Communication in Small Groups Theory, Process, and Skills

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-09-04
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing

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COMMUNICATION IN SMALL GROUPS: THEORY, PROCESS, SKILLS expertly balances theory and processes with practical skill development. Drawing on their extensive and varied experience as active researchers, lecturers, and communication consultants, the authors provide students with a clear and comprehensive introduction to the study of small group communication. This well-respected text effectively integrates theory, research, and practice, guiding readers to apply concepts and principles to the process of communication when working as members of a team.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Defining Small Group Communicationp. 1
Why Study Small Group Communication?p. 3
Living and Working in Groupsp. 3
The College Scenariop. 3
The Organizational Scenariop. 4
The Fire Department Scenariop. 5
Rationale for Studying Group Communicationp. 5
Cultural Rationalep. 6
Corporate Rationalep. 7
Academic Rationalep. 8
What Is a Small Group?p. 9
Directly Observable Characteristics of a Small Groupp. 10
Communicationp. 10
Spacep. 11
Timep. 12
Group Sizep. 12
Indirectly Observable Characteristics of a Small Groupp. 13
Interdependencep. 13
Normsp. 14
Structured Patterns of Talkp. 16
Goalsp. 17
A Perceived Shared Identityp. 18
Types of Small Groupsp. 18
Long-Standing Work Groupsp. 19
Project Teamsp. 21
Virtual Teamsp. 23
Group Concept Recipep. 26
Chapter Summaryp. 27
Learning Core Group Communication Theories, Processes, and Skillsp. 29
A Model of Small Group Communicationp. 31
The Model's Decision-Making Theory, Process, Signposts, Skillsp. 33
Decision-Making Theoryp. 33
Decision-Making Processp. 34
Problem-Solving Signposts: Understanding and Agreementp. 36
Problem-Solving Skillsp. 37
The Model's Role Theory, Process, Signposts, Skillsp. 38
Role Emergence Theoryp. 38
Role Emergence Processp. 39
Role Signposts: Formationp. 41
Role-Playing Skillsp. 42
The Model's Interpersonal Theory, Process, Signposts, Skillsp. 43
Interpersonal Theoryp. 43
Relational Processp. 46
Relational Signposts: Level of Interpersonal Trust and Empathyp. 49
Relationship-Building Skillsp. 50
The Model's Symbolic Theory, Process, Signposts, Skillsp. 51
Symbolic Convergence Theoryp. 51
Consciousness-Raising Processp. 52
Consciousness-Raising Signposts: Identification and Pridep. 55
Team-Building Skillsp. 57
Establish Group Traditionsp. 58
Major Group Outcomesp. 60
Productivityp. 60
Quality of Workp. 61
Consensusp. 61
Membership Satisfactionp. 62
Chapter Summaryp. 63
Case Study: The FDNY's Response to the World Trade Center Attackp. 65
Structuring Problem-Solving Groupsp. 67
Group Problem-Solving Road Map: A Process Viewp. 69
Discussion Formatsp. 72
Roundtable Discussionp. 73
Symposiump. 75
Panel Discussionp. 76
Forum Typesp. 77
Colloquyp. 78
Parliamentary Procedurep. 79
Specific Decision-Making Techniquesp. 81
Nominal Group Discussionp. 81
Delphi Techniquep. 83
Brainstormingp. 85
Electronic Brainstorming Systemsp. 87
Buzz Groupsp. 88
Single-Question Formp. 89
Ideal-Solution Formp. 90
Focus Group Interviewp. 90
Problem-Solving Agenda Systemsp. 93
Dewey's Reflective Thinking: McBurney and Hancep. 93
Ross Four-Step Agendap. 95
Wright Ten-Step Agendap. 96
Brilhart-Jochem Ideation Criteriap. 99
Functional Approach to Problem Solvingp. 99
Chapter Summaryp. 100
Case Study: The Parking Committeep. 102
Preparing for Group Problem Solvingp. 105
Group Ethical Standardsp. 107
Commitment to Doing Your Bestp. 108
Commitment to the Group Goodp. 109
Commitment to Rationalityp. 109
Commitment to Fair Playp. 110
Commitment to Good Listeningp. 111
Commitment to Preparationp. 111
Commitment to Ideational Conflictp. 112
Commitment to Objectivityp. 112
Commitment to Tolerancep. 112
Commitment to Social Maturityp. 113
Confront Ethical Dilemmas with a Sense of Moral Couragep. 113
Developing Topics for Problem Solvingp. 114
Self and Audience Assessmentp. 115
Efficiencyp. 117
Analyzing Topics for Problem Solvingp. 117
Questions of Factp. 117
Questions of Valuep. 118
Questions of Policyp. 119
Research Strategies for Problem Solvingp. 120
Inefficiency/Information Overloadp. 121
Lack of Contextp. 121
Lack of Credibilityp. 121
Improving Group Reasoning Skillsp. 122
Types of Evidencep. 122
Tests of Factsp. 122
Tests of Opinionp. 123
Tests of Statisticsp. 124
Types of Argumentp. 125
Argument by Authority Assertionp. 125
Argument by Signp. 127
Argument by Examplep. 127
Argument by Causep. 128
Structuring Discussionsp. 129
Problem-Solution Organizingp. 131
Preparing Discussion Outlinesp. 131
Chapter Summaryp. 133
Case Study: A City Council Meetingp. 135
Managing Diversity and Relational Trustp. 139
Sociocultural Diversityp. 142
Cultural Diversityp. 143
Gender Differencesp. 147
Generational Diversityp. 151
Professional Diversityp. 154
Individual Diversityp. 155
Diverse Interpersonal Needs within a Groupp. 155
Diverse Personalities within a Groupp. 157
Communication Skills for Managing Diversity and Relational Trustp. 159
Take Cross-Cultural Communication Trainingp. 159
Practice Cultural Perspective Takingp. 159
Use SYMLOG to Facilitate Effective Role Takingp. 160
Ensure Interpersonal Needs Are Metp. 162
Team Building to Enhance Cohesion in Diverse Groupsp. 164
Practice the Communication Skills of an Ideal Group Memberp. 165
Managing Nonverbal Messagesp. 167
Environmental Dimensionsp. 168
Personal Dimensionsp. 171
Chapter Summaryp. 172
Case Study: Diary of George Cramerp. 174
Leading Small Groupsp. 177
Theories for Leading Small Groupsp. 180
Designated Leader Approachesp. 181
Emergent Leader Theoriesp. 190
Problem-Solving Leadership Skillsp. 196
Task Leadership Skillsp. 196
Procedural Leadership Skillsp. 199
Interpersonal Leadership Skillsp. 201
Chapter Summaryp. 205
Case Study: Leading a Corporate Task Forcep. 207
Effective Role Performance in Small Groupsp. 211
Frequently Played Roles in Small Groupsp. 214
Task Leaderp. 214
Social-Emotional Leaderp. 215
Tension Releaserp. 215
Information Providerp. 216
Central Negativep. 216
Questionerp. 217
Silent Observerp. 218
Active Listenerp. 218
Recorderp. 218
Self-Centered Followerp. 219
Communication Skills for Enhancing Effective Role Performance in Small Groupsp. 222
Maintaining Role Stabilityp. 222
Adopting an Expanded Rolep. 223
Performing the Leadership Role When Neededp. 223
Assisting in Procedurep. 224
Observing and Self-Monitoringp. 224
Maintaining Focus on One's Professional Rolep. 224
Esprit de Corpsp. 225
Encouragingp. 225
Avoiding the Self-Centered Follower Rolep. 226
An Integrated View of Roles and Communication Skillsp. 229
A Mature Problem-Solving Groupp. 229
An Authoritatively Controlled Problem-Solving Groupp. 233
An Uncontrolled Problem-Solving Groupp. 233
The Social Problem-Solving Groupp. 236
Chapter Summaryp. 237
Case Study: A Decision-Making Meetingp. 239
Managing Group Conflictp. 243
Factors Influencing Group Conflictp. 246
Differences in Propensity to Take Risksp. 246
Differences in Professional Consciousness Statesp. 247
Negative Predispositions toward Group Workp. 249
Groupthinkp. 250
Tension between Competition and Cooperation in Groupsp. 254
Communication Skills for Managing Group Conflictp. 257
Task-Managing Skillsp. 257
Relationship-Managing Skillsp. 258
Team-Managing Skillsp. 260
Conflict Resolution Negotiating Stylesp. 261
Avoidingp. 263
Accommodatingp. 264
Compromisingp. 265
Collaboratingp. 267
Competingp. 268
Chapter Summaryp. 269
Case Study: Station House Number Sixp. 271
Facilitating Work Groups in Organizationsp. 275
Make Meetings More Effectivep. 278
Master Timep. 278
Understand Meeting Ritualsp. 280
Call Group Satisfaction Meetingsp. 281
Hold Group Consensus Meetingsp. 282
Run Routine Business Meetingsp. 283
Monday Morning Meetingsp. 283
Monthly Meetingsp. 284
Decision-Making Meetingsp. 284
Planning Meetingsp. 285
Manage Information between Groupsp. 288
Groups Protect Some Informationp. 288
Managers Gate Keep Group Informationp. 289
Group Information Is Powerp. 289
Social Groups Spread Informationp. 290
Groups Compete for Secret Informationp. 291
Use Specialized Group Problem-Solving Methodsp. 291
Six Sigmap. 292
Hedgehog Methodp. 293
Crisis Decision-Making Methodp. 294
Assimilate Groups into the Organizational Culturep. 295
X, Y, and Z Management Stylesp. 295
Righteous, Social, and Pragmatic Organizational Visionsp. 295
Maintain Groups in a Common Organizational Culturep. 298
Role of Sacred Organizational Storiesp. 298
Role of Organizational Sagasp. 299
Role of the Organizational Rallyp. 300
Role of In-House Publicationsp. 303
Role of Informal, Social Groupsp. 303
Chapter Summaryp. 304
Collaborating in Virtual Teamsp. 307
Catalysts Fueling the Use of Virtual Teamsp. 309
Teams with Geographically Dispersed Remote and Mobile Workersp. 309
Unified Communication: Convergent Technologiesp. 311
Unified Communication and Medium Choicep. 313
Communication Skills for Collaborating across Time and Spacep. 317
Relationship Building in Virtual Teamsp. 317
Effective Role Performance in Virtual Teamsp. 321
Team Building in Virtual Teamsp. 328
Chapter Summaryp. 329
Bibliographyp. 333
Author Indexp. 343
Subject Indexp. 347
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