Groups, Teams, and Social Interaction: Theories and Applications

By A. Paul Hare | Go to book overview

8
Functional Analysis

A brief introduction to functional theory has been given in Chapter 1, including a description of the four basic functions that any group must fulfill in order to survive, an indication of the order in which these functions usually are dealt with as a group develops, and the fact that the four functions form a "cybernetic hierarchy." The present chapter provides a summary outline of aspects of the theory, especially as it applies to groups and teams. (For a more detailed presentation, including illustrative figures and tables, see Hare, 1983a.)


FOUR FUNCTIONAL CATEGORIES

Functional theory was developed by Parsons and his colleagues with a primary focus on large social systems ( Parsons, 1961; Effrat, 1968; Loubser et al., 1976). The four functions are: (L) the members of the group must share a common identity and be committed to the values of the group; (A) they must have or be able to generate the skills and resources necessary to reach the group goal; (I) they must have rules that allow them to coordinate their activity and enough feeling of solidarity to stay together to complete the task, and (G) they must be able to exercise enough control over their membership to coordinate the use of resources and member roles in pursuit of their common goal.

The descriptions of the functional categories have been introduced in the order in which they would appear as phases in the development of a group. In the literature on functional analysis, the four categories usually are referred to by the first letters of the names of the categories as AGIL. The formal names of the categories are: Adaptation, Goal-attainment, Integration, and Latent pattern maintenance and tension management.

The relatively long title of the "L" sector contains several ideas. The central idea is that every group needs a set of values and a pattern of activity

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Groups, Teams, and Social Interaction: Theories and Applications
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments iv
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Part I - Groups and Teams 1
  • 1 - Basic Concepts 3
  • 2 - Characteristics of Groups and Teams 15
  • Note 21
  • 3 - Group and Team Development 23
  • 4 - Problem Solving and Consensus 31
  • Note 43
  • 5 - Managing Conflict 45
  • 6 - Consultation: Diagnosis and Planning 53
  • Notes 64
  • 7 - Team Building with Symlog 65
  • Part II - Theories of Social Interaction and Applications 89
  • 8 - Functional Analysis 91
  • 9 - Dramaturgical Analysis: Intergrop Relations in Israel 97
  • 10 - Exchange Analysis 113
  • 11 - Symlog Analysis 125
  • 12 - Combined Analysis: Conformity and Creativity in Negotiations 143
  • Notes 155
  • References 157
  • Name Index 171
  • Subject Index 177
  • About the Author 178
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