The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication
- Scott A. Myers - West Virginia University, USA
- Carolyn M. Anderson - The University of Akron, USA
Group Communication | Group Processes/Dynamics | Teamwork in Organizations
The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication provides the beginning student with basic concepts, skills, and practices to become an effective group member. Unlike other small group communication textbooks that revolve around group work and group presentations, this textbook centers on the individual group member. That is, students who read this textbook will learn how their contribution to any small group endeavor can be enhanced by learning about (1) the small group communication process (e.g., components of small group communication, group socialization, group development), (2) the unique qualities each group member brings to the process (e.g., communication and personality traits, diversity, ethics), and (3) how the qualities of each group member can enhance or detract from various aspects of the small group process in terms of both the group task (e.g., the functional perspective of small group communication, engaging in problem-solving and decision-making techniques, roles, shared leadership) and group member relationships (e.g., engaging in relational communication, handling conflict, establishing a supportive climate).
The treatment is succinct and practical. The chapters are arranged in a way that suggests three overarching themes: characteristics of small group communication and the individual group member (chapters 1-5), the group task (chapters 6-9), and group member relationships (chapters 10-14).
By presenting a clear, uncluttered introduction to small group communication--without the distracting jargon, "bells & whistles," and cost-inflating color photographs found in most texts--The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication offers an attractive option for those who are genuinely concerned about using a great textbook that is affordable, easy to read, translates research extremely well, and offers students practical information about small group communication that they can use.
"For the introductory group communication course, I believe this book would be an excellent choice. Too many small group communication textbooks focus on the group and not the individual in the group. It covers enough material but not in too much depth for a first-year student to understand the basics of small group communication. Additionally, I like the interpersonal approach this text takes in regards to the individual in the small group. Our students need to know how to 'act' in a small group, and this book provides that direction. Moreover, I think the small case studies at the beginning of each chapter will encourage the student to actually read the chapter because they are interesting and relate to our students’ everyday lives."
"I like the approach of this text. Looking at small group communication as a series of interpersonal interactions is a novel approach: Showing students how they are responsible in the interaction—what they have to gain and what they have to lose in the small group—is applicable to the 'real world.' The important terms, concepts, and theories are well thought out, well developed, and presented in a clear and concise manner."
"I really appreciate the book's focus on how the individual contributes to the group communication context. The Fundamentals of Small Group Communication is easy to read, translates research extremely well, and offers students practical information about small group communication that they can use."
Great introduction text to understanding Small Group Communication.
Heard good things from other profs but I found the text to simplistic and repetitive, would not reccommend
The authors avoid jargon and write well. Also, from the start, they encourage class exercises, which allows the students to practice the theory.
This is a text I use for an introductory class on developing psycho-educational groups for offenders. Rather than having students go through a dry process of reading what goes into a group, this text takes the reader on a tour of the dynamics and processes of communication members of a group are exposed to or use. The students seem to "get it" and can easily report back their thoughts on the text. The short, explicit chapters seem to offer greater readability and cover everything I would have wanted in a group (curriculum) development text. It will be interesting to see if the second phase of the course- where students actually develop a group curriculum- revolves around the text.
I really liked the size of the text, ease of reading, and the case studies. Also, I thought first year college students would enjoy and learn from this text. Great information, easy to understand and not too complicated.
Easy to read with good examples.Maybe not suitable for primary text in my course.
The book provides an excellent introduction for a small group communication class. It is reader-friendly and can be easily understood, yet encompasses a rather broad overview of theories related to interpersonal dynamics in small groups. The text provides tools and case studies, that enable a practical understanding of the text. It's a wonderful book, and I am glad to have found it. I will use it in every class related to teams or groups, and perhaps add chapters from it to my organizational introductory courses.