Study Guide for Organizational Communication Final Exam - Spring 2008 Chapter Six – Groups in Organizations 1.

What is John Baird’s definition of a group? John Baird describes a group as “a collection of more than two persons who perceive themselves as a group, possess a common fate, have organizational structure, and communicate over time to achieve personal and group goals 2. What is the underlying assumption of group work? The underlying assumption of group work is that the efforts of numbers of individuals exceed individual efforts requiring energy and creativity for either completing tasks or examining issues 3. What are the three common features of competent primary work team members? a. Possession of essential skills and abilities b. A strong desire to contribute c. Creativity for either completing tasks or examining issues 4. What is a self-managing team? A self-managing team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, have a defined set of performance goals, and execute an approach for which they held themselves accountable 5. What is a focus group? A focus group is a collection of individuals who have familiarity with a problem or issue and are asked in a somewhat non structured format to describe the issue and make recommendations. It is formed to discuss problems but not to take responsibility for final recommendations or implementation of change 6. What are social support groups and how do they function? Social support groups are formed as subgroups of larger task groups or among people with similar organizational interests. They function to stimulate trust and cohesiveness among group members 7. What is the difference between team-based organizations and teamwork? Team-based organization refers to a structural change from hierarchy to flat and often networked configurations of teams. Teamwork is the ability of individuals to work collaboratively. Teamwork is required for successful team-based structures and is also important for hierarchy. Team-based organizations alter the way in which work is organized, supervised, and rewarded, whereas teamwork is the interactional process through which work is accomplished.

Forming – includes the establishment of new relationships and the tension associated with entering new situations b.Consensus identification ii. Conflict management 9. Norming – group establishes general ways of doing things that are particular to the group and can be described as rules for behavior d.Disagreement identification 11. Discussion clarification 10.8. Group climate 3. and developing enough comfort to be themselves c. Task Roles: 1. Idea generation 3. What is the difference between task and maintenance roles? The difference between task and maintenance roles are that task roles represent the processes in which the team engages to achieve its goals. Solution implementation 7. What are the stages? Briefly describe them. a. Solution generation 6. Group participation 2. Lacking confidence in one’s ability d. Idea evaluation 4. Adjourning – the task nears completion and brings closure to both task and interpersonal issues . Agenda making 9. Abstract ideas/Vision identification 5. Pressure from others to conform to the team’s decision f. A dysfunctional decision-making climate 10. Performing – group works on the task as they have previously worked on relationship formation e. Problem analysis 2. whereas maintenance roles deal with literally maintaining the ability of the team to work together i.Tuckman and Jensen provide a five-stage description of group development. Maintenance Roles: 1. Storming – individuals reacting to the demands of the situation. An unimportant or meaningless decision e. Presence of someone with expertise b. questioning authority. Goal setting 8. What are the six top reasons for self-limiting behavior in groups? a. Presentation of a compelling argument c.

Maintenance roles – promote social support among members c. a. Social loafing – group members don’t work as hard as they might individually. Conformity – members publicly agree with ideas to support harmony despite having doubts c. a. How are leadership and management different? a. groups. and entire organizations in establishing goals and sustaining action to support goals b. Management – responsibility. Task roles – help groups accomplish goals b. Style approach – theories that attempt to identify a range of general approaches leaders use to achieve goals. Self-centered roles – support individual’s goals and may or may not be compatible with overall group goals and relationships 12. and by the establishment of vision . Downward norm setting – performance level of group is determined by the lowest performers Chapter Seven – Leadership and Management Communication 1.What is communication competency for group roles related to? Communication competency for group settings is related to our ability to identify the roles we are likely to use and analyze group needs in order to use these roles for effective problem solving 13. Production blocking – loss of individual ideas d. depending on others to come up with new approaches or ideas b.What are Benne and Sheats classifications of group communication roles? Define them. commonly referred to as the “great man” theory b. Leadership – Process for guiding individuals. situational and transformational approaches to leadership. style. to direct and evaluate the work of others 2. Transformational approaches – leadership theories that explore how leaders motivate followers by personal example. through appeals to higher-level needs. Trait approach – theory of leadership that assumed that leaders possessed innate traits that made them effective. a. specifically assigned by the organization. Situational approaches – leadership theories that explore how leaders interact with followers and the requirements of a particular environment d.What does Thompson see as the major threats to creativity in groups? Define them. The approaches are thought to be based on a leader’s assumptions about what motivates people to accomplish goals c.11. Define the trait.

Participating – low task and high relationship emphases and stimulates creativity of mature group of followers. commonly referred to as autocratic leadership Team management – theoretical ideal. Delegating – low task and low relationship emphases and is based on high follower maturity. Impoverished management – a low concern for interpersonal relationships and task b. Know and define Hersey and Blanchards’s four general styles of situational leadership. Telling – high task and low relationship emphases and is best used with immature followers.3. accomplishment Middle-of-the-road management – leader who balances task and people concerns. What is the situational leadership approach? The situational leadership approach is the exploration of how leaders interact with followers and the requirements of a particular environment 7. a. Selling – high task and high relationship emphases and is best used with somewhat mature followers. compromise management/leadership Country club management – leader who emphasizes interpersonal relationships at the expense of goal achievement Task (Authority-Obedience) management – leader who is concerned with goals or task achievement while exhibiting little concern for personal relationships. Define and recognize autocratic and democratic leadership styles. leader attempts to convince followers of the importance of the goal and the leader’s definition of how the goal is to be accomplished c. Democratic – leader who involves followers in decision making 5. List and define the five leadership styles of the Blake and Mouton Managerial grid. c. What is the principal weakness of the trait approach? The principal weakness of the trait approach is that it has failed to define clearly a stable set of characteristics associated with effective leadership and it does not provide a comprehensive explanation of how leaders interact with followers and meet the needs of specific circumstances 4. a. e. leader defines what should be done and instructs followers in how to accomplish well-established goals or tasks b. Autocratic – leader who makes decisions with little influence from others b. leader supports relationships and encourages participation in decision making because followers are sufficiently mature to contribute to good decisions and support decisions with appropriate action d. leader lets followers take responsibility for decisions and actions based on maturity level sufficient for that responsibility . d. leaders exhibit high concern for both task and interpersonal relationships by emphasizing goal accomplishments while supporting people 6. a.

What is dispersed leadership? Dispersed leadership is when leadership responsibilities are broadly distributed throughout the organization 10. Goals are to increase competitiveness and improve employee morale d. What is transformational leadership? Transformational approaches explore how leaders motivate followers by personal example. Fewer managers with larger spans of control b. Take the initiative to make things better v. What crucial distinction do Bennis and Nanus make between managers and leaders? Managers do things right and leaders do the right thing 11. What do Bennis and Nanus regard as the five key leadership skills? a. The capacity to approach relationships and problems in terms of the present rather than the past c. Work teams are given higher degrees of autonomy and control over immediate work situations c. not as you would like them to be b. The ability to trust others. flexible. The ability to accept people as they are. and by the establishment of vision 9. not new organizational positions 12. Maintain constructive relationships iv. teachers and experts e. and rapid response to environmental change 13. New responsibilities are roles. Managers become facilitators. through appeals to higher-level needs. not the person ii. Lead by example 14. The ability to do without constant approval and recognition from others . Focus on the issue. Maintain the self-confidence of others iii.8. even if the risk seems great e. et. What five principles of leadership important for high participation environments do Zenger. What is the “middleless” organizational design? a. adaptive. What is the goal of high speed management? The goal of high speed management is the achievement and maintenance of sustainable competitive advantage through innovative. efficient. The ability to treat those who are close to you with the same courteous attention that you extend to strangers and casual acquaintances d. stress? Leaders: i.

What are the principal task responsibilities of leaders? a. a. d. or roles people occupy b. Organizational culture – influence the methods of decision making b. Legitimate power – power emerging from positions. or stat from an undesirable to a more desirable condition 2. importance. Decision/problem issues – nature of a problem (complexity. Reward power – power based on the leader’s control and distribution of tangible and intangible resources c. c. Communication competency – determine how and when we engage in individual and group decision making d. What are the principal procedural responsibilities of leaders? 18. c. Facilitating problem analysis b. e. Participation b. b. Referent power – power based on others identifying with the leader e. titles. whereas problem solving is a multistage process for moving an issue. Conflict management Chapter Eight – Participating in Organizations 1. Group climate c. situation. a. Expert/information power – power based on information the leader knows as a result of organizational interaction or areas of technical specialty 16. Technical competency – supports excellence and appropriate technical backgrounds or information .15. What are the principal interpersonal responsibilities of leaders? a. resources. and previous experience) c. Coercive power – power based on the sanctions or punishment within the control of the leader d. Decision making is the process of choosing from among several alternatives. Distinguish between decision making and problem solving. What are the four primary factors that influence individual and group decision making and problem solving? Briefly define and describe them. a. Idea generation Idea evaluation Solution generation Decision implementation Goal setting Agenda making Discussion clarification Consensus and disagreement identification 17. d. Know and define the six power bases for leaders.

3. 4. setting criteria and limitations. designed to balance the influence of strong personalities 8. a. and preparing and presenting the final report 6. Organizational b. fact-finding. and then the group discusses and decides 9. Procedural d. Interpersonal 5. Know and define the five principal methods for decision making and problem solving. What is brainstorming? Brainstorming is a technique for generating ideas for problem solving based on methods that break away from linear and controlled processes. beginning with understanding the charge. What is nominal group process? The nominal group process combines individual and group idea generation. What are the four principal barriers to decision making and problem solving? a. What is the Delphi technique? The Delphi technique is a process of group problem solving conducted through written response and critique of situations and the responses to those situations. What three characteristics of information does Gouran suggest are engaged in forming decision making rules? Define them. discovering and selecting solutions. a. or to verify what is likely to be correct c. encourages maximum idea generation in a short period of time 7. What is the Standard Agenda? The Standard Agenda is a process for decision making based on reflective thinking. individuals contribute first in writing. Sufficiency – the amount of information necessary to establish positions or claims. Relevancy – the extent to which information bears directly on the matter for decision b. Task c. Plausibility – extent to which information is credible Chapter Nine – Organizational Conflict 1. and followed by understanding and phrasing the question. What is conflict context? Conflict context is any organizational setting in which there are two or more competing responses to a single event or circumstance .

d. felt conflict. Define what Hubbell and Medved describe as three perspectives on deception in organizations. as a result of their preferences. perceived conflict. Physiological – involves the embodied experiences that literally radiate throughout the body as ongoing lived experiences c. a. relationships that have the potential for conflict Perceived conflict – awareness of individuals or groups that differences exist Felt conflict – emotional impact the perception of conflict has on potential conflict participants Manifest conflict – actual conflict behaviors: problem solving. a. c. Know and define Pondy’s five basic conflict stages. Avoidance – style of individuals who. a. are unlikely b.2. and manifest conflict 4. e. What are the three components of emotion. Cognitive – involves the appraisal of situations that in turn evoke emotional responses b. covert action. Strategic ambiguity – focuses on the purposeful use of vague language so that receivers can interpret a message from diverse perspectives c. according to Jones. to pursue their own goals and needs or to support relationships and the goals and needs of others during conflict Competition – preference for emphasizing personal goals and needs without considering the opinions or needs of others in the conflict Compromise – preference during conflict for balancing people concerns with task issues and exhibiting give-and-take or negotiation behaviors Accommodation – preference for conflict associated with the sacrifice of personal goals to maintain relationships Collaboration – preference for ideally balancing people and task concerns during conflict 5. e. Behavioral – what we do as an expression of the cognitive and physiological experience . d. can be characterized as serious ethical abuses 3. c. and numerous other possibilities. Know and define the five basic conflict styles. open aggression. Information distortion – process of modifying messages to receivers b. Latent conflict – underlying conditions in organizations and individual b. Complete distortion/lying – behaviors with obvious potential to produce conflict. and what do they involve? a. influential for determining the productivity of the conflict and the way conflict participants will interact in the future Conflict aftermath – result of the complex interactions of latent conditions.

Bargaining – structured form of negotiations usually involving the presentation of fairly specific proposals for the purpose of achieving a working agreement on particular issues c. Integrative approach – characterized by cooperative and collaborative behaviors to pursue mutually positive resolutions 7. Focus on mutual gain Chapter Eleven – Organizational Change and Communication 1. Develop norms to work on problems d. What is groupthink? Groupthink is the tendency of groups to suspend critical thinking and too quickly adopt proposed solutions 8. a leader forces or makes a decision that the group must accept e. What are the four guidelines for productive conflict? a. Forcing – when mediation fails. a. Avoidance styles – describe behavior that minimizes addressing the conflict b. according to Kuhn and Poole. frequently associated with the need to compromise effectively b. Monitor your personal behavior and the behavior of others for signs of destructive conflict b.6. Distributive style – uses a confrontive approach with one party or group essentially giving in to another c. What is whistle blowing? Whistle-blowing is reporting unethical behaviors to those who can do something about them 10. Know and define the five group conflict management processes. What is organizational silence? Organizational silence occurs when individuals or group refrains from offering positions or solutions during times of organizational problems and change . Mediation – use of a designated individual for guiding the negotiations or bargaining efforts of groups in conflict d. Third-party arbitration – conflict management process involving an outside negotiator who resolves differences based on formally established procedures 9. Negotiation – broad conflict management process involving discussion between and among individuals who are interdependent and need to come together for a decision or course of action. Identify common goals and interests between people or in groups c. Know and define the categories used to access the effect of conflict styles on group decision making. a.

Technological change – change focusing on state-of-the-art machinery. norms. and job design c. Active resistance – a variety of overt attempts to block change b. open and honest. automation. Know and define the three basic approaches to organizational change. What is organizational trust? Organizational trust is the belief that another individual. a. What is the doctor-patient model? The doctor-patient model is a consulting model in which the organization expects the specialist to diagnose problems and prescribe solutions 9.2. and values 7. reliable. Behavioral change – efforts focusing on the development and engagement of organizational employees as resources . What is uncertainty? Uncertainty is the degree of ambiguity a change brings to both individuals and groups 5. and decision-making protocols b. What is risk perception? Risk perception is beliefs about the potential impact of the change and its overall importance and desirability 4. work functions. spans of control. Passive resistance – a variety of mostly covert attempts to block change 6. What is the process model? The process model is a consulting model in which the organization and specialist work jointly to identify problems and generate solutions 10. Structural change – attempts to change an organization’s basic design by altering chains of command. What is the purchase model for dealing with organizational change? The purchase model is a consulting model in which the organization relates to the specialist by requesting particular services to meet a need the specialist has not been involved with identifying 8. concerned about employees. What are knowledge or information deficits? Knowledge/information deficits are barriers to productive change based on lack of knowledge and information from which to develop change strategy 3. or organization is competent. and identified with common goals. What are active and passive resistance? a. group.

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