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

See all articles by Andrea B. Hollingshead

Andrea B. Hollingshead

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Gwen Wittenbaum

Michigan State University

Deborah G. Ancona

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Paul B. Paulus

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Randy Hirokawa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kay Yoon

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Randall Peterson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

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

Hollingshead, Andrea B. and Wittenbaum, Gwen and Ancona, Deborah G. and Jehn, Karen A. and Paulus, Paul B. and Hirokawa, Randy and Yoon, Kay and Peterson, Randall, A Look at Groups from the Functional Perspective (2005). THEORIES OF SMALL GROUPS, M. S. Poole & A. B. Hollingshead, eds., Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1802080

Andrea B. Hollingshead (Contact Author)

USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism ( email )

3502 Watt Way
Suite 101A
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
2138214081 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://annenberg.usc.edu/Faculty/Communication%20and%20Journalism/HollingsheadA.aspx

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Gwen Wittenbaum

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Deborah G. Ancona

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

E52-582
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-0568 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

Karen A. Jehn

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

Paul B. Paulus

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Randy Hirokawa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kay Yoon

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Randall Peterson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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