A Look at Groups from the Functional Perspective
THEORIES OF SMALL GROUPS, M. S. Poole & A. B. Hollingshead, eds., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005
18 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2005
This chapter discusses theory and research on small groups from the functional perspective. We define, present the underlying theoretical assumptions of, and review seven representative areas of research from the functional perspective. The seven areas include group decision-making, social combination approach, groupthink, collective information sharing, group brainstorming, conflict management, and an external view of groups. Our review of research from the functional perspective also covers how group composition, projects, structures, and ecology affect group interactions and outcomes. The functional perspective is strong in predicting and explaining task-oriented group performance but is more limited in predicting and explaining the behavior of groups with socioemotional or multiple goals outside normative boundaries. We present other debates and challenges to the functional perspective and suggest future research directions.
JEL Classification: D70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation