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Functional Perspective On Group Decision Making

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Chapter 17

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Functional Perspective On Group Decision Making

  1. 1. GROUP DECISION MAKING AND THE FUNCTIONAL PERSPECTIVE Of Hirokawa and Gouran
  2. 2. GROUP DECISION MAKING INTRO <ul><li>SYNERGY </li></ul><ul><li>CONTRIBUTORS TO SYNERGY (BALES) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Interaction Process ( SYSTEM ) Analysis” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>comments that reflect group task (TASK-ORIENTED - PISTON) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gives (1) suggestion, (2) opinion, (3) information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>asks for (1) suggestion, (2) opinion, (3) information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>comments that reflect relationships (+/-) ( SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL – LUBRICANT ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is (4) friendly, (5) reduces tension, (6) agrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is (4) unfriendly, (5) creates tension, (6) disagrees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good groups maintain balance between the six pairs. 2:1 ratio of positive to negative is optimal: i.e. an element of conflict is healthy, even necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>INPUT (Information) – PROCESS (Talk) – OUTPUT (Decisions) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. OTHER APPROACHES include <ul><li>BORMANN’S SYMBOLIC CONVERGENE THEORY (focus on bonding) </li></ul><ul><li>FUNCTIONAL PERSPECTIVE (focus on functions necessary for effective decision-making) </li></ul><ul><li>ADAPTIVE STRUCTURATION THEORY (focus on “rules” and “resources”) </li></ul>
  4. 4. PHASE MODELS <ul><ul><li>These attempt to identify universal pattern of communication for group decision-making e.g. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orientation: addresses need for info, focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict: disagreements about right approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coalescence: negotiation and saving face </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development: concentration, focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration: tension-free solidarity, cohesion </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The Four Functions for Effective Decision Making <ul><li>1 : Analysis of the problem </li></ul><ul><li>- realistic analysis of current situation, including assessment of current threats and of the nature, extent and probable cause of problems </li></ul><ul><li>2 : Goal setting - the group needs: </li></ul><ul><li>clarity as to purpose </li></ul><ul><li>criteria for judging proposed solutions </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Four Functions (ctd) <ul><li>3 : Identification of alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>- as many as possible, to increase </li></ul><ul><li>chance identifying acceptable solutions </li></ul><ul><li>4 : Evaluation of positive and negative features of each alternative </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some group tasks have a positive bias – positive attributes emphasized; others have a negative bias. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Prioritizing the Four Functions <ul><li>No one function is more important than others; order is not important </li></ul><ul><li>Salience/order reflects context/task </li></ul><ul><li>So long as the functions are covered, the group is working effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Most common route: problem analysis, goal setting, identifying alternatives, weighing alternatives </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Role of Communication <ul><li>Promotive interaction calls attention to one of the four functional components </li></ul><ul><li>Disruptive interaction detracts from the group’s ability to achieve the four functions. Most group communication disrupts. </li></ul><ul><li>Counteractive interactions refocuses the group, and is especially important. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Function-Oriented Interactive Coding System <ul><li>This classifies each functional utterance </li></ul><ul><li>Raters determine which of the four functions an utterance addresses </li></ul><ul><li>They determine whether an utterance facilitates or disrupts a group’s focus or function </li></ul><ul><li>Functional perspective accounts for 60% of total variance in group performance </li></ul><ul><li>However, quality is more important than quantity </li></ul>
  10. 10. Critique <ul><li>FOICS analysis difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Over-emphasizes rationality as opposed to relationship-oriented content/social-emotional satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Underestimates importance of group’s prior history (and history of how previous decisions were made), and group’s location within larger organization </li></ul>
  11. 11. PRACTICAL ADVICE <ul><li>RECOGNIZE SYMPTOMS </li></ul><ul><li>DIAGNOSE CAUSE </li></ul><ul><li>ESTABLISH CRITERIA FOR SOLUTION </li></ul><ul><li>CONSIDER POSSIBLE REMEDIES </li></ul><ul><li>TEST TO DETERMINE WHICH REMEDY WILL WORK </li></ul><ul><li>IMPLEMENT BEST SOLUTION </li></ul>

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