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Chapter 2 COM 202

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Amanda Fylan

on 12 January 2017

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Transcript of Chapter 2 COM 202

Small Group
Communication Theory
Definition of theory:
• Self-concept – influences the choices you make throughout the day. Tend to do things you see as predictable with self-concept.

• Binding together multitude of facts so you comprehend them all at once. When theory enables us to make reasonably precise prediction – one may call scientific

• Theory helps to make sense of process involved working with others

• Predictive precision of theory allows people to anticipate probable outcomes – people can adjust their own communication behavior to work better with group

Describing elements of group and team communication
Nature of theory & theory building process:
• Observe a phenomenon, witness repeat pattern and develop explanation
• Develop theory based on repeat pattern and gathered evidence
Purpose of communication in small group
Systems Theory
Structuration theory
Theory: Practical approach to group communication
• Explanatory function: understanding of group

• Predictive function: predicting to improve
• Making sense – at least 6 people are involved in interpersonal communication
• Words have power to create new realities and change attitudes they are highly immensely powerful tools.
• Interpersonal level – as you get to know people you predict how they will respond. You take into account their beliefs, attitudes, value and personality
• Complexity – getting to know someone is the process of progressively reducing uncertainty

• Systems theory – flexible to encompass the vast array of variables that influence group and team interaction (ex: body – each organ depends on the other – change on one and it changes the rest of the system)
Symbolic convergence theory
• Rewards – pleasurable outcomes
Blend of psychology and economic theory
• Costs – mental effort, anxiety or even embarrassment
• Profits - rewards minus cost

• Fantasies stories shape a group’s identity and cultures
o How friendships develop (inside jokes)
o Fantasy takes you out of the moment
• Influence dynamics such as norms, roles, decision making
• Results in collective consciousness (everyone joins in)

Rules – implied prescription, learned from previous group encounters
Individual behaviors
Explains why and how groups develop rules and behavior patterns
Functional theory
• Effect or consequence of behavior within a group system
• Identify and explain behavior that helps groups achieve their goal
o Group members attempt to satisfy task requirement
o Group members use communication to overcome constraints
o Group members take time to review process

Synergy – whole is greater than sum of parts
Created something that wasn’t there before they worked together

Entropy – measure of randomness or chaos
Interpersonal relationships tend to cool rapidly if not maintained through email, letters, text and visits

Openness to environment - interaction and climate (new members)

Interdependence – cohesiveness – loss of member effects team

Input variables – funds, tools, knowledge, purpose and relationships

Process variable – procedures to reach goals

Output variables – outcome of group process, personal growth
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