Understanding Human Communication OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Chapter 10: Solving Problems in Groups
Section One Problem Solving in Groups: When and Why OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Advantages of Group Problem Solving
Participative decision making
When to Use Groups for Problem Solving Is the job beyond the capacity of one person?
Are individualsâ€™ tasks interdependent?
Is there more than one decision or solution?
Is there potential for disagreement?
Group Problem-Solving Formats
Solving Problems in Virtual Groups
What are advantages to virtual meetings? Disadvantages?
Why do groups working at a distance take more time to reach decisions?
Discuss the statement “Online meetings shouldn’t replace, but rather supplement face-to-face meetings.”
Section Two Approaches and Stages in Problem Solving OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
A Structured Problem-Solving Approach 1. Identify the problem What are the group’s goals?
What are individual members’ goals?
2. Analyze the problem Word the problem as a broad, open question
Gather relevant information
Identify supporting and restraining forces
3. Develop creative solutions through brainstorming/nominal group technique Avoid criticism
Encourage “freewheeling” ideas
Develop a large number of ideas
Combine two or more individual ideas
A Structured Problem-Solving Approach 4.
Evaluate the solutions by asking which solution
Will best produce changes
Is most achievable
5. Identify specific tasks
Contains the fewest serious disadvantages
Implement the plan
Determine necessary resources
Define individual responsibilities
Provide for emergencies
Follow up on the solution
Meet to evaluate progress
Revise approach as necessary
Developmental Stages in Problem-Solving Groups
Orientation stage Conflict stage Emergence stage
Section Three Maintaining Positive Relationships OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Win–win problem solving
Shared or compatible goals Progress toward goals Shared norms and values Lack of perceived threat between members Interdependence of members Threat from outside the group Mutual attraction and friendship Shared group experiences
Overcoming Dangers in Group Discussion
Information underload and overload
Pressure to conform
End of Chapter OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS