Group Communication (The Nature of Groups and Teams (What is a group?…
The Nature of Groups and Teams
What is a group?
Group- a small collection of people whose members interact with one another, usually face to face, over time in order to reach goals.
Interdependence (ex. my coworkers and I depending on each other to get a different part of a task done)
Size- at least 3 people to around 20
What makes a group a team?
Take group work to a higher level
Have clear and inspiring shared goals
A results-driven structure
Competent team members
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Virtual Groups- People who interact with one another via mediated channels, without meeting face to face
Advantages include leveling gender and status differences and ease of assembly
Characteristics of Groups and Teams
Rules and Norms
Rule- an explicit, officially stated guideline that governs group functions and members behavior
Ex. In a classroom how absences and late work will be treated
Norms- Shared values, beliefs, behaviors and procedures that governs a groups operation
Social Norms- Group norms that govern the way members relate to one another (ex. What kind of humor is approp.)
Procedural Norms- Norms that describe rules for the groups operation (ex. "We always start on time")
Task norms- Group norms that govern the way members handle the job at hand (ex. Does the job need to be done perfectly or just adequately)
Patterns of Interaction
In a group the possibilities of complications greatly increases
Sociogram- A graphic representation of the interaction patterns in a group
All-channel network- A communication network pattern in which group members are frequently together and share all information with one another (One way is emails with everyone being sent them)
Chain Network- A communication network in which information passes sequentially from one member to another (an efficient way to deliver verbal messages or circulate written info when members cant attend a meeting all at one time)
Wheel Network- A communication network in which a gatekeeper regulates the flow of information from all other group members
Gatekeeper- Person in a small group through whom communications among other members flows (ex. like an HR person resolving a conflict between 2 people in an office)
Roles - The patterns of behavior expected by group members
Formal Role- A role assigned to a person by group members or an organization, usually to establish order
Ex. Head coach, assistant coach, or treasurer, customer service rep.
Informal Roles- A role usually not explicitly recognized by a group that describes functions of group members rather than their positions. AKA functional roles.
Ex.harmonizer, supporter/encourager, tension reliever, gatekeeper)
Task roles- Role group members take on in order to help solve a problem (such as the conciliator)
Social Roles- Emotional roles concerned with maintaining smooth personal relationships among group members. AKA maintenance functions (like the supporter/encourager)
Dysfunctional Roles- Individual roles played by group members that inhibit the groups effective operation (like the aggressor who struggles for status by deflating the status of others)
Leadership and Communication
Trait theories of Leadership- A school of thought based on the belief that some people are born to be leaders and others are not
Situational Approach- Situational Leadership A theory that argues that the most effective leadership style varies according to leader-member relations, the nominal leaders power, and the tasks structure
Authoritarian Leadership- A style in which the designated leader uses coercive and rewards power to dictate the groups actions
Democratic Leadership- A style in which the leader invites the groups participation in decision making
laiissez-faire Leadership- A style in which the designated leader gives up his or her formal role, transforming the group into a loose collection of individuals
Servant Leadership- A style based on the idea that a leader's job is mostly to recruit outstanding team members and provide the support they need to do a good job
Dimensions of Leadership
Balancing task and Relational goals: the Leadership Grid- A two dimensional model that identifies leadership styles as a combination of concern for people and for the task at hand
Impoverished management- managers who do not display interest in either tasks or relationships (ex. Robby's boss)
Country Club Management- Exhibit high regard for relationships but give little or no attention to task fulfillment.
Authority Obedience- Managers who focus almost entirely on tasks and very little on relationships
Middle of the Road- Moderate interest in both tasks and relationship
Team management- Exhibit high regard for both tasks and relationship
Transformational Leaders- Defined by their devotion to help a team fulfill an important mission
Ex. Nelson Mandela in text
The Power of Followers
Power-The ability to influence others thoughts and/or actions
Legitimate power- the ability to influence a group owing to ones position in a group
Nominal Leader- The person who is identified by title as the leader of a group.
Expert Power- The ability to influence other by virtue of ones perceived expertise on the subject in question
Connection Power- The influence granted by virtue of a members ability to develop relationships that help the group reach its goal
Reward Power- The ability to influence other by the granting or promising of desireable consequences
Coercive Power- The power to influence others by the threat or imposition of unpleasant consequences
Referent Power- the ability to influence others by virtue of the degree to which one is liked or respected
Distributed among group members
NOT an either/or concept
Goals Of Groups and Their Members
Two forces drive group communication...
Group Goals- Goals that a group collectively seeks to accomplish
Ex. win a contest, create a product
Individual Goals- Individual motives for joining a group
Ex. Me joining a study group in order to better learn the material. Joining a young mothers group in order to make friends
Mostly helpful, harmful if hidden agenda - Individual goals that group members are unwillingly to reveal
Ex. Team members goal to look better than everyone else in a presentation by making others look bad
Social Loafing- the tendency of some people to do less work as group members than they would as individuals (ex. a classmate relying on others to pick up the slack for them for a group project)
Becoming a Leader
Emergent Leaders-A member who assumes leadership roles without being appointed by higher ups
Ex. Someone in a class product who takes the role of facilitating, solves problems, etc.
Followership and Communication
Types of Followers
Isolates-indifferent to the overall goals of the org. and communicate very little w/ people outside their immediate environment.
Bystanders- aware of whats going on around them but tend to hand back
Participants- attempt to have an impact
Activists-more energetically and passionately engaged than participants
Diehards-the cause is what and who you are.