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COMM 151- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 26 pages long!)


Department
Commerce
Course Code
COMM 151
Professor
Christopher Miners
Study Guide
Midterm

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Queen's
COMM 151
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Chapter 7
Group: two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve a common goal
Formal Work Groups: Groups that are established by organizations to facilitate the achievement of
organization goals
Task forces or project groups: temporary groups that meet to achieve particular goals or to solve
problems
Committees: usually permanent groups that handle recurrent assignments outside usual work group
structures
Informal Groups: Groups that emerge naturally in response to the common interests of organizational
members
Typical Stages of group development
Forming
o At this early stage group members "test the waters" and orient themselves
Storming
o Where conflict emerges and confrontation and criticism occur as members determine whether
they will go along with the way the group is developing
o Role and responsibilities are sorted out here
Norming
o Members resolve issues provoked in storming and they develop social consensus
o Compromise is necessary and interdependence is recognized
o The group becomes cohesive and norms are agreed upon
Performing
o The group devotes their energies towards the task at hand
o Achievement, creativity and mutual assistance are prominent here
Adjourning
o Some groups have a definite time line and disperse after their goals are met
o Ceremonies and parties are done to celebrate the accomplishments
Punctuated Equilibrium Model: a group development model that describes how groups with deadlines
are affected by their first meetings and crucial midpoint transitions
Phase One:
Begins at the first meeting and continues to the midpoint
First meeting is crucial as it sets the agenda
Assumptions, approaches and precedents that members end up developing dominate the first half
of the groups life
Midpoint transition:
Occurs at exactly halfway in the time towards the groups deadline
Marks a change in the groups approach and how the group manages this change is crucial for the
group to show progress
In order to move forward groups may seek outside advice
Crystalizes the groups agenda for phase 2
May mark a new approach or a need for new information
Phase Two:
This is where most of the work gets done
Advice to ensure success
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o Prepare carefully for the first meeting, stress motivation and excitement
o As long as people are working do not look for radical progress in phase one
o Manage the midpoint transition carefully
Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the group and of the ides generated in phase
one
Clarify any questions with whoever is evaluating you work
Recognize that change must occur here in order for progress to appear
Essential issues are not likely to work themselves out in phase two so address them before
Focus on strategy
o Be sure to have adequate resources for phase two
o Resist deadline changes as these can damage the midpoint transition
Group Size
Size and Satisfaction
o Members of larger groups tend to say they are less satisfied than those in smaller groups
o In smaller groups there is more opportunity for friendship
o More members means more conflict as there are more opinions and viewpoints
o People feel inhibited from participating in larger groups
o Individual members identify less with the success and accomplishments of the group
Size and Performance
o The performance of the groups depends on the task at hand
o Additive tasks: group performance is dependent on the sum of performance of individual group
members and performance increases with group size
o Disjunctive tasks: group performance is dependent on the performance of the best group
member and performance increases with group size as there are now more people to chose
from and the chances of having a superior member is higher
o Process Losses: group performance difficulties stemming from the problems of motivating and
coordinating larger groups
o Conjunctive tasks: group performance is limited to the poorest group member, performance of
this task decreases as group size increase
Diversity of Group Membership
Strong impact on interaction patterns
More diverse groups have more difficulty communicating effectively and becoming cohesive
More diverse groups take longer to form, norm and storm
Once developed however, diverse groups can be equally cohesive
Diversity can increase creativity and innovation
Any negative "surface diversity" (sex, race, skin colour) will wear off over time
"Deep diesity" o’t ea off ad ause issues ith ohesieess
Group Norms
Norms: collective expectations that members of social units have regarding the behaviour of each other
Norm development
o Why? Provide regularity and predictability to behaviour
Provides psychological safety and allows for work to be carried out with minimal disruption
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