SPRING 2000 THEORY WORKBOOK

Table of Contents


General Contexts

Intrapersonal Communication (Persuasion)

Interpersonal Communication

Small Group Communication

Organizational Communication

Intercultural Communication

Mass Communication
 

Applied Contexts

Health Communication

Instructional Communication
 
 

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Last updated February 24, 2000

HONORS:  COMMUNICATION CAPSTONE
SPRING 2000 THEORY WORKBOOK

SMALL GROUP CONTEXT
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THEORY OF PRODUCTIVITY

Explanation of Theory: The amount a group works towards unifying goals or tasks.

Theorists:  C. Pavitt and E. Curtis

Date: 1994

Primary Article: Pavitt, C., & Curtis, E. (1994). Small Group Discussion: A Theoretical Approach (2nd ed.). Scottsdale, AR: Gorsuch
Scarisbrick.
 

Individual Interpretations: Productivity is best explained by combining the theory of productivity and systems theory together
  to understand the process a group undergoes while working on a common goal. When a group works towards maintenance
 goals their output is cohesion, and when a group works towards task goals their output is productivity. Productivity needs to be
 understood as the common goal (task) that a group of individuals are working towards.
 

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

Ontological Assumptions: The theory of Productivity is humanistic in nature.  The group decides the goal with which they are working towards.  Each member then has the choice to gage their amount of group participation. 
 

Epistemological Assumptions: Productivity is scientific because it states that groups work towards a unifying goal. 
 

Axiological Assumptions: Value neutral
 

Critique: Explanatory Power: Productivity offers a good understanding of how and where cohesion stems from in a group. It also helps
explain the systems theory of processes.

 Predicative Power: Yes the theory helps predict where cohesion and productivity come from, through the use of systems theory.

 Parsimony: Yes, the theory is simple but in its simplicity it helps explain a human behavior.

Falsefibility: This theory could be tested through the use of ethnographic research, looking at the input, processes, and output
 system.

 Internal Consistency: I have stated yet, the theory of Productivity is an extension of the Systems Theory.

 Heuristic Provocativness: Future research and research questions could deal with the level of cohesion and the levels of productivity. This theory offers numerous avenues for future research.

 Organizing Power
 

Ideas and Implications: With the idea of productivity we can look at the systems theory to help discuss how groups work towards a unifying goal, and how this builds cohesion within the group.
 

Example:  When a group first forms the individual begin to get to know each other and norms begin to become established. While
 establishing norms the group is either consciously or subconsciously working on group maintenance. As the group works on the
 group maintenance (input) their level of cohesion builds (output). Also, when a groups is working towards an assignment, problem, situation, task, etc (input) they are building in productivity (output).
 
 

Relevant Research:
 
 

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. Martin's Press.  N/A

     Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication theory: The communicative forces for human action. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. N/A

     Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. 31-22, 26, 31.

     Griffin, E. (1997). A first look at communication theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. N/A

      Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. 305

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 288

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. 27-28, 197-198.

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A