Understanding personal work group communication processes will be extremely important throughout your career. This assessment provides a framework for you to analyze that in the context of a specific situation you are familiar with. As you take on additional responsibility in your career (particularly in managerial roles), you might be faced with situations where personal work group communications doesn’t seem to be working, or where you perceive it is particularly critical that it work optimally. In those future situations, you can reference this framework and analysis, and apply it to help achieve work group and organization effectiveness and success.
Complete the following:
Choose a group in which you are currently involved or have been involved in the past. A group or team
associated with a current employer often works the best, but you may also use group experiences from
previous employers or community activities. If possible, choose a group that may be experiencing
Prepare an investigative paper that applies group-related communication theories to your selected
group. Include the following in your paper:
Describe the characteristics of the group and analyze the impact on communication using all of
the criteria below:
Describe whether the team is ongoing (permanent) or ad hoc (temporary).
Is the group a short-term group that will only exist for 1–12 months or is the group a
long-standing group that has or will exist for more than one year?
Is the group formal or informal? For example, is the group an official (that is, formal)
department or committee at a company or is the group an informal collection of people
such as a book club.
Is the group self-managing or does the group have a clear consistent leader?
Is the group best described as a primary work team or a project team? A primary work
team generally takes on a variety of tasks (for example, a Human Resources Department
or a Maintenance Department). Project teams typically engage in a narrow set of activities
such as organizing a specific event or a taking on a single project.
Using the 2007 Benne and Sheats article, “Functional Roles of Group Members,” linked in the
Resources under the Required Resources heading, analyze the formal roles and communication
roles of group members and the impact on communication within the group:
Group members’ task roles.
Group members’ maintenance roles.
Group members’ individual roles.
Using Bruce Tuckman’s (1965) team stages model or Backlund’s 2001 article, “Team
Effectiveness,” linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading, describe the
group stages experienced by the group and changes in communication throughout those
Analyze the group norms and the impact on organizational communication. Norms are the
formal and informal rules groups develop. Many norms are never written down and many are
not discussed openly but are still learned by group members.
Describe positive and negative participation behaviors and their impact on communication.
Describe the group’s use of technology for communication, such as e-mail, texting, or the
Internet, and assess the effectiveness of the group’s use of technology for communication.
Your investigative paper should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.
Academic Integrity and APA Formatting
As a reminder related to using APA rules to ensure academic honesty:
1. When using a direct quote (using exact or nearly exact wording), you must enclose the quoted wording
in quotation marks, immediately followed by an in-text citation. The source must then be listed in your
2. When paraphrasing (using your own words to describe a non-original idea), the paraphrased idea must be immediately followed by an in-text citation and the source must be listed in your references page.