COMM 221-VL6 (Summer 2015)
Jill Berdys Billardello
Group Dynamic (based on survey results):
Above is an average of the scores each group member conveyed about other members in regards to the surveys. The comments are an overview of the most commonly reflected in each member’s submission. As you can see in regards to power, we all tend to share the same feelings with each different category and agree as a group that the “Coercive” power approach is not favorable. We all agree that the “reward” power is quite important for the success of the group and legitimate power exists even if we’re not all convinced that this is the type of power we’d like to work under. Referent power is kind of a difficult power to predict and measure for an online class because you never meet your teammates in person nor do you get the opportunity to learn each other’s personalities and physical gestures to know if someone is doing something that they prefer not to complete. And as far as the expert power, the group exhibits the high regard for this when it is prevalent within the group and realizes its importance.
For leadership, according to these results, our group should be very democratic with two members exhibiting an “easy-going” type of leadership role and two others that would suggest a potential power struggle. From the functional theory in the textbook our group should be a “position-centered leadership/strategy” style where our obligations are inherent on the role of the leader based on the results of our surveys.
Actual Group Dynamic:
In the functional theory perspective, our group is more a person-centered leadership style because of the ones who do assume some type of leadership role, it’s apparent that they make an effort to reduce the distance between the leader and the other members by asking questions and encouraging participation rather than issuing directives. We have a genuine balanced group where at any time one member may be a leader and then for the next assignment become the subordinate and there appears to be no issues with this from any of the members. The success to any team or group is to establish “balance” amongst the team and this is usually done by assessing each member and this group has successfully done this. Recognizing the expert power from each member’s experiences has been a major plus for our group as we all come from different levels of experience.
Being that our group is a more person-centered leadership style, it helps the communication and relationship within our group. Per R. Kantor, “power is not a matter of domination of others, of winning over them and cutting them out, or of monopolization of resources, but rather a coalition building to persuade other to contribute what they can to an innovation.” Our group reflects this quote by obsessing of power and leadership. We all contribute equally and communicate amongst ourselves to assure our assignments are done correctly.
Our task leadership skills is more of contributing ideas style, every group member has brought fresh ideas to each assignment. Although we all come from different backgrounds we come together to motivate each other, share our skill sets and knowledge as group. We work as one on every assignment by communicating and making suggestions on how we should complete our next assignment. As a whole, the group from the beginning established similar goals and values for the small group that were communicated openly. Goals were established from the beginning that set the precedent for one another and the group as a whole. Each person addresses and communicates with one another frequently while working through the tasks together.
In conclusion, as a group, we are stronger as a whole than of our sum parts. Each person has shown his or her enhanced skills in different areas that benefit each project. We each cooperate with one another and make it a priority to communicate as often as possible, which helps to resolve any concerns, work efficiently as a team, and successfully complete any task at hand. Just as functional theory perspective person centered leadership, we often ask one another questions that give valuable insight for all communication. Just as the survey shows, each person has scored in the democratic range, according to our text book, “Democratic leaders, when compared with autocratic leaders, give a fair number of suggestions, exercise self discipline, and are non-critical, and matter of fact in their relations with other members.” (Cragen, Wright, & Kasch, p.186) We as a whole exercise all of these characteristics through out each discussion board topic which in turn brings a balance throughout the group.
Cragen, C., Wright, D. & Kasch R. (2009) Communication in Small Groups: Theory, Process, Skills. Wadsworth (Thomas Learning): Canada.