I believe that insufficient development of communication is the main obstacle to achieving the effectiveness of the activities of the organizations. The exchange of information is an essential link in all the activities of the organization. Therefore, if communication links, both internal and external, do not exist or operate, this adversely affects the functioning of the entire company (Jones et al., 2016). I observed that in group communication, all patterns inherent in interpersonal communication exist, including problem-solving, task orientation, and so on. However, specific phenomena of this type of communication also appear: leadership stimulates the group, targeting it to perform certain tasks. The group decision process implies the discussion of significant problems. The position of its members is ascertained, the problem is evaluated, and a common group solution is searched and developed. The structure of communication in the group can be focused on collective and individual needs.
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Among the key concepts of group communication in organizational settings, one may list social, and task orientation, groupthink, group synergy, as well as functional and trait approaches. A common interest in the task, mutual sympathies, or similar interests regarding a certain area may be considered the basis for linking the group (Bansal et al., 2015). Regardless of how interactions are performed, the existence of regular flows of interpersonal messages gives informal communication a predictable character. My experience shows that stable communication bonds in an interconnected group contribute to the effective exchange of information between its members. Still, they can create barriers to the flow of new information into this network. For example, close friends rarely tell each other something fundamentally new. Therefore, not a lot of new information comes into the interconnected personal network. In this case, I use the method of restructuring the groups to allow those colleagues who did not work together previously to communicate closer while completing their tasks.
Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
Communication in groups is the connection of information with the systems of enterprise management and the management process as a whole. It can be considered not only in general as covering all management functions but also as individual functional management activities. In modern conditions, the effective implementation and use of communication lie in collecting and processing information necessary for making appropriate leadership decisions.
Groupthink is the theory that refers to collective management decisions. Jones et al. (2016) argue that it consists in the fact that the members of a group strive to ensure team unanimity and fail to provide a realistic assessment of a situation and a rational choice of ways of action. The persons involved in groupthink may be so loyal to each other that it interferes with the sound judgment that each group member is capable of individually. Groupthink is associated with intragroup pressure and leads to a significant reduction in the effectiveness of decisions made.
Group synergy theory, which can also be seen as part of the systems theory, states that the combined efforts of the team are more valuable than individual work (Bansal et al., 2015). In the orchestra, for example, all the musicians are to contribute to the concert that sounds like an integral piece. This theory stresses that team orientation is the key premise of success, which can be clearly understood in the example with the Apollo 13 lunar mission and “Houston, we have a problem” phrase pronounced by astronaut Jim Lovell. The focus on the team allowed the crew members to survive due to group synergy.
Social orientation theory is advantageous in comprehending why a team member behaves and speaks in a particular way (Bansal et al., 2015). The sense of identity is significant for the members of groups that operate according to this theory. More to the point, the goals are accomplished by paying attention to the relationships and authority of the employees working together.
The theories that explain group communication issues focus on different aspects, including the characteristics of how people behave in society. The leader’s awareness of these theoretical orientations equips him or her with relevant tools to manage employees, enable interaction, and avoid failures in cooperation.
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Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
During the implementation of all the mentioned theories, I tried to integrate them and identify any signs of groupthink to understand it via the social orientation paradigm. When my employees showed following the common idea without the inclusion of personal opinion, I gathered them to meetings and discussed it openly. I emphasized that the contribution of each of them is essential, while their collective effort is also important. My paramount goal was to make sure that they feel comfortable with working individually and cooperatively – in synergy (Jones et al., 2016). When something went wrong, I applied the social orientation theory, and it allowed me to find the causes of my employee’s behavior who started to demonstrate lower productivity. It turned out that he replicated the behaviors of his colleagues from another department that had different approaches.
I would also like to emphasize that the group structure affects its communication patterns. For instance, in the group where I did not designate a leader, the individual occupying the position of an active communication contributor turned out to be the leader in the opinion of the participants. In cases when they were required to indicate a leader, they were equally likely to call any member of the group. The key position of the leader in the group leads to information overload since all messages must pass through me. Thus, the group in which the structure of communication corresponds to the task set, actual communication is optimal for achieving the goal. Such optimization naturally occurs in the process of group development.
Bansal, A., Phatak, Y., & Sharma, R. K. (2015). Quality management practices for global excellence. New Delhi, India: Allied Publishers.
Jones, G. R., George, J. M., Barrett, M., & Honig, B. (2016). Contemporary management (4th ed.). Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill.