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In Mixed Company Communicating in Small Groups and Teams

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-09-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


In Mixed Company, Tenth Edition, combines theory, applications, and current research on small group communication in a conversational and engaging style. The communication competence model and principles of cooperation guide discussions of key small group concepts and processes throughout the text.

* Rothwell's trademark style--erudite yet conversational and approachable and filled with practical advice, startling anecdotes, and humorous stories--engages readers like no other group communication textbook does
* Integrates a communication competence perspective throughout, providing a clear communication focus that is rigorous, engaging, and practical.
* The text's unique emphasis on the role of power in small group communication helps students see that power is a central underlying element in small group conflict, teamwork, decision making, problem solving, normative behavior, roles, and leadership.
* Systems theory--a key theoretical component of the text--equips students with an easy-to-understand conceptual framework for analysis and insights.
* Lively photos and cartoons bring chapter concepts to life.

Author Biography

J. Dan Rothwell recently retired as Chair of the Communication Studies Department at Cabrillo College, where he taught for thirty years. He is the author of three other books: Practically Speaking (OUP, 2017), In the Company of Others: An Introduction to Communication (OUP, 2016), Telling It Like It Isn't: Language Misuse and Malpractice (1982), and he coauthored Interpersonal Communication: Influences and Alternatives (1975) with James Costigan.

Table of Contents


Myths about Communication
Myth 1: Communication Is a Cure-all
Myth 2: Communication Can Break Down
Myth 3: Effective Communication Is Merely Skill Building
Myth 4: Effective Communication Is Just Common Sense
Communication Defined
Communication as Transactional: Mutually Influential
Communication as a Process: The Continuous Flow
Communication as Sharing Meaning: Making Sense
Verbal Communication: Telling It Like It Isn't
Nonverbal Communication: Wordless Meaning
Communication Competence
Effectiveness: Achieving Goals
A Matter of Degree: From Deficiency to Proficiency
We (Not Me) Oriented: Primacy of Groups
Appropriateness: Following the Rules
Rule Violations: Consequential Effects
Rule Changes: No Sacrosanct Rules
Intercultural Challenges: Individualism-Collectivism
Achieving Communication Competence
Knowledge: Learning the Rules
Skills: Showing, Not Just Knowing
Sensitivity: Receptive Accuracy
Commitment: A Passion for Excellence
Ethics: The Right and Wrong of Communication
Definition for a Group
Groups: More than People Standing at a Bus Stop
Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking: Ungroups
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Interconnectedness of Parts
Ripple Effect: A Chain Reaction
Synergy: One Plus One Equals a Ton
Negative Synergy: Results Beyond Bad
Adaptability: A Changing Environment
Dynamic Equilibrium: Managing Stability and Change
Dealing with Difficult Group Members: Bad Apple Spoilage
Boundary Control: Regulating Input
Communication Methods of Boundary Control: Erecting Barriers
Physical Barriers: Protecting Group Space
Psychological Barriers: Member in Name Only
Linguistic Barriers: Having to Speak the Language
Rules: Permission Not Granted
Roles: Staying in Bounds
Networks: Controlling Information and Interaction Flow
Open and Closed Systems: Setting Effective Boundaries
Influence of Size
Group Size and Complexity
Quantitative Complexity: Exponentially Complicated
Complexity and Group Transactions: Size Matters
An Organization: A Group of Groups
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Primary Dimensions of Groups
Task and Social Dimensions: Working and Relating
Building Cohesiveness: Bringing Us Together
Encourage Compatible Membership
Develop Shared Goals
Accomplish Tasks
Develop a Positive History of Cooperation
Promote Acceptance of Group Members
Periodic Phases of Group Development
Forming: Gathering Members
Reasons We Join Groups: Motivation
Member Diversity: The Benefits and Challenges of Difference
Storming: Feeling the Tension
Primary Tension: Initial Uneasiness
Secondary Tension: Later Stress and Strain
Norming: Regulating the Group
Types of Norms: Explicit and Implicit
Sources of Norms: Without and Within the Group
Degree of Conformity: Strength of Group Pressure
Why We Conform: Fitting In
Conditions for Conformity: When We Bow to Group Pressure
Addressing Nonconformity: When Groups Get Tough
Performing: Group Output
Motivation to Perform: Social Loafing and Social Compensation
When Groups Outperform Individuals: Three Heads Are Better Than One
When Individuals Outperform Groups: No Magic in Groups
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Positivity versus Negativity
Negativity Bias: Agile, Funny, Smart, Friendly, But Unethical
The Magic Ratio: Emphasizing Recognition and Praise
Competition and Cooperation
Definitions: Conceptual Clarity
Competition: Winners Take All
Cooperation: Winners All
Individual Achievement: Going It Alone
Hypercompetitiveness: Winning Is Everything
Constructive Competition: Tempering Hypercompetitiveness
Culture and Hypercompetitiveness: Different Values
Cooperative Group Climates: Cultivating Positivity
Communication and Group Climate
Defensive and Supportive Communication: Shaping Climates
Criticism versus Description
Control versus Problem Orientation
Manipulation versus Assertiveness
Indifference versus Empathy
Superiority versus Equality
Certainty versus Provisionalism
Incivility versus Civility
Listening: Enhancing Positivity
Shift Response versus Support Response: Focusing on Me or Thee?
Competitive Interrupting: Seizing the Floor
Ambushing: Preparing Rebuttals
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Influence of Roles
Role Status: Playing by Hierarchical Rules
Role Conflict: Torn between Two Roles
Role Reversal: When Students Become Teachers
Types of Roles
Task Roles: Focusing on Maximum Productivity
Maintenance Roles: Focusing on Cohesiveness
Disruptive Roles: Focusing on Self
Role Emergence
Group Endorsement: Accepting a Bid?
Role Specialization: Settling into One's Primary Role?
Role Adaptability
Role Flexibility: Adapting to Context
Role Fixation: Failure to Adapt
Newcomers and System Disturbance
Nature of the Group: The Challenge of Acceptance
Group Socialization: Mutual Adaptation to Change
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Definition of Leadership
Leadership and Followership: Let's Dance
Leader and Manager: Different Type of Influence
Leadership Emergence
How Not to Become a Leader: The Thou Shalt Nots
General Emergence Pattern: Process of Elimination
Additional Factors: Implicit Theories of Leadership
Perspectives on Effective Leadership
Traits Perspective: The Born Leader View
Styles Perspective: One Style Doesn't Fit All
Situational Perspective: Matching Styles with Circumstances
Distributive Leadership: Sharing Functions
Ethical Leadership: Serving Group Members
Culture and Leadership: Are There Universal Theories?
Communication Competence Perspective: The Overarching View
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Standard Groups versus Teams
Distinctions: The Foremost Four
Level of Cooperation: The Working Together Imperative
Diversity of Skills: Looking for Complementarity
Group Identity: Operating as a Unit
Time and Resources: Commitment to the Team
Definition of a Team: A Special Kind of Group
Team Members
Team Slayers: Members' Bad Attitudes and Bad Behavior
Egocentrism: Me-Deep in Omnipotence
Cynicism: Communicating a Can't-Do Attitude
Verbal/Nonverbal Abuse: Bad Behavior Kills Teams
Team Builders: Choosing and Developing Team Members
Experience and Problem-Solving Abilities: Core Competencies
Communication Training: Developing Members' Competence
Building Teamwork
Developing Team Goals: The Four Cs
Clear Goals: Everyone on the Same Page
Cooperative Goals: Interdependent Challenges
Challenging Goals: Denting the Universe
Commitment to Goals: A Passion to Succeed
Developing a Team Identity: Unifying Members
Symbolic Convergence: Communicating Fantasy Themes
Solidarity Symbols: Unifying Nonverbally
Team Talk: The Language of We
Designating Clear, Appropriate Roles: Room for One Quarterback
Team Empowerment: Enhancing Members' Capabilities
Definition of Empowerment: Four Dimensions
Hierarchical Organizations: The Enemy of Team Empowerment
Self-Managing Work Teams: The IDEO Model
Impediments to Team Empowerment: No Buy-In
Establishing Individual Accountability: Providing Feedback
Competent Team Leadership
Nurturing Empowerment
Requiring a Cooperative Environment: Killing Fear and Ego
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Information Overload
Scope of the Problem: The Information Avalanche
Consequences: The Downside of Information
Critical Thinking Impairment: Separating Wheat from Chaff
Indecisiveness: Conclusion Irresolution
Inattention: Difficulty Concentrating
Diminished Creativity: Thwarting Showerthoughts
Coping with Information Overload: Wrestling the Beast
Screen Information: Separating the Useful from the Useless
Shut Down Technology: Hitting the Off Switch?
Become Selective: On a Need-to-Know Basis
Limit the Search: When Enough Is Enough
Discern Patterns: Recognizing Irrelevant Information
Focus: Don't Multitask
Information Underload
Mindsets: Critical Thinking Frozen Solid
Confirmation Bias: One-Sided Information Searches
The Problem: Poor Decisions and Solutions
Combating Confirmation Bias: A Plan
False Dichotomies: Either-Or Thinking
Collective Inferential Error: Uncritical Thinking
Prevalence of the Problem: It's a Group Thing
Sources of Inferential Errors: Distortions and Correlations
Unrepresentativeness: Distorting the Facts
Correlation Inferred as Causation: Covariation
Error Correction: Practicing Critical Thinking
Group Polarization: Extremely Uncritical Thinking
Polarization: From Gambling to Guarded
Why Groups Polarize: Comparison and Persuasion
Combating Group Polarization: Necessary Steps
Groupthink: Critical Thinking in Suspended Animation
Conditions: Excessive Cohesiveness and Concurrence Seeking
Identification of Groupthink: Main Symptoms
Overestimation of the Group's Power and Morality: Arrogance
Closed-Mindedness: Clinging to Assumptions
Pressures toward Uniformity: Presenting a United Front
Preventing Groupthink: Promoting Vigilance
In Mixed Company Online/Video Case Studies

Group Discussion Functions and Procedures
Phases and Functions: General Considerations
Multiple Sequence Model: Phases of Decision Making
Functional Perspective: Being Systematic
The Standard Agenda: Structuring Group Discussion
Problem Identification: What's the Question?
Problem Analysis: Causes and Effects
Solution Criteria: Setting Standards
Solution Suggestions: Generating Alternatives
Solution Evaluation and Selection: Deciding by Criteria
Solution Implementation: Follow-through
Decision-Making Rules: Majority, Minority, Unanimity
Majority Rule: Tyrannical or Practical
Minority Rule: Several Types
Unanimity Rule: Consensus
Critical Thinking and Effective Decision Making
Gathering Information: Accumulating Input
Evaluating Information: Countering "Truth Decay"
Credibility: Is It Believable??
Currency: Is It Up to Date??
Relevance: Looking for Logical Connections
Representativeness: Reflecting the Facts
Sufficiency: When Enough Really Is Enough
Cultural Diversity: Is Silence Golden?
Increasing Participation: Constructive Engagement
Conducting Effective Meetings
Group Meetings: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Responsibility of Chairs and Members: Guiding Discussion
Creative Problem Solving
General Overview: The Creative Process
Creative Techniques: Systematic Procedures
Brainstorming and Nominal Group Techniques: Generating Lots of Ideas
Framing/Reframing: It's All in the Wording
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

The Nature of Power
Forms of Power: Dominance, Prevention, and Empowerment
Communication Indicators of Power
General Indicators: Defining, Following, and Inhibiting
Verbal Indicators: Language Choices
Nonverbal Indicators: Silent Exercise of Power
Power Resources: The Raw Materials of Influence
Information: Good and Plenty
Expertise: Information Plus Know-How
Legitimate Authority: You Will Obey
Rewards and Punishments: Pleasure and Pain
Personal Qualities: A Powerful Persona
Consequences of Power Imbalances
Bias Against Women and Ethnic Minorities: Leadership Gap
Workplace Bullying: Blatant Aggression
Power Distance: Cultural Variation
General Description: Horizontal and Vertical Cultures
Communication Differences: With Whom May You Communicate?
Balancing Power
Defiance: Digging in Your Heals
Resistance: Dragging Your Feet
Sluggish Effort: How Slow Can You Go?
Strategic Stupidity: Smart People Playing Dumb
Loss of Motor Function: Conscious Carelessness
The Misunderstanding Mirage: Confusion Illusion?
Selective Amnesia: Fake Forgetfulness
Tactical Tardiness: Late by Design
Purposeful Procrastination: Deliberate Delays
Alliances: Forming Coalitions
Developing Empowerment: Exercising Positive Power
Developing Assertiveness: Neither Doormat nor Boot Wiper
Increasing Personal Power Resources: Expanding Choices
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Nature of Conflict
Definition: Incompatible, Interconnected Struggle
Benefits of Conflict: Dissent Can Be Productive
Destructive and Constructive Conflict: Differences
Styles of Conflict Management
Collaborating: Problem Solving
Confrontation: Directly Addressing the Problem
Integration: Seeking Joint Gains
Smoothing: Calming Troubled Waters
Accommodating: Yielding
Compromising: Halving the Loaf
Avoiding: Withdrawing
Competing: Power-Forcing
Comparing Styles: Likelihood of Success
Situational Factors
Types of Conflict: Task, Relationship, and Value
Task Conflict: Routine or Nonroutine
Relationship Conflict: It's Personal
Values Conflict: Deeply Felt Struggles
Culture and Conflict: Communication Differences
Negotiating Strategies
Positional Bargaining: Hard and Soft Negotiating
Principled Negotiation: Interest-Based Bargaining
The Four Principles: Appropriate Rules
Remaining Unconditionally Constructive: Sound Judgment?
The BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
Anger Management
Constructive and Destructive Anger: Intensity and Duration
Managing Your Own Anger: Taking Control
Managing the Anger of Others: Communication Jujitsu
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Technological Virtual Group Options
Text-Messaging: Typing Gone High Tech
Audioconferences: Voice-Only Technology
Videoconferences: Sight and Sound
Benefits and Challenges of Virtual Groups
Time and Space: The Death of Distance
Decision Making: Quality of the Output
Decision-Making Delays: Increased Frustration
Social Relationships: Developing Personal Connections
Power Differences: Prominence of Status Cues
Conflict: Constructive and Destructive
Improving Virtual Group Effectiveness
General Factors: Getting Set for Success
Team Identification: Connecting
Media Richness: The Lean and Meaty Theory
Media Synchronicity: Extending MRT
Specific Suggestions: Unique Advice
Choosing Media: Richness and Synchronicity?
Conducting Virtual Meetings: Special Challenges
Questions for Critical Thinkers
Video Case Studies

Appendix A: Group Oral Presentations
Appendix B: Critical Thinking Revisited: Arguments and Fallacies
Subject Index

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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