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The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication
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The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication



January 2008 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication provides readers with the fundamentals they need to become functional and productive members of any small group. Readers are introduced to the fundamental issues faced by all small groups (such as socialization, development, ethics, diversity) and the procedures utilized by effective small groups (for example, task accomplishment, decision making, climate).  

With a focus on the individual group member, this textbook encourages readers to reflect on how their communication behaviors (e.g., communication traits, verbal and nonverbal communication, listening style) and practices (e.g., their leadership style, their conflict management style) contribute to their current small group experiences.  

Intended Audience  
This textbook is intended for introductory courses in group communication as found in department of communication studies, leadership, marketing, management, and interdisciplinary studies.

Accompanied by High Quality Ancillaries!
An Instructors Resource CD is available to qualified adopters.

This Instructor's Resource CD is designed to aid you in using easily The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication. The CD has been created by Scott A. Myers (West Virginia University), Katie N. Dunleavy (LaSalle University), Brianna N. Loy (West Virginia University) and Paul E. Madlock (West Virginia University). Each chapter contains the following ancillary materials:
Chapter Outline

  • Test Questions
  • In-Class Activities
  • PowerPoint Slides

A list of paper topics is also provided in the section titled Teaching Resources.

Bundle Options - Explore discounted bundles available with this text. Our bundle prices are lower than the prices of most other Group Communication texts alone! Please contact your Sales Representative for more information.


 
Dedication
 
List of Tables, Figures, and Assessment Tools
 
About the Authors
 
Acknowledgments
 
Preface
 
1. Components of Small Group Communication
Case Study

 
Definition of Small Group Communication

 
Primary Features of Small Group Communication

 
Secondary Features of Small Group Communication

 
Types of Small Groups

 
Ethics of Small Group Membership

 
A Final Note about Small Group Communication

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
2. The Small Group Socialization Process
Case Study

 
Why Individuals Join Groups

 
Small Group Socialization

 
Model of Small Group Socialization

 
Outcomes of Socialization

 
Socialization Guidelines

 
A Final Note about the Small Group Socialization Process

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
3. Small Group Member Communication and Personality Traits
Case Study

 
Definition and Differentiation of Traits

 
Communication Traits

 
Personality Traits

 
Communication and Personality Traits in the Small Group

 
A Final Note about Small Group Member Traits

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
4. Diversity Among Small Group Members
Case Study

 
Definition and Outcomes of Diversity

 
Cultural Diversity

 
Demographic Diversity: Sex and Gender

 
Cognitive Diversity: Learning Styles

 
Communication Traits as a Reflection of Diversity

 
A Final Note about Diversity among Small Group Members

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
5. Models of Small Group Development
Case Study

 
Group Development

 
Developmental Models

 
Characteristics of Group Development

 
A Final Note about Small Group Development

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
6. Characteristics of Small Group Tasks
Case Study

 
Characteristics of a Task

 
Engaging in Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Tasks

 
Functional Perspective of Small Group Communication

 
Groupthink

 
A Final Note about the Small Group Task

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
7. Small Group Decision-Making Procedures
Case Study

 
Definition of Decision-Making Procedures

 
Types of Decision-Making Procedures

 
Why Use Decision-Making Procedures?

 
A Final Note about Small Group Decision-Making Procedures

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
8. Development of Small Group Roles
Case Study

 
Functional Approach to Roles

 
General Propositions of Roles

 
Role Development

 
Types of Roles

 
A Final Note about Small Group Roles

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
9. Approaches to Small Group Leadership
Case Study

 
Being a Leader vs. Sharing Leadership

 
Classic Leadership Approaches

 
Popular Communication Leadership Approaches

 
Guidelines to Enhance Leadership Competence

 
A Final Note about Small Group Leadership

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
10. Relational Communication among Small Group Members
Case Study

 
Definition of Relational Communication

 
Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

 
Functions of Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

 
Listening

 
A Final Note about Relational Communication

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
11. Conflict in the Small Group
Case Study

 
Definition of Conflict

 
Types of Small Group Conflict

 
Conflict-Handling Styles

 
Guidelines for Handling Conflict

 
A Final Note about Small Group Conflict

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
12. Cohesion and Climate in the Small Group
Case Study

 
The Importance of Cohesion

 
Definition of Communication Climate

 
How Communication Climate is Established

 
Turning a Defensive Climate into a Supportive Climate

 
A Final Note about Cohesion and Climate

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
Appendix A: Connecting Small Group Communication Concepts
Case Study

 
Connecting Textbook Content to Small Group Interactions

 
A Final Note about Connecting Small Group Concepts

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
 
Appendix B: Designing and Delivering Small Group Presentations
Case Study

 
Designing the Small Group Presentation

 
Delivering the Small Group Presentation

 
A Final Note about Designing and Delivering the Presentation

 
Conclusion

 
Discussion Questions

 
References

 
 
Glossary

Loved it! I found this book very easy to use for both students and instructor. I particularly liked the supports for the instructor and the layout for the students.

Dr Maike Garland
Social Science Dept, Community College of Vermont - Montpelier
October 28, 2009

The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication is a very concise and affordable textbook.

Ms Alice Danford
Comm Arts Humanities Dept, Delaware County Community College
October 1, 2009
  •  
Key features
  • Contains several chapters not found in other small group communication text­books, such as:  the small group socialization process, communication and person­ality traits, communication ethics, and a synthesis of small group communication concepts. These chapters reiterate the idea that students must first develop an understanding of the role they individually play in a small group.
  • Contains separate chapters on group development, roles, leadership, and communication climate, which are topics either superficially discussed in many textbooks or combined as part of another chapter in other textbooks. Addi­tionally, the task chapter distinguishes between decision making and problem solving processes, a distinction not made in many textbooks.
  • Contains helpful in-chapter pedagogy:  Each chapter begins with a case study, followed by 5 learning objectives, the chapter content, 5-7 discussion questions, a list of the key terms (with the definition of each term included) identified in the chapter, and a list of the references cited.
  • Several chapters contain at least one self-report measure students can complete. These measures (e.g., the Verbal Aggressiveness scale) reiterate the point that for students to become effective group members, they must first develop an understanding of the role they individually play in a small group. By completing these measures, along with the appropriate debriefing questions, students can think about what they bring to any small group experience.
  • Because this introductory textbook is not intended for a sole performance course, chapters on public presentations, meetings, and agendas are not included. Instead, an appendix on presentational speaking is included should instructors decide to incorporate an element of presentational speaking into the course.