Managing Group Communication and Workplace Teams

ManagingGroup Communication and Workplace Teams

ManagingGroup Communication and Workplace Teams

Asmall group communication helps in the management of human resourcein the contemporary business environment.

Inthis case a small group is defined by

  • A common purpose

  • Interdependence among members

  • Interaction within the team

  • Expectation of similar outcomes

  • Satisfaction from membership

  • Structure showing the flow of responsibilities and leadership

Communicationnetworks in small groups

Communicationnetworks provide pathways of communication among members of smallgroups.


  • Centralized networks

  • Decentralized networks


Communicationamong members of the group takes place through one or morecentralized person.

Thisis achieved through the chain or wheel model.

Ina wheel model, members are restricted to communicate through oneperson who is centrally located.

Ina chain model, members are allowed to communicate with only two othercentrally located persons.

Advantagesof centralized networks include

  • Efficiency


  • Information overload

  • Information distortion

  • Members’ dissatisfaction


Informationpasses among members in a random way.

Optionsof the decentralized network include

  • Circle networks: Designed to encourage complete interaction among members of the team.

  • All-channel network: Designed to allow interaction among all members of the group.

Advantagesof decentralized networks include

  • Ability to work for complex tasks

  • Avoid information overload for central persons

  • Facilitates members participation


  • It is time consuming for complex tasks

Leadershipin teams and small groups

Leadershipin small groups can be classified into three groups, namely

  • Highly directive leadership

  • Participatory leadership

  • Negligent leadership

Ahighly directive leadership

Leadsthe group in an authoritarian style


  • Encourages efficiency in the accomplishment of group tasks

  • It saves on time in emergency situations


  • Creates a perception that some members had limited input

  • A one way communication makes the group members feel that the decision was just handed down to them.

  • Directive leadership may turn manipulative to ensure compliance.Participatory leadership

Offerssuggestions, concern for membership, and suggestions


  • High members’ satisfaction

  • High productivity and quality of outcome


  • Leads to low task efficiency

  • Time consuming


  • Offers complete movement and freedom in the group.

  • Negligent leader gives information if asked to do so, but does not take part in decision making.

  • Offers little direction and advice

  • Reduces productivity of group members

  • Does not satisfy the group members

Conductinga result oriented group communication

Phasesthrough which leaders can take the group

  1. Initiation phase

Thisphase involves

  • Setting up the agenda for discussion

  • Expressing the purpose of the group meeting

  • Explaining the goals by using key questions

  • Clarification of the leadership expectations

  1. Problem solving phase

Smallgroups follow four steps in developing the problem solvingprocedures, including

  • Recognition of the difficulty

  • Ventilation of feelings of the group members

  • Description of the problem

  • Development of the solution

  1. Conclusion of the group discussion

Thisinvolves the determination of recommendations and communication ofthe plan of action.

Theconclusion is accomplished through the following methods

  • Consensus

  • Suspending the group discussion

  • Issuing a minority report

  • Arbitration, in the case of disagreements

  • Majority voting

  1. Achieving group satisfaction

Thiscan be achieved by

  • Showing solidarity by group member expressing support for each

  • Showing agreement in order to facilitate decision making

  • Providing emotional support to ensure that no member feels excluded from group discussions

  • Managing conflicts when they occur

  • Releasing tension among the group members

  1. Overcoming communication barriers in a group

Formsof communication barriers between groups include

  • Hidden agenda among some group members

  • Group thinking communication that is caused by too much of conformity

  • Special pleading, which occurs when a group member makes a request on behalf of a non-member

  • Pulling of rank that occurs when one uses his status to make a conviction of team members

  • Interruption by some members during the group meeting

  • The use of defensive communication

Strategiesused to conduct large group meetings

Largegroup meetings can be made more effective by

  • Using rules of procedures to conduct a formal meeting or making decisions

  • Using the brainstorming techniques

  • Facilitating high functioning work teams

Effectivenessof work teams can be increased by

  1. Providing team members with information, innovation, and knowledge

  2. Providing the team members with self-directed type of management

  3. Providing an opportunity for team members to achieve and feel satisfied

Factorsthat contribute towards the success of teams include

  • A clear communication of mission and vision

  • A clear communication of activities and organizational goals

  • Communicating expectations to all the team members

  • Communicating the team or organizational norms and commitment to all the team members

  • Ensuring that the team communicates effectively with the larger organizational leadership

  • Communicating the relevant information to team members

Outcomesof a successful working team include

  • An increase in profits and revenue

  • Decrease in expenses and wastes

  • Decrease in customer complaints

  • A reduction in inventory

  • A reduction in cycle time

  • Timely delivery

  • An increase in image management

  • Enhanced mission and goal statement

  • A reduction in conflict within the organization

  • An increase in strategic planning and successful implementation of strategic plans

  • An increase in utilization of technology for research meetings, and analysis

  • An increase in the effectiveness of communication