Introduction to Module 5

Two women smiling and looking in the same direction.Overview

This module introduces you to the nature and types of groups and the role of communication in them. We discuss the characteristics of healthy groups as a rationale for working with others rather than alone. We explain the theory of group formation and development and expand on it to include the role communication plays in a group’s movement through them. Also, we clarify the important role of conflict and conflict management in effective groups. Specific attention is paid to work group teams and the leadership in these types of groups. We acknowledge classic theories of leadership and discuss the differences in leadership types/styles and approaches to group communication. We also guide you through the six-step systematic problem-solving process, as well as provide guidelines for effective communication in small groups, both when you are the meeting leader/facilitator, and when you are a meeting participant.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand how small group communication differs from other communication contexts
  2. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of small group communication
  3. Understand and apply the five stages of group development
  4. Recognize small group member roles and leadership approaches
  5. Understand the six steps systematic problem-solving process
  6. Evaluate group effectiveness.

Assignments

Readings

Chapters 13 & 14 from Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies

Discussion Question 5

Instructions: Please post your answer to this question, using this link. Do not use attachments. Please write in complete sentences. Be sure to edit, spell check and answer all parts of the question with details, explanations, and examples highlighting the course material and your own insights. Remember – this is your chance to show that you have read, understand, and can apply the course material. Your answer should be at least 200 words in length.

DQ 5: Think of the groups of which you have been a member. Which of these groups have had (or have) an influence on how you see yourself? How have they shaped your identity? How do you think you would be different if you had not been a member of this/these group(s)? What elements of the group made it so impactful?

Journal 5: “Twelve Angry Men”

Instructions: Your task is to view the classic film Twelve Angry Men, which revolves around the efforts of eleven members of a jury in a murder trial to convince one member to change hi “not guilty” vote to “guilty.” The film dramatizes many aspects of small-group discussion covered in the textbook, including the kinds and functions of leadership, interpersonal conflict, hidden agendas, and the creation of consensus. For this assignment, you are to act as a consultant to the jury in the movie, and write them a letter critiquing their group processes and offering suggestions for improvement. The purpose is for you to demonstrate your knowledge of group processes by evaluating a group decision making and applying the concepts of small group communication presented in the textbook. Your letter should be 500-750 words in length and formatted according to the APA style.

Consider the following questions in your analysis:

  1. What are the strengths of the group portrayed in Twelve Angry Men?
  2. What are the weaknesses of the group?
  3. What kinds of leadership does the group demonstrate?
  4. What role do hidden agendas play in the deliberations of the group?
  5. If you were the leader of the group, what would you do to eliminate some of its interpersonal conflicts?
  6. Who are the most effective communicators in the group? The least effective? Why?
  7. How could the group improve its decision making and problem solving?

Submit your paper in the Assignments tool. You will attach the file to the assignment and submit. All papers should be in either Word .doc or .docx format. If you are using another word processor save it as an .rtf file. If you use a Mac, please add the 3-character extension (.doc, .docx).

Quiz

Take Module 5 quiz. The quiz covers the content of chapters 13 & 14 of your textbook. There are 10 multiple choice and 10  true and false questions based on your assigned text readings. You will have 45 minutes to complete the quiz, and you may take the quiz twice. The higher of your two scores will be recorded as your grade.