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Lecture 2: Group Communication
Small Group Dynamics
•Definition of a task group: Three to seven people working together to achieve a common goal
•Assembly effect: When the group’s solution or product is superior to the individual work of even the best member.
•In the modern workplace, It is common and popular to use a group structure for getting complex work accomplished. This is because groups are capable of the assembly affect.
Assets of Group Decision-Making
•Groups can accumulate more knowledge and facts.
•Groups may have a broader perspective and consider more approaches and alternative solutions.
•Individuals who participate in the decision process are more likely to be satisfied with the decision and support the decision.
Liabilities of Group Decision Making
•Groups tend to work more slowly. They take up time to reach a decision, and time costs money.
•Group effort frequently results in compromises which are not always the optimal decision from an effectiveness perspective.
•Groups can be and frequently are dominated by one individual or small clique.
Group roles get developed through the process of structuration.
Don't forget about the age old question of What are the reactions for alkali metals and halogen reactions?
•A group member behaves (takes notes)
•Other members notice the behavior, which leads to an expectation
•Expectation of continued behavior leads to
•Fulfillment of the expectation,
•Which leads to role development,
•Which leads to group structuration—every member of the group behaving within a role that is expected and reinforced by the group
The structuration process is NOT always beneficial. Sometimes people are socially reinforced into roles they dislike; or, they become limited by being “stuck” in a role.
Roles should be flexible; not frozen
Synergy (total amount of available group energy that can be applied to the task/common goal) Intrinsic synergy (interpersonal challenges)
Effective synergy = synergy- intrinsic (energy that is left over for the task)
In group work, there are two tracks of discussion and problem-solving:
Task Roles Don't forget about the age old question of The average tax rate is the total taxes paid divided by?
•Gatekeeper: Encourages less talkative members to join in the discussion.
Small Group Dynamics
When to speak up in groups:Don't forget about the age old question of How different are men and women?
•Information--offers relevant information.
•Point of view—offers relevant opinions
•Evaluation—offers personal opinions about selected ideas for consideration
•Process—is both a participant and an observer of the group. Offers suggestions regarding the way the group, itself, is operating.
•Understanding—expressing/showing that you are tracking, especially after a difficult discussion.
•Agreement—becoming part of a consensus about a topic that has been discussed extensively. Loading...
Phases of Group Emergence
1.Orientation/Forming (everyone is tentative and on their good behavior)
2.Conflict/Storming (people begin to lower their guard and openly disagree)
3.Emergence/Norming (begin to establish a routined way of being together)Structuration is completed here. We also discuss several other topics like What is the example of carbon nucleophiles for addition reactions?
4.Performance/Performing (have achieved something together as a working group)
Douglas McGregor, from his observations of the management of large companies, characterized well-functioning, effective, and creative groups in the following way:
•The atmosphere tends to be informal, comfortable, and relaxed.
•There is a lot of discussion in which virtually everyone participates, but it remains pertinent to the task of the group.
• The task or objective of the group is well understood and accepted by the members. There will have been free discussion of the objectives at some point until it was formulated in such a way that the members of the group could commit themselves to it. We also discuss several other topics like What are the functions of foreign corporations in the us?
•The members listen to each other. Every idea is given a hearing. People do not appear to be afraid of being foolish by putting forth a creative thought even if it seems fairly extreme.
•There is disagreement. Disagreements are not suppressed or over-ridden by premature group action. The reasons are carefully examined, and the group seeks to resolve them rather than to dominate the dissenter.
•Most decisions are reached by a kind of consensus in which it is clear that everyone is in general agreement and willing to go along. Formal voting is at a minimum; the group does not accept a simple majority as a proper basis for action.,
• Criticism of ideas is frequent, frank, and relatively comfortable. There is little evidence of personal
attack, either openly or in a hidden fashion.
•People are free in expressing their feelings as well as their ideas both on the problem and the group’s operation.
•When action is taken, clear assignments are made and accepted. We also discuss several other topics like What are the judicial standards of review in civil rights cases?
•The chairperson of the group does not dominate it, nor on the contrary does the group defer unduly to him/her. In fact, the leadership shifts from time to time depending on the circumstances. There is little evidence of a struggle for power as the group operates. The issue is not who controls but how to get the job done.
•The group is self-conscious of its own operation.
Small Group Dynamics
Why are groups so dynamic?
Inherent contradictions in group process:
•Quality decision, outcome, or results vs. deadlines
•Task work vs. interpersonal work
•Individual’s vs. group’s goals
•Agreement vs. disagreement