Unit 3 Study Guide: Group Communication

The following study guide is meant to help you prepare for the final exam. This material is for your practice and review only. You will not be asked to turn in your responses to the questions and activities below. As you work through these study guides, take note of your confidence level with the material. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with your grasp of these topics, and take the suggestions for resources to re-watch or re-read seriously before proceeding to the final exam.

For your convenience, Microsoft Word and PDF files of this study guide are linked below.


3a: Identify specific competencies of the interpersonal communication process used in facilitating small group communication.

 

3a.1. Define primary groups and secondary groups. What is the difference between groups and teams?

 

3a.2. Define the following group communication competencies: cohesiveness, common goals, interaction, interdependence, synergy, and shared norms.

 

3a.3. What are four typical ways that members make decisions in small groups?

 

Based on how confident you with the concept of groups and communicating in groups, you may choose to review the definition and competencies in the following resources from subunit 3.1: Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 10: Group Communication” and Ryan Guy’s “Chapter 7: Group Problem-Solving Procedures” .

 

3b: Identify the stages of small group development.

 

3b.1. Name and define the five stages of group development in the proper order.

The group development model is a reflection of interpersonal relationship development. For a review of the stages of group development, review any of the following resources from subunit 3.1: Ryan Guy’s “Chapter 4: Group Formation”, Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 10: Group Communication” or Organizational Behavior: “Chapter 9: Managing Groups and Teams.”

 

3c: Identify typical setting for small group communication.

 

3c.1. We work and affiliate in groups on a regular basis in our social activities, with family, and at work or school.

A. Define the following small group settings: activity groups, learning groups, personal growth groups, problem-solving teams, temporary teams, and virtual groups.

B. What makes these setting different from one another?

Your ability to apply group communication in these communication settings will help you be successful in the final exam for this course. For a review of settings or types of groups in which we find ourselves in our lives, review Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 10: Group Communication” and Organizational Behavior: “Chapter 9: Managing Groups and Teams” in subunit 3.1.

 

3d: Explain the roles of people in small groups.

 

3d.1. Name and define the four types of roles that people take on when they participate in group communication and group decision making.

 

3d.2. Define the following sixteen roles that group members may be described as playing in a group setting: aggressor, blocker, clown, compromiser, devil’s advocate, encourager, energizer, facilitator, follower, gatekeeper, information gatherer, opinion gatherer, playboy/girl, recorder, self-confessor, and tension releaser.

 

3d.3. Define the three types of leadership styles often found in small groups.

 

Depending on how confident you are with your recall and identification of these roles and functions, consider reviewing these concepts in subunit 3.1: Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 10: Group Communication” and Organizational Behavior: “Chapter 9: Managing Groups and Teams. You may also choose to review Dr. Isaacson’s lecture “Small Group Roles and Leadership” in subunit 3.1 and Association for Learning Technology’s video “Making Group-work Work” in subunit 3.4.

 

3e: Apply the theories of communication to the small group setting.

 

3e.1. In addition to the theories of communication presented in Unit 1, four theories were presented in this unit that focus on group decision making and group behavior. Define each of the following theories: diamond of participatory decision-making, functional theory, groupthink, and procedural model of problem solving.

For a review of decision-making theories and models applied in the group communication process, review Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 10: Group Communication” and re-watch Ryan Guy’s video “Chapter 7: Group Problem-Solving Procedures” and the “Team Decision Making” video in subunit 3.1. Lastly, for the concept of groupthink, see Boundless Sociology’s “Chapter 6, Section 5: Group Dynamics: Groupthink.”

 

3f: Identify ethical and unethical applications of communication in small groups.

 

3f.1. Ethical behavior is expected in all our communication transactions. It is especially important during group communication because the decisions we make in groups affect other people as well as ourselves.

A. Define ethical behavior for members of small groups and teams.

B. Explain the concepts of conflict of interest and power (power-from-within, power-over, power-with).

To prepare for the final exam be sure to review the ethical elements in Unit 1 as well as the following resources in Unit 3: Survey of Communication Study: “Chapter 10: Group Communication, Organizational Behavior: “Chapter 9: Managing Groups and Teams in subunit 3.1 and Association for Learning Technology’s video “Making Group-work Work in subunit 3.4.

Last modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 6:07 PM