A self-help tool to aid in the study of the First Look text (started with the 9th Edition)
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Chapter 17—Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making
- Although Hirokawa observed that effective groups often start by analyzing the problem, he also noticed that they don’t always do so. Describe a situation when it would be more effective for a group to start with one of the other requisite functions.
- Hirokawa discovered that the evaluation of negative characteristics is the most crucial function for achieving an effective group decision. Explain three reasons why groups might skip this step, despite its importance.
- Angela, Brian, Chloe, and Daniel have just gotten together for their first group meeting. Their task is to create a presentation on a theory of their choice for their communication theory course. With the functional perspective in mind, identify three guidelines the group should follow.
- Review your experience in a decision-making group and answer whether the functional perspective sheds light on the process. Which requisite functions did your group perform ineffectively? Which did they perform well?
- Some scholars have argued that a weakness of the functional perspective is its lack of attention to the relational aspects of group life. This is particularly problematic for groups whose purpose is, in large part, relational: groups of friends, families, religious groups, and so forth. Identify at least two functions that such social groups must fulfill. Compare and contrast these functions with those identified by Hirokawa and Gouran for decision-making groups.
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