Interpersonal and Group Communication

Interpersonal and Group Communication

Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1897-6.ch007
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Overview

In this chapter, we begin with a different theoretical examination and then finish with an overview of why we communicate. We will focus on interpersonal communication theories to continue the learning venture, and then cover group communication. Communication theory was covered in Chapters 3 and 6, but now we turn to additional discovery relevant to interpersonal communication. Six theories will be relevant for our discussion. Uncertainty Reduction Theory tells us that people’s uncertainty with those they don’t know can motivate them to communicate to reduce uncertainty. Supportive Communication Theory is defined as “verbal and non-verbal behavior produced with the intention of providing assistance to others perceived as needing that aid. Interpersonal Deception Theory states that senders try to manipulate messages to be untruthful causing apprehension on the part of the sender due to the concern that their false communication will be detected. The motivated information theory is about managing information management activities in relation to interpersonal communication, combining a three-phase process – interpretation, evaluation, and decision stages – that individuals use to seek or avoid information about an issue. Communication privacy management theory addresses important ways that people process information. It supposes that people have private information, private boundaries, control and ownership about the information, and we control it with rule based management and privacy management dialectics. Affection exchange theory focuses on affectionate communication as an adaptive behavior that contributes to humans’ long-term interaction and success. As we focus our social interaction, we must understand that direct interpersonal communication is a face-to-face relationship between the parties involved in communication, and this is an interdependent arrangement. Feedback is a crucial component because of its immediacy and primacy. We examine the resolution of conflict to save face, correct the record, determine winners or losers, or to set terms for future interactions. This is important because conflict is often studied at the interpersonal level and it is often a part of communication. We then cover group communication by providing a theoretical backdrop for behavior in groups, first using research to describe individualistic and collectivistic mindsets. That is followed by a description and analysis of three theories. Aubrey Fisher’s Decision Emergence Theory demonstrates how groups progress through stages to address diversity leading to shared experiences, decision methods, work ethic, and values. Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing are parts of a process that is about stages that move groups through task achievement and member satisfaction, while dealing with in-group conflict as it arises. Group interaction in terms of standards, power, meaning, and values is addressed using Structuration Theory. This examination of relevant theory is somewhat different from what we discussed earlier in the book.

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