Chapter 10 – Small Group Communication – COM 100 An Introduction To Human Communication, DeVito

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Collection Of Individuals
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Generally, a small group consists of approximately 3-12 people. WHY? A small group is a collection of individuals few enough in number so that all members may communicate with relative ease as both senders and receivers.
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Common Purpose
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The members of a group must be connected to one another through some common purpose.
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Interdependence
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In a small group, members are interdependent; the behavior of one member is significant for and has an impact on all other members.
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Organizing Rules
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Members of small groups must be connected by some organizing rules or structure.
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Self-Perception as a Group
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Members of small groups feel they are, in fact , members of this larger whole.
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Team
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Is a particular kind of small group. 1) constructed for a specific task, (2) whose members have clearly defined roles, (3) whose members are committed to achieving the same goal, and (4) that is content focused.
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Virtual Groups
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Are the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, where friends interact in groups but may be separated by classrooms or by oceans.
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Small Group Stages
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Five stages (1) opening, (2) feedforward, (3) business, (4) feedback, and (5) closing.
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Opening Stage
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Is usually a getting -acquainted time in which members introduce themselves and engage in social small talk.
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Feedforward Stage
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After Opening Stage, members attempt to identify what needs to be done, who will do it, and so on.
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Business Stage
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Is the actual work on the tasks- the problem solving , the sharing of information, or whatever else the group needs to do.
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Feedback Stage
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The group may reflect on what it has done and perhaps on what remains to be done.
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Closing Stage
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The group member again return to their focus on individual and will perhaps exchange closing comment- “Good seeing you again,” and the like.
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Small Group Formats
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Four formats are general patterns that may describe a wide variety of groups. Among the most popular small group formats for relatively formal functions are (1) the Round Table (2) the Panel (3) the Symposium, and the (4) Symposium-Forum
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Round Table Format
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Group members arrange themselves in a circular or semicircular pattern.group interaction is informal, and members contribute as they see fit.
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Panel Format
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Group members are “experts” but participate informally and without any set pattern of who speaks when, as in a round table.
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Symposium Format
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Each member delivers a prepared presentation much like a public speech.
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Symposium-Forum
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Consists of two parts; a symposium, with prepared speeches and a forum, with questions from the audience and responses by the speaker.
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Small Group Culture
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Small groups, especially those of long standing, develop their own culture. (1) Group Norms (2) High-and Low-Context Cultures
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Group Norms
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Are rules or standards of behavior identifying which behaviors are considered appropriate and which are considered inappropriate.
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High- and Low-Context Cultures you
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Members in high-context cultures spend a lot of time getting to know one another before engaging in any important transactions. Members of low-context cultures spend less time getting to know one another and therefore do not have that shared knowledge.
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Power in the Small Group
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Power permeates all small groups and all relationships. It influence what you do, when, and with whom. It influences the employment you seek and the employment you get. It influences the friends you choose and don’t choose and those that choose you and those who don’t. It influences your romantic and family relationships- their success, failure, and level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
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Power
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Is what enables one person ( the one with power) to control the behaviors of others.
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Legitimate Power
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Over another person when this person believes you have a right by virtue of you position to influence or control his or her behavior. Leadership roles, teachers, parents, employers, judges, managers, doctors, and police officers.
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Referent Power
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Over another person when that person wishes to be like you or identified with you. When you’re well liked and well respected, seen as attractive and prestigious etc.
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Reward Power
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Over a person if you have the ability to give that person rewards- either material ( money, promotional, jewelry,) or social ( love, friendship, respect). Go hand in hand with Coercive Power.
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Coercive Power
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If you have the ability to remove rewards or to administer punishments. Go hand in hand with Reward Power.
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Expert Power
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Group members regard you as having expertise or knowledge-whether or not you truly possess such expertise.
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Information Power
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Or persuasion power if you’re seen as someone who can communicate logically and persuasively.
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Third-Person Effect
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Is a theory of media influence claiming that people routinely believe they are influenced less by media than their peers are.
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Idea-generation Groups
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Is a type of small group that exist solely to generate ideas and often follow a pattern called brainstorming
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Brainstorming
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Is a technique for bombarding a problem and generating as many ideas as possible. This technique involves two stages. The first is the brainstorming period proper; the second is the evaluation period.
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Brainstorming Rule 1
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Don’t criticize. In a brainstorming session all ideas are recorded.
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Brainstorming Rule 2
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Strive for quantity. If you need an idea, you’re more than likely to find it in a group of many than Ina group of few.
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Brainstorming Rule 3
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Combine and extend ideas. Although you may not criticize a particular idea, you’re encouraged to extend it or combine it in some way.
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Personal Growth Groups
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Is a type of small group, sometimes referred to as support groups, aimed to help members cope with particular difficulties-such as drug addiction, not being assertive enough, having an alcoholic parent, being an ex-convict, or having a hyperactive child or a promiscuous spouse. Other groups are more clearly therapeutic.
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Encounter Groups
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Is a type of small group, known as “sensitivity groups” or “T ( Training ) groups”, for example, constitute a form of psychotherapy; these groups try to facilitate members’ personal growth and foster their ability to deal effectively with other people.
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Assertiveness Training Group
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Is a type of small group, Aims to increase the willingness of its members to stand up for their rights and to act more assertively in a wide variety of situations.
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Consciousness-raising Group
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Is a type of small group, Aims to help people cope with the problems society confronts them with.
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Intervention Group
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Is a type of group, People gather to help one of their members overcome some problem.
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Information-sharing Groups
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Is to enable members to acquire new information or skills through a sharing of knowledge.
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Educational or Learning Groups
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Members pool their knowledge to the benefit of all, as in the popular law and medical student learning groups.
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Focus Groups
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A small group assembled for a kind of in-depth interview. The aim here is to discover what people think about an issue or product.
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Problem-solving Group
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Is a collection of individuals who meet to solve a problem or to reach a decision.
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Problem-solving Sequence
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The six steps of the sequence are designed to make a problem solving more efficient and effective: (1) Define and analyze the problem, (2) establish criteria, (3) identify possible solutions, (4) evaluate solutions, (5) select the best solution(s), and (6) test the selected solution(s).
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Nominal Group
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Technique is a method of problems solving that uses limited discussion and confidential voting to obtain a group decision.
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Delphi Method
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A group of “experts” is established, but there’s no interaction among them; instead, they communicate by repeatedly responding to questionnaires.
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Group Polarization
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Groups frequently make more extreme decisions than individuals- a tendency known as group polarization.
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Small Group Types
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Idea Generation [brainstorming groups Personal Growth [encounter, assertiveness, consciousness-raising, and intervention groups] Information Sharing [educational and focus groups] Problem Solving [nominal, Delphi, quality circle, groups]
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Quality Circle
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Is a group of workers( usually 6-12) whose task it is to investigate and make recommendations for improving the quality of some organizational function.

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