ERIC Number: ED222954
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
"But Why Don't They Act like a Team?" An Application of Small Group Theory to Forensics Squad Relationships and Functioning.
DeStephen, RoLayne S.
There are three general characteristics of a small group that merit analysis and application to a forensics squad: oral interaction, identification of a collectivity, and potential for unified action. Cohesive groups have a high energy level that is typically focused upon facilitation of productive group functioning. In order to develop and maintain group cohesion, a director of forensics should realize that he or she is promoting the development of explicit or implicit productive group norms. Explicit norms include task oriented and relationship oriented goals and allowing time for squad members to get to know each other. Because implicit norms develop over time, they can only be encouraged, not imposed, by the forensics director through the use of positive feedback cycles to support group norms and negative feedback cycles for behaviors that violate group norms. A coach should do three things to promote cohesion in a forensics squad: (1) practice active gatekeeping by seeking the opinions and ideas of all squad members, (2) demonstrate liking of the squad and its individual members, and (3) emphasize the importance of the group's task and the need for unified effort. The strong cohesion that results from these efforts leads to reduced squad turnover, higher productivity, better communication within the group, smoother overall functioning, and greater competitive spirit. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (68th, Louisville, KY, November 4-7, 1982).