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Theories of Small Groups
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Theories of Small Groups
Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited by:


November 2004 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Theories of Small Groups: Interdisciplinary Perspectives is a book that will make a significant difference in how those interested in the study of small groups think and pursue inquiry about them. In this impressive collection of original essays, the reader is introduced to nine different perspectives that have guided the development of theories and research concerning the nature of group processes. Drawing on the efforts of numerous scholars with backgrounds in biological and social sciences, editors Scott Poole and Andrea Hollingshead provide a useful vehicle for the emergence of enriched understandings of the behavior of groups, enhancing the integration of such knowledge, and the prospects for substantial increases in genuinely interdisciplinary scholarship."

-Dennis S. Gouran, The Pennsylvania State University

People live in groups, work in groups, and play in groups. As a result, groups have been a focus of study across the social and behavioral sciences. Although it has been actively pursued within individual disciplines and sub-disciplines, group research as a whole remains fragmented and discipline-bounded.

Theories of Small Groups: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
brings together the threads that unify the field of group research. The book is designed to define and describe theoretical perspectives on groups and to highlight select research findings within those perspectives. In this text, editors Marshall Scott Poole and Andrea B. Hollingshead capitalize on the theoretical advances made over the last fifty years by integrating models and theories of small groups into a set of nine general theoretical perspectives. Theories of Small Groups is the first book to assess, synthesize, integrate, and evaluate the body of theory and research on small groups across disciplinary boundaries.

Key Features

  • Offers an interdisciplinary approach to group research with contributions from authors across many fields
  • Includes nine theoretical perspectives, each written by an author team composed of experts who have conducted independent research within that perspective
  • Organizes chapters in a similar format to easily compare the basic premises and findings examined across the various perspectives covered
  • Concludes with a chapter that compares and contrasts the nine perspectives in the form of seven "touchstones"- boundaries/embeddedness; competition, conflict and interdependence; causality; regulation of interaction; risk/uncertainty; cognition/intentionality, and time

Theories of Small Groups summarizes the current state of group theory and research in a brief volume that can be used by researchers and in graduate courses that will train the next generation of group scholars. It is an excellent supplementary textbook for graduate courses on small groups in many disciplines, including Communication, Psychology, Management, Sociology, Political Science, and Education.


Marshall Scott Poole
Preface
Marshall Scott Poole, Andrea B. Hollingshead, Joseph McGrath, Richard Moreland, John Rohrbaugh
1. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Small Groups
Andrea B. Hollingshead, Gwen M. Wittenbaum, Paul B. Paulus, Randy Y. Hirokawa, Deborah G. Ancona, Randall S. Peterson, Karen A. Jehn, Kay Yoon
2. A Look at Groups from the Functional Perspective
Poppy L. McLeod, Richard Kettner-Polley
3. Psychodynamic Perspectives on Small Groups
Dominic Abrams, Michael A. Hogg, Steve Hinkle, Sabine Otten
4. The Social Identity Perspective on Small Groups
Michael Lovaglia, Elizabeth A. Mannix, Charles D. Samuelson, Jane Sell, Rick K. Wilson
5. Conflict, Power, and Status in Groups
Larry Frey, Sunwolf
6. The Symbolic-Interpretive Perspective of Group Life
Renee Meyers, Jennifer L. Berdahl, Dale Brashers, Jennifer R. Considine, Janice R. Kelly, Celia Moore, Jennifer L. Peterson, Jennifer R. Spoor
7. Understanding Groups From a Feminist Perspective
Nancy Katz, David Lazer, Holly Arrow, Noshir Contractor
8. The Network Perspective on Small Groups: Theory and Research
Holly Arrow, Kelly Bouas Henry, Marshall Scott Poole, Susan Wheelan, Richard Moreland
9. Traces, Trajectories, and Timing: The Temporal Perspective on Groups
Linnda Caporael, David Sloan Wilson, Charlotte Hemelrijk, Kennon M. Sheldon
10. Small Groups From an Evolutionary Perspective
Janet Fulk, Joseph E. McGrath
11. Touchstones: A Framework for Comparing Premises of Nine Integrative Perspectives on Groups


"Theories of Small Groups: Interdisciplinary Perspectives is a book that will make a significant difference in how those interested in the study of small groups think and pursue inquiry about them. In this impressive collection of original essays, the reader is introduced to nine different perspectives that have guided the development of theories and research concerning the nature of group processes. Drawing on the efforts of numerous scholars with backgrounds in biological and social sciences, editors Scott Poole and Andrea Hollingshead provide a useful vehicle for the emergence of enriched understandings of the behavior of groups, enhancing the integration of such knowledge, and the prospects for substantial increases in genuinely interdisciplinary scholarship."

 

Dennis S. Gouran
The Pennsylvania State University

An interesting, but advanced textbook. If the students don't have a good background in Group Dynamics/Group Processes (e.g. all that is covered in Don Forsyth's text), they will probably not enjoy this text.

Dr David Dunaetz
Organizational Leadership, Chicago School of Professional Psychology
January 18, 2015

This is an excellent book covering all aspects of small group work theory. The section on power and status are very useful for the programme learners to undertake extended reading.

Mrs Joanne Arnold
Youth Studies, St Helens College
November 5, 2013

It is a very good book that is generally recommended for students to use as it covers a number of relevant issues.

Mr Baljeet Gill
Youth and Community, Ruskin College Oxford
May 14, 2013

The main attraction was the multi-disciplinary prospectives on groups. The students loved the book, and so do I! This is for a doctoral class, and it is rarely that I find textbooks targeted for the doctoral population. This one is perfect!

Dr Connie Fuller
I/O Psychology, Chicago School of Psychology
May 9, 2012

This is a good book for extra reading. Thus, I have suggested to the librarian to purchase it.

Dr Norhayati Zakaria
Faculty of Business and Management, University of Wollongong in Dubai
December 28, 2011
Key features
  • Interdisciplinary approach and wide range of authors make for broad audience appeal, more so than for more traditional books on group research.
  • Despite being authored by diverse author teams, all chapters are linked by a similar format and address the same set of questions.
  • The editors provide a set of tables in each chapter for readers to easily compare the basic premises and findings across the chapters.

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