COM 520 Small Group Communication

Fall, 2014


Instructor: Dr. Marcia D. Dixson
Office hours: T 11:00 - 1:00; R 4:15 - 5:45 pm and by appointment
Office: NF 230B
Phone: 481-6558 Email:


Return to syllabus

















Part V: Groups and Teams

Chapter 12 Communication and Group Decision Making Efficacy by Randy Y. Hirokawa

1. According to Hirokawa, what are the four factors that cause groups to succeed or fail - consider these in terms of your group?

2. What are three perspectives on how group discussion influences group decision making - do these "fit" your group?

3. How do these three perspectives fit with the ways communication affects decision making according to the functional perspective?

Chapter 13 New Communication Technologies and Teams by Craig R. Scott

1. Having used a discussion forum, ftf, and, possibly, a chat for a group discussion, what do you think of the idea of GDSS presented here (applied to your group)?

If there is not enough information in the chapter for you on GDSS, here is a quick but slightly more indepth explanation.

Picture of a GDSS Room

2. Does your experience within your group with these new technologies agree with Scott's findings on page 142?

3. Rate ftf, chat, email and discussion forums on Scott's five dimensions (pp. 139-140).

Chapter 14 Characteristics of Effective Health Care Teams by Randy Y. Hirokawa, Daniel DeGooyer, Jr., and Kathleen S. Valde

1. Explain the following statement: "Success of a team depends on a low level of hierarchical thinking," (p. 151).

2. Why did leadership seem to impact failures more than successes in the health teams?

3. What do you feel were three primary components of success in your team?

Theoretical extension and operationalization of the bona fide group construct with an application to surgical teams by John D. Lammers and Dean H. Krikorian

1. Does the description of the surgical team offered here fit the "low level of hierarchical thinking" described in Chapter 14?

2. What was the goal of this research study? How well do you feel they met that goal? How useful is this study in furthering our understanding of group communication?

Chapter 15 Teaming with Emotion: The Impact of Emotionality on Work-Team Collaboration by Carolyn C. Clark and Richard W. Sline

1. What is American business' historical attitude about emotions at work?

2. What does research say about emotions in the workplace?

3. What do you believe ought to be the "norm" for emotions in teams/workplaces?

4. Consider two ideas/concepts/assertions from this chapter that you feel are important to understanding and improving group communication. How might you investigate/apply/test these ideas?