Video Conferencing Systems

Influences of the CMC Medium on Communication

Social Presence

Media Richness

Synchronous-Asynchronous Communication

Other Influences of the Medium on Social Presence

Some Effects of CMC on Group Process

Gender Swapping?

Computer Ethics

Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics

Choosing a Medium for the Effective Use of CMC

Choosing a Medium for the Communication Task

Find a Language Demand–Technology Fit

Matching Media Richness to Communication Function

Adopting Effective Group Communication Strategies for CMC

Facilitating Effective CMC Group Communication

Leading a CMC Group Meeting

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