In Mixed Company 11e Communicating in Small Groups and Teams

Edition: 11th
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2021-11-05
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Table of Contents

Brief Contents
1 Communication Competence in Groups
2 Groups as Systems
3 Meetings: Standard and Virtual
4 Group Development
5 Developing the Group Climate
6 Roles in Groups
7 Group Leadership
8 Developing Effective Teams
9 Defective Group Decision Making and Problem Solving
10 Effective Decision Making and Problem Solving
11 Power in Groups: A Central Dynamic
12 Conflict Management and Negotiation
Appendix A: Group Oral Presentations
Appendix B: Critical Thinking Revisited: Arguments and Fallacies

Chapter 1: Communication Competence in Groups
Myths about Communication
Myth 1: Communication Is a Cure-all
Myth 2: Communication Can Break Down
Myth 3: Effective Communication Is Merely Skill Building
Myth 4: 93% of Meaning Is Communicated Nonverbally
Myth 5: Effective Communication Is Just Common Sense
Communication Defined
Communication as Transactional: Mutually Influential
Communication as a Process: The Continuous Flow
Communication as Sharing Meaning: Making Sense
Verbal Communication: Telling It Like It Isn't
Nonverbal Communication: Wordless Meaning
Communication Competence
Effectiveness: Achieving Goals
A Matter of Degree: From Deficiency to Proficiency
We (Not Me) Oriented: Primacy of Groups
Appropriateness: Following the Rules
Rule Violations: Consequential Effects
Rule Changes: Context Specific
Achieving Communication Competence
Knowledge: Learning the Rules
Skills: Showing, Not Just Knowing
Sensitivity: Receptive Accuracy
Commitment: A Passion for Excellence
Ethics: The Right and Wrong of Communication
Culture and Communication Competence
Individualism-Collectivism Dimension: The Prime Directive
Applying the Communication Competence Model: Several Steps
Self-Assessment: Be Ye Individualist or Collectivist?
Definition of a Group
Groups: More than People Standing at a Bus Stop
Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking: Ungroups
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 2: Groups as Systems
Interconnectedness of Parts
Ripple Effect: A Chain Reaction
Synergy: One Plus One Equals a Ton
Negative Synergy: Results Beyond Bad
Adaptability to a Changing Environment
Dynamic Equilibrium: Regulating Stability and Change
Dealing with Difficult Group Members: Disruptive Change
Self-Assessment: Are You a Difficult Group Member?
Boundary Control: Communication Methods for Regulating Input
Physical Barriers: Protecting Group Space
Psychological Barriers: Member in Name Only
Linguistic Barriers: Having to Speak the Language
Rules: Permission Not Granted
Roles: Staying in Bounds
Networks: Controlling Information and Interaction Flow
Open and Closed Systems: Setting Effective Boundaries
Influence of Size
Group Size and Complexity
Quantitative Complexity: Exponentially Complicated
Complexity and Group Transactions: Size Matters
An Organization: A Group of Groups
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 3: Meetings: Standard and Virtual
Standard Meeting Preparation
Clarify the Purpose: Avoid Aimlessness
Create an Effective Meeting Agenda: Simple Steps
Get There First: Expect Problems
Conducting a Meeting
Type of Meeting: Formal or Informal
Begin on Time; End on Time: Punctuality Is a Virtue
Communicate Ground Rules: Avoid Chaos
Use the Best Processes: No One-Size-Fits-All
Stay on Track: Parking Lots, Jellyfish, and Perception Checks
Concluding the Meeting: Don't End with a Whimper
After the Meeting: Clean-Up Time
Participating in Meetings
Be Prepared: Don't Act Like a Potted Plant
WAIT: Avoid Stage Hogging
Be Attentive: Monitor Your Nonverbal Communication
Recognize Cultural Diversity: Is Silence Golden?
Increase Participation: Constructive Engagement
Virtual Meetings
Types of Virtual Meetings: Audio and Visual
Pros and Cons: A Mixed Bag
Facilitating a Virtual Meeting: New Challenges
Virtual Meeting Participation: A Few Unique Considerations
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 4: Group Development
Primary Dimensions of Groups
Task and Social Dimensions: Working and Relating
Building Cohesiveness: Bringing Us Together
Encourage Compatible Membership
Develop Shared Goals
Accomplish Tasks
Develop a Positive History of Cooperation
Increase Proximity
Nurture Virtual Group Social Relations
Periodic Phases of Group Development
Forming: Gathering Members
Reasons We Join Groups: Motivation
Member Diversity: The Benefits and Challenges of Difference
Storming: Feeling the Tension
Primary Tension: Initial Uneasiness
Secondary Tension: Later Stress and Strain
Norming: Regulating the Group
Types of Norms: Explicit and Implicit
Degree of Conformity: Strength of Group Pressure
Why We Conform: Fitting In
Conditions for Conformity: When We Bow to Group Pressure
Addressing Nonconformity: When Groups Get Tough
Performing: Group Output
Motivation to Perform: Social Loafing and Social Compensation
Self-Assessment: Social Loafing
When Groups Outperform Individuals: Three Heads Are Better than One
When Individuals Outperform Groups: No Group Magic
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 5: Developing the Group Climate
Positive versus Negative Climates
Negativity Bias: Short-Circuiting a Positive Climate
Positive Emphasis: The "Magic Ratio"
Competition and Cooperation
Definitions: Conceptual Clarity
Constructive Competition: Tempering Hypercompetitiveness
Cooperative Group Climates: Cultivating Positivity
Communication and Group Climate
Praise and Recognition: Basic Building Blocks
Defensive and Supportive Communication: Shaping Climates
Self-Assessment: Reactions to Defensive and Supportive Communication
Criticism versus Description
Control versus Problem Orientation
Manipulation versus Assertiveness
Indifference versus Empathy
Superiority versus Equality
Certainty versus Provisionalism
Incivility versus Civility
Listening: Enhancing Positivity
Shift Response versus Support Response: Focusing on Me or Thee?
Competitive Interrupting: Seizing the Floor
Ambushing: Preparing Rebuttals
Virtual Group Climate
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 6: Roles in Groups
Influence of Roles
Role Status: Playing by Hierarchical Rules
Role Conflict: Torn Between Two Roles
Role Reversal: When Students Become Teachers
Types of Roles
Task Roles: Focusing on Maximum Productivity
Maintenance Roles: Focusing on Cohesiveness
Disruptive Roles: Focusing on Self
Self-Assessment: Playing by the Roles
Role Emergence
Group Endorsement: Accepting a Bid?
Role Specialization: Settling into One's Primary Role?
Role Adaptability
Role Flexibility: Adapting to Context
Role Fixation: Failure to Adapt
Newcomers and System Disturbance
Nature of the Group: The Challenge of Acceptance
Group Socialization: Mutual Adaptation to Change
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 7: Group Leadership
Definition of Leadership
Leadership and Followership: Let's Dance
Leader and Manager: Different Types of Influence
Difference #1: Positional versus Interpersonal Influence
Difference #2: Maintaining versus Changing
Differences Not Categorically Exclusive: Matter of Emphasis
Leadership Emergence
How Not to Become a Leader: Communication Blunders
General Emergence Pattern: Process of Elimination
Two Phases of Emergence
Virtual Group Leader Emergence
Additional Factors: Implicit Theories of Leadership
Perspectives on Competent Leadership
Traits Perspective: The Born Leader View
Styles Perspective: One Style Doesn't Fit All
Self-Assessment: What Is Your Leadership Style Preference?
Situational Perspective: Matching Styles with Circumstances
Distributive Leadership: Sharing Functions
Servant Leadership Perspective: Ethical Necessity
Culture and Leadership: Are There Universal Theories?
Communication Competence Perspective: The Overarching View
Virtual Group Leadership
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 8: Developing Effective Teams
Standard Groups versus Teams
Distinctions: The Fourmost Four
Level of Cooperation: The Working Together Imperative
Diversity of Skills: Looking for Complementarity
Group Identity: Operating as a Unit
Time and Resources: Commitment to the Team
Definition of a Team: A Special Kind of Group
Team Members
Team Slayers: Members' Bad Attitudes and Bad Behavior
Egocentrism: Me-Deep in Omnipotence
Cynicism: Communicating a Can't-Do Attitude
Communicating Abuse: Incompetent Behavior Kills Teams
Team Builders: Choosing and Developing Team Members
Experience and Problem-Solving Abilities: Core Competencies
Communication Training: Developing Members' Competence
Developing Teamwork
Developing Team Goals: The Four Cs
Clear Goals: Everyone on the Same Page
Cooperative Goals: Interdependent Challenges
Challenging Goals: Denting the Universe
Commitment to Goals: A Passion to Succeed
Developing a Team Identity: Unifying Members
Symbolic Convergence: Communicating Fantasy Themes
Solidarity Symbols: Unifying Nonverbally
Team Talk: The Language of We
Designating Roles: Room for One Quarterback
Team Empowerment: Enhancing Members' Capabilities
Definition of Empowerment: Four Dimensions
Hierarchical Organizations: The Enemy of Team Empowerment
Self-Managing Work Teams: The IDEO Model
Impediments to Team Empowerment: No Buy-In
Establishing Individual Accountability: Providing Feedback
Competent Team Leadership
Nurturing Empowerment: A Shared Responsibility
Requiring a Psychologically Safe Environment: Killing Fear and Ego
Virtual Teams
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 9: Defective Decision Making and Problem Solving
Information Overload
Scope of the Problem: The Information Avalanche
Consequences: The Downside of Information Overload
Critical Thinking Impairment: Separating Wheat from Chaff
Indecisiveness: Conclusion Irresolution
Inattention: Difficulty Concentrating
Diminished Creativity: Preoccupation with the Mundane
Coping with Information Overload: Wrestling the Beast
Ruthlessly Filter Information: Scan the Spam
"Eat the Frog": Tackle the Unpleasant Tasks First
Shut Down Technology: Hitting the Off Switch?
Become Selective: On a Need-to-Know Basis
Limit the Search: When Enough Is Enough
Discern Patterns: Recognizing Irrelevant Information
Focus: Don't Multitask
Information Underload
Mindsets: Critical Thinking Frozen Solid
Confirmation Bias: One-Sided Information Searches
The Problem: Poor Decisions and Solutions
Combating Confirmation Bias: A Plan
False Dichotomies: Either-Or Thinking
Collective Inferential Error: Uncritical Thinking
Prevalence of the Problem: It's a Group Thing
Sources of Inferential Errors: Distortions and Correlations
Unrepresentativeness: Distorting the Facts
Self-Assessment: The Uncritical Inference Test
Correlation Inferred as Causation: Covariation
Error Correction: Practicing Critical Thinking
Group Polarization: Extremely Uncritical Thinking
Polarization: From Gambling to Guarded
Why Groups Polarize: Comparison and Persuasion
Combating Group Polarization: Necessary Steps
Groupthink: Critical Thinking in Suspended Animation
Conditions: Excessive Cohesiveness and Concurrence Seeking
Identification of Groupthink: Main Symptoms
Overestimation of the Group's Power and Morality: Arrogance
Closed-Mindedness: Clinging to Assumptions
Pressures toward Uniformity: Presenting a United Front
Preventing Groupthink: Promoting Vigilance
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 10: Effective Decision Making and Problem Solving
Group Discussion Functions and Procedures
Phases and Functions: General Considerations
Multiple Sequence Model: Phases of Decision Making
Functional Perspective: Being Systematic
The Standard Agenda: Structuring Group Discussion
Problem Identification: What's the Question?
Problem Analysis: Causes and Effects
Solution Criteria: Setting Standards
Solution Suggestions: Generating Alternatives
Solution Evaluation and Selection: Deciding by Criteria
Solution Implementation: Follow-Through
Decision-Making Rules: Majority, Minority, and Unanimity
Majority Rule: Tyrannical or Practical
Minority Rule: Several Types
Unanimity Rule: Consensus
Evaluating Information: Countering "Truth Decay"
Credibility: Is It Believable??
Currency: Is It Up to Date??
Relevance: Looking for Logical Connections
Representativeness: Reflecting the Facts
Sufficiency: When Enough Really Is Enough
Creative Problem Solving
General Overview: The Creative Process
Creative Techniques: Systematic Procedures
Idea Generation: Several Techniques
Framing/Reframing: It's All in the Wording
Virtual Groups and Decision Making
Pace of Decision Making: Synchronous and Asynchronous Media
Virtual Creativity: Finding Your Comfort Zone
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 11: Power in Groups
The Nature of Power
Forms of Power: Dominance, Prevention, and Empowerment
Communication Indicators of Power
General Indicators: Defining, Following, and Inhibiting
Verbal Indicators: Language Choices
Nonverbal Indicators: Silent Exercise of Power
Status Cues: Virtual Groups
Power Resources: The Raw Materials of Influence
Information: Good and Plenty
Expertise: Information Plus Know-How
Legitimate Authority: You Will Obey
Rewards and Punishments: Pleasure and Pain
Personal Qualities: A Powerful Persona
Consequences of Power Imbalances
Bias Against Women and Ethnic Minorities: Leadership Gap
Bullying: Verbal and Nonverbal Aggression
Power Distance: Cultural Variation
General Description: Horizontal and Vertical Cultures
Communication Differences: With Whom May You Communicate?
Balancing Power: Prevention Strategies
Defiance: Digging in Your Heels
Resistance: Dragging Your Feet
Sluggish Effort: How Slow Can You Go?
Strategic Stupidity: Smart People Acting Dumb
Loss of Motor Function: Conscious Carelessness
The Misunderstanding Mirage: Confusion Illusion?
Selective Amnesia: Fake Forgetfulness
Tactical Tardiness: Late by Design
Purposeful Procrastination: Deliberate Delays
Balancing Power Positively: Enhancing Empowerment
Developing Assertiveness: Exhibiting Confidence and Skill
Alliances: Forming Coalitions
Increasing Personal Power Resources: Benefiting the Group
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies

Chapter 12: Conflict Management and Negotiation
Nature of Conflict
Definition: Incompatible, Interconnected Struggle
Benefits of Conflict: Dissent Can Be Productive
Destructive and Constructive Conflict: Differences
Communication Styles of Conflict Management
Collaborating: Problem Solving
Confrontation: Directly Addressing the Problem
Integration: Seeking Joint Gains
Smoothing: Calming Troubled Waters
Accommodating: Yielding
Compromising: Halving the Loaf
Avoiding: Withdrawing
Competing: Power-Forcing
Comparing Styles: Likelihood of Success
Situational Factors
Task Conflict: Routine and Nonroutine
Relationship Conflict: It's Personal
Values Conflict: Deeply Felt Struggles
Culture and Conflict: Communication Differences
Negotiating Strategies
Positional Bargaining: Hard and Soft Negotiating
Principled Negotiation: Interest-Based Bargaining
The Four Principles: Appropriate Rules
Remaining Unconditionally Constructive: Sound Judgment?
The BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
Anger Management
Constructive and Destructive Anger: Intensity and Duration
Managing Your Own Anger: Taking Control
Managing the Anger of Others: Communication Jujitsu
Virtual Groups and Conflict
Questions for Critical Thinkers
TED Talks and YouTube Videos
Video Case Studies
Appendix A: Group Oral Presentations
Appendix B: Critical Thinking Revisited: Arguments and Fallacies

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