Chapter 10-Solving Problems in Groups and Teams (Overcoming Dangers in…
Chapter 10-Solving Problems in Groups and Teams
When and Why
Advantages of Group Prob. Solving (WHY)
Resources- access to a greater selection of resources (ex. more physical effort when my friends helped me move)
Accuracy- increased likelihood of catching errors (ex. when working together on an assignment one person might catch another's error)
Commitment - groups generate a higher commitment
Diversity- allows us to consider other approaches and solutions we might not think of otherwise
If the job is beyond the capacity of one person (ex. if planning a huge party with friends its better to use lots of peoples ideas and have people do different tasks than have 1 person plan it all and do all of the work)
If individuals tasks are interdependent. (ex. teachers protesting, ares of responsibility have to be assigned to each person)
If there is more than one decision or solution. (ex. a church group deciding how funds should be raised for a charity)
Potential for disagreement (ex. planning a vacation to fit everyone's desires and budget)
Setting the Stage for Problem Solving
Maintain positive relationships
Build cohesiveness- the totality of forces that causes members to feel themselves part of a group and makes them want to remain in the group
Cohesive groups spend more time interacting, are more loyal, and have potential to be productive, but are not a gurantee of success. (ex. if a group of employees who think a boss is incompetent might be cohesive in their opposition to the boss and complaining and protesting but not productive in the long run)
Relationship between cohesiveness and productivity
Minimize percieved threats between members
Emphasize members interdependence
Establish shared norms and values
6.Recognize threats from outside the group
Recognize progress toward goals
Develop mutual liking and friendship
Focus on shared or compatible goals
Share group experiences
Stages of Team Development
Conflict Stage-When group members openly defend their positions and question those of others
Emergence Stage- when a group moves from conflict toward a single solution
Orientation Stage- When group members become familiar with one another's positions and tentatively volunteer their own
Reinforcement stage- when group members endorse the decision they have made
Group Problem Solving Strategies and Formats
Group Discussion Formats
Breakout Group- subgroups (usually consisting of five to seven members) simultaneously address an issue and then report back to the group at large
Problem census- members use a separate card to list each of their ideas. the leaders collects all of the cards and reads them to the group one by one, posting each idea on a board visible to everyone. After all items are read and posted, the leaders and members consolidate similar items into a number of ideas that the group needs to address.
Focus Group- dont include decision makers or other members who claim any expertise on a subject. Comments are used by decision makers to figure out how people in the wider world might react to ideas.
Parliamentary Procedure- observes specific rules about how topics may be discussed and decisions made.
Panel Discussion- participants discuss the topics informally, like they would in an ordinary conversation.
Symposium- participants divide the topic in a manner that allows each member to deliver in-depth information without interruption.
Forum- allows nonmembers to add their opinions to the groups deliberations before the group makes a decision.
Dialogue- A process in which people let go of the notion that their ideas are more correct or superior to others and instead seek to understand an issue from many different perspectives.
Problem Solving in Virtual Groups
unique challenges such as ..
It may be more difficult to to convey and understand ones emotions and attitudes
Supplement in person sessions
Approaches and Stages in Problem Solving
A structured problem solving approach
Identify supporting and restraining forces
Might be useful to use a force field analysis- a method of problem analysis that identifies the forces contributing to resolution of the problem and the forces that inhibit its resolution
Develop creative solutions
Gather relevant information
Brainstorming- a method for creatively generating ideas in groups by minimizing criticisms and encouraging a large quantity of ideas without regard to their workability, or ownership by individual members
Identify criteria for success
Use the nominal group technique- a method for including the ideas of all group members in a problem-solving session
Word the problem as a broad, open question
Evaluate possible solutions
Analyze the problem
Implement a plan
identify specific tasks to be accomplished, determine necessary resources, define indiv. resp., plan ahead for emergencies
Identify the problem
Follow up on the solution
meet periodically to evaluate progress, revise the groups approach as necesssary
Decision Making Methods
Consensus- agreement among group members about a decision
Majority control- can limit participation of members who have been outvoted
Expert opinion- the expert of the group is given the power to make decisions
minority control- when a few members of the group decide matters, works well with non-critical questions that would waste the whole groups time
Authority rule- quick, useful when there is not enough time for a group to decide what to do.
Overcoming Dangers in group discussion
Information underload- The decline in efficiency that occurs when there is a shortage of the information necessary to operate effectively.
Information Overload- the decline in efficiency that occurs when the rate or complexity of material is too great to manage
Unequal Participation (ex. Two people of the group participating in the activity while the other two are on their phones)
Key is balance
Pressure to conform - ex. a member of the group has an idea but doesnt share it because the rest of the group agrees on another idea
group think- a groups colective striving for unanimity that discourages realistic appraisals of alternatives to its chosen decision