Small group communication refers to a process of interaction that happens between more than two people in which they try to attain goals that they share in common. Scholars apply different theories in the analysis of small group communication. Through these theories, the scholars attempt to explain different issues regarding the group and predict certain phenomena. Using the systems theory, experts have addressed different ways in which small group communication works and the techniques through which it can be applied.
Different theories apply varying approaches in their description and analysis of small groups. The systems theory is one of the most popular ones used to explained small group communications. Systems theory views the small group as a system that has interrelated elements, which are capable of receiving input and then producing output (Theories of Small Group Communication 1). In accordance with this, the theory explains that different variables influence the small groups such as their exposure to the environment. These variables are important contributors to the system because they determine the output that the system produces. The size of the groups makes cohesion an important issue (Theories of Small Group Communication 1).
The diagram uses the example of a church to show how a small group applies as a system (Searcy and Thomas 12). In the diagram, the small group is located at the core and the primary aim is to move people from the outer rings such as the crowd and congregation into the center (Searcy and Thomas 12). This model matches arguments by some scholars that small groups are the fundamental unit of every company because all organizations start in that manner (Miner 339). By working well within their environment, the small groups are able to expand into cohesive structures. Using the systems theory, the outer rings act as the environment that influences the core. Input going into the core dictates output and the small group’s exposure to the outer rings affects its operations significantly.
Miner, John B. Essential Theories of Process and Structure. Armonk, NY [u.a.: Sharpe, 2006. Print.
Searcy, Nelson and Kerrick Thomas. Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups. Ventura: Regal, 2008. Print.
“Theories of Small Group Communication.” Mhhe. The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2004. Web. 11 March 2014.
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