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Healthcare Essay

1816 words - 8 pages

Running head: Theory at Work Paper
Theory at Work Paper

University of Phoenix
PSY 430 Team Dynamics for Managers

There are two issues involved when working in groups. First are the task and the problems involved in getting the job done. Second is the process of the group work itself; the mechanisms by which the group acts as a unit and not as an out of control group. Working in groups applies to my work environment by combining talents and providing innovative solutions to possible strange problems, in cases where there is no well-established approach or procedure. Our group consists of skill knowledgeable people that have a distinct advantage over that of one ...view middle of the document...

For example, if our theory of communication is that communication is the program of information, then we will study senders who present clear, concise, well-organized messages. If we think of communication as performance, then we will be concerned with the shared meanings, sense making, and the way individuals coordinate their actions. Communications can be implied in different ways if it is studied through different theories. (Poole, M., 1999)
Functional theory approach to small group communication is concerned with the results or outcomes of group behaviors and structures, which describes our group. Communication helps us by promoting rational judgments and critical thinking, as well as preventing us from faulty decision-making and flawed problem solving. However, communication is instrumental because it provides the means by which we as a group can achieve our goals. In order for the functional theory to work effectively and solve problems, we must:
• Commit to making the best decision,
• Identify resources needed to carry out the groups charge,
• Determine procedures for the group to follow,
• Articulate procedural rules and interaction practices, and
• Review the decision-making process and make any necessary adjustments to the decision. (Gouran, D., & Hirokawa, R., 1996)
According to the functional theory process, groups follow systematic procedures to accomplish tasks. This enables our group to participate leadership and motivational skills by:
• Demonstrating that we understand the charge,
• Establish criteria with which to evaluate possible solutions,
• Develop alternative solutions,
• Evaluate those alternatives by comparing them to each other and the previously-established criteria, and
• Use the evaluation to choose between alternatives. (Gouran,D., & Hirokawa, R., 1996)
The functional approach to small group communication has several strengths. Critical thinking, sound logic, informed discussion, and systematic procedures are essential to effective decision-making and problem solving. Second, this approach emphasizes the purpose communication serves in small groups; it makes more sense that, without communication, group members could not accomplish their goals. The theory has weaknesses as well. First, assessing outcomes is demanding. For example, a given solution might be best for the group, but it may have damaging consequences for other members of the team. In addition, a decision may seem appropriate for the moment, but later, it may turn out to be a poor one. Second according to research, decision-making is not rational. Emotions, power, hidden agendas, interpersonal conflicts, competing goals, and forces outside the group all play a part in the final decision a group makes. As a result, the functional theory may not provide a very useful picture of decision-making and problem solving in naturally occurring groups. Third, researchers have found it difficult to consistently identify the key group functions...

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