gcom final study guide - Small Group Communication...

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Small Group Communication (Chapters 12-13) Anatomy of small groups 53. Small group communication - occurs as long as each individual in the group can recognize and interact with every other group member. 54. What are the advantages and disadvantages of small groups? Smaller groups avoid the disadvantages of larger groups. They are less complex and factionalized and more efficient than larger groups. Small groups, however, can be too small to be effective. Too few members may provide too few resources to makes decisions and solve problems effectively. A larger group of, perhaps, 7 can provide more input and has a potentially greater knowledge pool to assist in decisions making. Complex, politically charges issues may require much larger groups (10 or more) just to give a voice to all interested factions. 55. Group norms -rules that indicate what group members have to do (obligation), should do (preference), or can not do (prohibition) if they want to accomplish specific goals. 56. cohesion -the degree to which the members of a group are able to productively work together 57. How is cohesion developed? Cohesion is developed as groups work to find the proper balance between productivity and cohesiveness. This usually is a persistent dialectical struggle in all groups. 58. What influence does cohesion have on participation? Cohesion effects participation because if all members a group are working cohesively then there will be harmony and all members will be participating equally. 59. What is groupthink? How might groupthink be avoided? Groupthink is teamwork gone awry. It is a process of group members stressing cohesiveness and agreement instead of skepticism and optimum decision-making. Groupthink can be prevent in four ways: One -the team can consult an impartial outsider with expertise on the problem discussed. This reduces the danger from excessive cohesiveness, which leads to poor team decisions. Two -the team leader can withhold his or her point of view during early discussions. In this way, the appearance of dominance in power relationships between a more powerful team leader and less powerful member is avoided, and members are more inclined to express honest opinions. Three -the team can assign a devils advocate role to a specific member. This can combat the excessive concurrence seeking typical of groups that slide into groupthink. The devil’s advocate challenges any decision that group is likely to make to test the ideas. Four
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course COMMUNICAT gcom122 taught by Professor Smitherman during the Spring '08 term at James Madison University.

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gcom final study guide - Small Group Communication...

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