Table of Contents
Last updated February 14, 2001
SPRING 2001 THEORY WORKBOOK
Explanation of Theory: Adaptive Structuration focuses on the structure that is created and recreated through the generative and adaptive rules and resources of the group members.
Theorists: Gary Dickson, Scott Poole, and Geradine DeSanctis
M. S., & DeSanctis, G. (1990). Understanding the use of group decision
support systems: The theory of adaptive structuration. In J. Fulk &
C. Steinfield (eds.), Organizations and Communication Technology. Beverly
Hills, CA: Sage. p. 173-193.
Can be found on page 231 in Understanding Communication Theory by Cragan
Interpretations: I believe that this theory
is very good because it gives examples for and explains both stability
and change within the group. It also touches on how work groups incorporate
technology into their problem solving attempts.
theory is very deterministic in that groups follow a structure or guidelines,
yet they are willing to adapt through many differnt structures. Rules are
always being created for the group.
theory is based on one truth that groups are constantly chaning rules and
guidelines. The theory focusses on the fact that groups will always be
able to adjust to these changes.
theory is value-laden, taking into account the fact that groups often times
need to make changes to better themselves or due to certain circumstances.
If the group considers the values of their members, they will adapt well
to these changes.
theory is useful in examining the role that power plays in the development
of groups. Yet, it is difficult to understand how groups can be broken
down into separate parts for studying. This theory can also be difficult
to understand because there are so many parts to it.
Ideas and Implications:
- Groups should not view the particular structures they must work through as being barriers to their work, yet as being necessities to help tem get the job done.
There is an input- process- output model followed with this theory.
particular structure of the space that a group has to work in and the structure
or amount of time that they have for decision-making can greatly affect
the ways in which groups can adapt to working well together. For instance,
groups who are stuck in a cramped meeting room, with only an hour to decide
on something probably will not be as effective as a group who could have
several hours and meet at a local restaurant.
Poole, M. S., Seibold, D. R., & McPhee, R. D. (1985). Group Decision-making as a structurational process. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 71, 74-102.
Poole, M. S., Seibold, D. R., & McPhee, R. D. (1986). A structurational approach to theory-building in group decision-making research. In R. Y. Hirokawa & M. S. Poole (Eds.), Communication and group decision making (pp. 2437-264). Beverly Hills: Sage.
Seibold, D. (1998). Jurors¹ intuitive
rules for deliberation: a structural approach to communication in jury
decision making. Communication Monographs, 65, p. 287-307.
Communication Scholars that have looked at this topic include:Anthony
Giddens, David Seibold, and Robert McPhee.
Location in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:
Anderson, R. & Ross, V. (1998). Questions of Communication: A practical introduction to theory (2nd ed.). New York: St. Martin¹s Press, not in.
Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, p. 229-230.
Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, p. 209-210, & 224-233.
Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, p. 256.
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A.S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, p. 180 & 348-351.
Littlejohn, S.W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, p. 319-322.
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, p. 209-223.
Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, not in.