Theory Key Names
Annotated list of scholars and terms, from the Instructors Manual and margin notes in the text
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Chapter 17—Functional Perspective on Group Decision Making
- Randy Hirokawa and Dennis Gouran
- Communication researchers at the University of Hawaii and Pennsylvania State University respectively, who developed the functional perspective of group decision making.
- Functional perspective
- A prescriptive approach that describes and predicts task-group performance when four communication functions are fulfilled.
- Requisite functions
- Requirements for positive group outcome; problem analysis, goal setting, identification of alternatives, and evaluation of pluses and minuses for each.
- Problem analysis
- Determining the nature, extent, and cause(s) of the problem facing the group.
- Goal setting
- Establishing criteria by which to judge proposed solutions.
- Identification of alternatives
- Generation of options to sufficiently solve the problem.
- Evaluation of positive and negative characteristics
- Testing the relative merits of each option against the criteria selected; weighing the benefits and costs.
- John Dewey
- Early twentieth-century American pragmatist philosopher developed the six-step process of reflective thinking.
- Reflective thinking
- Thinking that favors rational consideration over intuitive hunches or pressure from those with clout.
- Jürgen Habermas
- A German philosopher and social theorist who suggests a rational process through which people can determine right from wrong.
- Discourse ethics
- Jürgen Habermas’ vision of the ideal speech situation in which diverse participants could rationally reach a consensus on universal ethical standards.
- Ideal speech situation
- A discourse on ethical accountability in which discussants represent all who will be affected by the decision, pursue discourse in a spirit of seeking the common good, and are committed to finding universal standards.
- Cynthia Stohl and Michael Holmes
- Critiquing the functional perspective, these communication researchers, from University of California, Santa Barbara and Ball State respectively, advocate adding historical and institutional functions to the process.
- Bona fide groups
- Real-life groups; intact groups with stable yet permeable boundaries and interdependent within their immediate context.
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