Groups, Teams, and Social Interaction: Theories and Applications

Groups, Teams, and Social Interaction: Theories and Applications

Groups, Teams, and Social Interaction: Theories and Applications

Groups, Teams, and Social Interaction: Theories and Applications

Synopsis

An examination of Hare's findings about groups, teams, and social interaction, this book shows how these findings can be placed in the context of several theories, and discusses some applications that can be constructed for the analysis of various kinds of social situations. Part I brings together the literature on small workgroups from laboratory studies by social psychologists and practitioners in organizational development. Part II presents four theories of social interaction with examples of applications: functional, dramaturgical, exchange, and SYMLOG. The final chapter brings together features of these theories in a category system for the observation of groups.

Excerpt

As the title of the book suggests, the contents contain some of my ideas about groups, teams, and social interaction; how these can be placed in the context of several theories; and some applications that may be made for the analysis of various kinds of social situations.

The occasion for writing the book was a sabbatical leave from Ben-Gurion University in 1989-1990. The resources, in the form of extensive collections of literature on relevant subjects, were provided by the library of the University of California at San Diego, where I held an appointment as a visiting scholar in the Department of Sociology. The motivation to try once more to integrate the literature on social behavior in small groups came from the fact that, together with my London colleagues Herbert Blumberg, Martin Davies, and Valerie Kent, I had just completed reviewing the socialpsychological literature from 1975 through 1988 for Small Group Research: A Handbook(1992). That book was a supplement to my earlier Handbook of Small Group Research (2nd ed., 1976), which covered the literature from 1898 through 1974.

In each of the previous editions of my Handbook of Small Group Research I tried to show how some parts of the literature could be integrated with a single theory, for example, functional analysis. However, it was not until I was asked to give a series of lectures in Polish universities in winter 1989 that I concluded, once again, that it would take several theories, given their present stage of development, to cover the basic processes in small group dynamics. I say "once again" because I first attempted to use a set of theories to focus on the same incidents of behavior in the late 1960s and early 1970s when I worked with a research team on the observation and analysis of nonviolent direct action with a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The goal at that time, as it is now, was to show how the four theoretical approaches of functional . . .

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