ERIC Number: ED336776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-12
Reference Count: N/A
Replicating Small Group Research Using the Functional Theory.
Cragan, John F.; Wright, David W.
A replication study tested functional theory utilizing untrained full-fledged groups. One hundred forty undergraduate students who were enrolled in a small group communication course at a large midwestern university participated in small group discussions analyzing a plagiarism case used in an original study by R. Y. Hirokawa. Results indicated that not all of the functions identified by Hirokawa--understanding the problem, assessing requirements for an acceptable choice, assessing positive consequences, and assessing negative consequences of each alternative--were equally important in reaching a quality decision about a specific task. Results supported prior findings indicating that the fourth function was the key, in this case, to reaching a quality decision. This suggests that if the functional theory had been one that called for the group to select the most outstanding student, the study might have found that the second function of assessing the requirements for an acceptable choice might have proved to be the most valuable in arriving at a quality decision. Results also suggests that the functional theory of decision-making groups is only generalizable to group tasks that have a preferred solution. (Two tables of data are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Small Group Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Chicago, IL, April 11-14, 1991).