SPRING 2001 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
 
 

Honors Capstone Home Page

Last updated February 14, 2001

HONORS:  COMMUNICATION CAPSTONE
SPRING 2001 THEORY WORKBOOK

SMALL GROUP CONTEXT
Click Here to Go Back to Small Group Context Page

SYSTEMS THEORY

Explanation of Theory: Systems theory states groups are open systems, which are influenced by such independent variables as; openness to environment, interdependence, input variables, process variables, and output variables.

Theorists: Ludwig Von Bertalanffy
 

Date: 1950

Primary Article:
 

Individual Interpretations: Basically, Systems theory explains the process of inputs, processes, outputs, and environment which groups engage in.
 

Metatheoretical Assumptions:

Ontological Assumptions: Systems Theory is Deterministic, because the envrionment and the resources provide the processes that are used to gain the correct outputs.
 

Epistemological Assumptions: Scientific.  Systems Theory is scientific because it is one truth, which states groups will use processes and their resources within their environment  to develop the desired outputs.
 

Axiological Assumptions: Value Neutral
 

Critique: Evaluative power: yes, the theory has evaluative power because it evaluates the process of how groups function and are influenced by their environment,

Predictive Power: The systems theory is able to predict the process and variables which groups use to make decisions, but the theory is not able to predict the exact outcome.

Parsimony: Yes, the theory is simple and easily applied.

Testability: The variables are able to be tested to discover what variables are used by the groups and to what extent.

Internal Consistency: Yes the theory has internal consistency. We know the systems theory stems from the Biological Research of Ludwig Von Bertalanffy.

Heuristic Provocativness: Yes future research questions can be asked covering the systems theory in teams

Organization Power:
 

Ideas and Implications: When looking at the systems theory we can also look at the theory of productivity and the outcome of cohesion. 
 

Example: IF the input of the group is Group Maintenance then the output is Cohesion. If the Input of the group is Group task, then the output is productivity.
 
 

Relevant Research: 
Tubbs
Katz an Khan
Theory Books
 
 

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.  40-43

     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. N/A

     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. 90-98

      Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 40-60, 56-60

      West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory: Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. 244-245

       Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 189-198