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CHAPTER 19 GROUP COMMUNICATION MGT 3213 – ORG. COMMUNICATION Mississippi State University College of Business Benefits of Teams Creates flat organizational structures Increases efficiency Allows for synergy Achieve more collectively than individually “Two heads are better than one” Improves decision-making Improves employee motivation Improves employee acceptance of change Characteristics of Effective Teams Members share a common goal Size Want lots of interaction? Go small Want broad input? Go large 5-7 members best for decision-making Should be an odd number to break ties Directed by strong leadership Members play a variety of roles Negative Group Roles Dominator Free rider Detractor Digresser Airhead Socializer Positive Group Roles Facilitator Harmonizer Record keeper Reporter Leader Life Cycle of Member Roles Potential Member No longer considered a member No longer involved ExMember New Member Marginal Member Full Member Divergent Member Focuses on differences Still an outsider Knows the “rules” And looked to for leadership Stages of Team Development Team Behaviors at the Performing Stage Commitment Cooperation Communication Contribution Barriers to Effective Group Decision-Making Oversampling Tendency to focus on shared knowledge of group members Using discussion to avoid making decisions Polarization Responses of groups tend to be more extreme than individual members’ responses Limited interpersonal skills Examples of Interpersonal Barriers to Decision-Making Poor communication skills Egocentric behavior Nonparticipation Sidetracked Interruptions Negative leader behavior Attitudes and emotions Groupthink Occurs when: Group members dominate the discussion Group members are intimidated by others Group members care more about social acceptability than reaching the best solution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYIh4MkcfJA&feature=related Avoiding Groupthink Encourage voicing objections and critical thinking Try to avoid ego and emotions to improve objective thinking Divide into separate groups Get outsider’s feedback Appoint a devil’s advocate Hold a “second chance” meeting Types of Conflict Personal conflict Task conflict Process conflict Personal Conflict Dislike of other group members Dissimilar personalities lead to more dislike and conflict Why more diverse groups tend to have more conflict Task Conflict Conflicts about the group goal or purpose of their work Disagreements about issues that are relevant to the group’s goals and outcomes Positive conflict Why groups are used to complete tasks Can turn into personal conflict Process Conflict Conflict about how the work gets done (the process) Can be minimized by adopting workplace procedures and rules But that can hinder creativity and flexibility Other Sources of Conflict Personality Competitors vs. cooperators Norm of reciprocity Free riding Occurs most frequently when individual’s contributions are combined into a single product Conflict Resolution Styles Competition Collaboration Compromise Avoidance Accommodation Ineffective Communication During a Conflict Mind-reading In a conflict, we often think we know more than we really do about why the other person did something. You tell them why they did something , or what they were thinking, rather than asking them. Self-summarizing When you keep repeating what you’ve already said in the fight. It ignores the response of the other party. Ineffective Communication During a Conflict Cross-complaining Both parties share complaints and fail to listen to the other side. “You’ve been late to all our meetings this week.” “And you’ve failed to post the minutes to the website.” Kitchen-sinking The parties bring up more and more past issues. Escalates the conflict. Meeting Management Face-to-face vs. electronic When should you schedule face-to-face meetings? When you need the richest nonverbal cues When the issue is sensitive When the participants don’t know each other When you need to establish group rapport When no other channel or medium of communication will suffice Meeting Management Advantages of electronic Convenient for geographically dispersed teams Speed up follow-up activities May limit dominator group types Drawbacks of electronic Don’t effectively build group rapport Make it harder to reach consensus Tips for Effective Meetings What are two reasons why you should distribute an agenda in advance? How does using agendas and minutes minimize the effect of free-riders?