COMM 220 Exam 2

1. What is a group climate?

A group climate is the emotional atmosphere the enveloping tone that is created by the way we communicate in groups. It permeates all groups and affects every aspect of groups social and task dimensions.

What are the primary differences between positive and negative group climate?

The Primary differences between negative and positive climates are individuals in positive climate feel valued, supported and are treated well by the group while those in a negative climate do not feel valued, supported and respected. Trust is at a minima


Defined as a mutually exclusive goal attainment (MEGA) process. Individual success is achieved at the expense of other group members.
� Necessitates the failure of the many for the success of the few.


The excessive emphasis on defeating others to achieve ones own goals.
� There are nearly twice as many hypercompetitive men than women. It is especially apparent in the workplace, as women tend to place value on connections rather than status.


Defined as a mutually inclusive goal attainment (MIGA) process. Individual success is tied directly to the success of other group members.
� Group members work together not against each other, when attempting to achieve a common goal.

individual achievement

the attainment of a personal goal without having to defeat another person.
� We can't compete with ourselves, thus individual achievement is not the same as competition.

3. Who benefits from competition? Who experiences negative effects from competition?

Those who benefit from competition are those at the top of the competition pyramid. These people have a certain set of skills that allow for them to be competitive. They are motivated and driven by competition due to the possibility of being the best. Peo

What conditions are necessary for constructive competition to occur?

Constructive Competition Conditions
� Winning de-emphasized
� When opponents are equally matched
� Clear rules to ensure fairness

4. Explain in what ways competition affects performance and achievement and group cohesiveness. Be familiar with the research in all of these areas, especially when comparing intergroup and intragroup competition.

Competition affects performance and achievement by limiting both performance and achievement. Cooperation produces higher levels of achievement. Study: higher academic achievement (Johnson& Johnson 2005). Huge body of research shows that intergroup intera

What is the norm of group interest?

Norm of Group Interest: A collective prescription that group members should pursue maximum group outcomes (winning at all costs), even if this mean acting hyper-competitively against other groups when members privately wish not to do so.

5. What role does culture play in producing competitive or cooperative behavior in groups? Explain and provide examples.

Humans are neurologically wired for cooperation. (Tomasello, 2009) Animals that cooperated usually do better at warding off predators and finding food. The norms of culture determine competitiveness not human nature. American competitiveness flows from hy

6. How should groups deal with difficult group members? Explain the steps groups need to take.

Groups should deal with difficult members by...
1. Make certain group climate cooperative.
2. Groups establish a clear code of conduct.
3. Change your communication in relation to their behavior: don't placate troublemaker, refuse to make bad behavior con

7. Explain the 6 defensive and supportive communication patterns.

6 Patterns of Supportive & Defensive Communication
� Evaluation vs. Description
� Control vs. problem Orientation
� Manipulation vs. Assertiveness
� Indifference vs. Equality
� Superiority vs. Equality
� Certainty vs. Provisionalism

How does defensive and supportive communication relate to competition and cooperation?

Defensive and supportive communication relates to competition and cooperation by defensive patterns increasing hypercompetitiveness and supportive communication induces cooperation.

8. What is a shift response?

An attention-getting initiative by a listener. Is a key competitive listening strategy.

What is a support response?

Contrasts shift response in that it is an attrition giving, cooperative effort by the listener to focus attention on the other person not on oneself.

What is competitive interrupting and how is it different from a shift response?

Is an attempt to seize the floor from the speaker and dominate the conversation. Differs from shift response in the fact that competitive interrupters don't observe the one speaker at a time rule.

What is ambushing?

Bias to attack the speaker verbally, not trying to understand the speaker's point of view.

What is probing?

Seeking additional information from the speaker by asking questions.

What is paraphrasing?

Concise response to the speaker that states the essence of the other's content in the listener's words.

9. What is the Stanford Prison Study?

The study was an experiment, which focused on the potential for corruption and peoples response to certain roles of power or submission. Basically, 10 college students were taken prisoner and simulated what was supposed to be 2 weeks of prison in the Stan

(Stanford Prison Study) What did it show about the power of roles? What are group roles? What takeaway lessons are there for us from this experiment?

Whenever the power accorded certain roles establishes unequal power distribution, the potential for abuse is real. If people are forced into roles, they completely embody them.

role reversal

Stepping into a role distinctly different from a role we're accustomed to playing.

role status

Relative importance or power accorded a particular role.

role conflict

When members play roles that contradict each other.

role fixation

Acting out of specific role no matter the situation

11. Explain the differences between formal and informal roles

Formal Roles: is assigned by an organization or specifically designated by group leader.
Informal Roles: emerges from group transactions, and emphasizes functions not positions.

Be familiar with the task maintenance, and disruptive informal roles

Task: central communicative function is to extract the maximum productivity from the group.
Maintenance: central communicative function of this role is to gain and maintain the cohesiveness of the group.
Disruptive: central communicative function of this

What is the devil's advocate role?

gently challenges the prevailing points for sake of argument and to critically evaluate strength of idea, solution or decision.

Explain how roles emerge.

Roles emerge either through formal dictation or group endorsement, and then role specialization.

12. Define leadership.

Role moves toward change that reflects mutual purposes of group members and is achieved through competent communication.

How does charisma relate to either type of leader? (transactional and transformational)

Charisma: Highly transformational leaders are usually related to having charisma, however a study showed that charisma is a result of effective leadership not the other way around.

What is the relationship between leaders and followers?

The relationship between leaders and followers can be described as a partnership. Showing respect for followers is critical and as well as following good communication practices.

13. How does leadership typically emerge? Explain how not to become a leader.

Leadership typically emerges through the process of elimination. People who have negative communication traits, are uninformed, bossy or have irritating communication types and those who express strong assertions are usually eliminated. To not become a le

What should you do to retain the leader role once you have become the leader?

To maintain leadership you must demonstrate competence as leader, accept accountability for your actions and satisfy group member's expectations.

14. Explain gender and ethnic bias in leadership

Gender and ethnic bias in leadership is the discrimination against peoples potential to lead based on their gender or ethnicity.

What is the glass ceiling?

Glass Ceiling: Invisible barrier of subtle discrimination that excludes women from top jobs in professional America

15. Explain the different perspectives on leadership: traits, styles, situations, functions, and competence

Autocratic Style: exerts control, directive, my way or the highway.
Democratic Style: Encourages participation.
Laissez-Faire Style: To-do nothing.

. Be familiar with the Hersey and Blanchard situational leadership model

Hersey & Blanchard:
� The amount of guidance and direction (task emphasis) a leader provides
� The amount of relational support (socio-emotional emphasis) a leader provides
� The readiness level in preforming a specific task, function, or objective that f

How does readiness influence leadership styles?

As readiness levels increase, effective leadership requires reduced guidance and a direction from leader ad less socio-emotional support from followers. Must be considered when adapting leadership styles to the specific group.

Are leadership theories culture-bound or can they be applied to any culture?

Leadership theories are 98% based on American evidence, therefore we don't know. There is evidence of leadership differences across cultures.

16. What is the definition of a team?

Team: a specialized group

What are the chief distinctions between standard small groups and teams?

Distinction between small groups and teams are that teams manifest higher level of cooperation, encourage collaborative interdependence, consist of more diverse skill sets and have strong identities.

What is a pseudo-team?

Pseudo-teams are small groups that exhibit several of the above criteria. They appear as a team but lack the substance of a team.

What is collaborative interdependence? Why is it important?

Collaborative interdependence: idea that members must work together otherwise they will be unsuccessful at achieving their goals. It is important because it is the essence of teamwork.

What are the guidelines for managing culturally diverse team membership?

The best team members tend to avoid egocentrism, cynicism, verbal and non-verbal abuse opposed to bad team members who may exhibit these tendencies. The guidelines for removing a member are...

When should a member be removed from the team

Candidates for removal consistently display incompetent communication
Show no interest in improving, and those with egocentric and cynical attitudes that disrupt team relationships.

17. What skills, attitudes, and characteristics do the best team members exhibit? What characteristics and attitudes do the worst team members exhibit?

The best team members tend to avoid egocentrism, cynicism, verbal and non-verbal abuse opposed to bad team members who may exhibit these tendencies. The guidelines for removing a member are...

18. What are the 4 C's of team goal development?

4 C's are...
� Clear goals
� Cooperative goals
� Challenging goals
� Commitment to goals

What is a superordinate goal?

Superordinate goal: a specific kind of cooperative goal that overrides differences that members may have because it supersedes less important competitive goals.

What is symbolic convergence theory?

Symbolic Convergence Theory: The idea of creating a group identity that is larger and more coherent than the isolated experiences of the individual group members.

What are fantasy themes and fantasy chains and how do they relate to teambuilding?

Fantasy themes are consistent threads that run through stories that provide shared interpretation of events that bind group members together and offer them shared identity.

What are solidarity symbols?

Solidarity symbols are symbols that nonverbally unify and help provide identity.

What is team talk?

Team talk is language that helps provide identity and unity through avoidance of "me" and focus on the "we". Helps provide team accountability or the assumed responsibility of the team for successes and failures. This contrasts individual accountability,

19. Should team roles be designated or should members choose their own roles? Explain. Which option would have worked best with our straw platform activity? Why?

Teams usually require formal designations of roles. This way there is minimal duplication and a qualified group member can cover each function of the team. This is usually a responsibility of the team leader.

20. What is team empowerment? What are the four dimensions of team empowerment?

Team Empowerment: the process of enhancing the capabilities and influence of individuals and groups. Follow these four dimensions...
� Meaningfulness
� Autonomy
� Impact
� Group potency

How does organizational hierarchy affect team empowerment

Hierarchical organizations affect empowerment by limiting the influence of those with the least status on those with the most status (worker bees-drones).

What is the difference between quality circles and self-managing work teams? Which is most effective? Why? What are the chief impediments to team empowerment?

Quality circles differ from self-managing team in the fact that within quality circles there is little autonomy on final decisions, change rarely occurs while self-managing teams manifest success and results seem more impactful. Self-managing teams are mu

21. What are the main communication strategies that produce competent team leadership? What produces ineffective team leadership?

The main strategies that produce competent leadership are nurturing empowerment, insisting on a cooperative climate, and using a plan to make decisions and solve problems. Ineffective team leadership is brought about by operating from fear, ego, cynicism