The Functional Perspective as a Lens for Understanding Groups
Small Group Research, Vol. 35, pp. 17-43, 2004
28 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2004
The functional perspective is a normative approach to describing and predicting group per- formance that focuses on the functions of inputs and/or processes. The aim of theory and research from this perspective is to understand why some groups are successful and others are not. This article investigates theory and, to a lesser extent, research of small groups based on the functional perspective. The authors present the underlying theoretical assumptions and review theories that fit into the functional perspective from several representative areas of research. They conclude by outlining notable strengths and weaknesses associated with viewing groups from this perspective and propose some directions for future theory development.
Keywords: functional theory, group performance, group decision making
JEL Classification: D70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation