In a world where there are books that show the proper way to pitch a baseball, on how to build better relationships, on self improvement, studies on any number of topics, why wouldn?t there be any for something so essential and important to our lives? For this reason, it would be a good idea to observe, study and write about groups.
We must look into our lives to get a better perspective on how important this issue is and the impact of those studying this topic. We live in a time where companies are forever merging, in the process of globalization, and people are stretching to various reaches of the world via the Internet. To tackle these demands of expansion, we are looking to team-based efforts. ?By the year 2000 some estimate that 50 percent or more of American corporations will use work teams in production and service?(Galanes, Adams, Brilhart 5). Groups however do not just affect these times. Groups make up a great deal of our interactions. Be it our social cliques, or our work teams, we are forced as human beings to interact in group settings.
It is also worth the effort and time to study groups because people participate in them throughout their lives. We are animals that are driven to form packs and social relationships on many different levels. ?We humans are social beings with powerful genetic needs to belong to small social groups. We need to affiliate with others of our kind, just as do many other mammals?(Galanes, Adams, Brilhart 5). This is the norm. We even have psychological terms for those who are deviant from this need. They are socially dysfunctional and are recluses. Some ?believe that the small group is the most important social formation: ?From birth to death, small groups are interwoven into the fabric of our lives??(Galanes, Adams, Brilhart 5). How then would it be possible in a world where we scrutinize the smallest of details that something of this magnitude of importance would not be studied? It wouldn?t.
Academics tend to observe details and break subjects down to a science so that we can learn from it, be it learning from the past in history to studies done in psychology. It is the position of this paper that studying group formation, communication, and the variables that produce their success or failure is done for the same purpose: Because a majority of our situations are within group settings, we can utilize theoretician?s observations and studies in an effort to make our lives better and a little more successful.
The textbook puts the purpose of what theoreticians do best: they ?introduc[e] students to concepts essential to understanding small groups and suggesting tools they can actually use to make groups they belong to as rewarding and productive as possible?(Galanes, Adams, Brilhart vii).
These concepts cover many different tangents of a group. Some are concerned with dynamics while some only focus on communication. This paper will take into account many different facets by concentrating on my experience as a member of the Decibel Project.
The Decibel Project was a small group comprised of six individuals. We were a group ?in which individual members perceive[d] each other and [were] aware of each other when [we] interact[ed]?(Galanes, Adams, Brilhart 11). Combined, we had a variety of perspectives and information relevant to the task. We were primarily a secondary organizational group because it was created in order to satisfy control needs and to solve a problem. We were set out to solve publicity issues that the school?s radio station, WCDB 90.0fm were having. We were an ad hoc committee. We were created in order ?to perform one task then go out of existence?(Galanes, Adams, Brilhart 15). The committee gathered information on as to why the ratings were so low then to find possible solutions. At the end, we presented our findings and a list of recommended solutions orally to the staff and production manager. The solutions included a vast advertising campaign from advertising in the school papers to sponsoring events. After the conclusion of the presentation, the group was dismantled and each member went their separate ways.