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Chapter 10 Solving Problems Using Small Groups 10.1 Multiple Choice Questions 1) The Hanashi Oral History Program’s mission is to preserve the stories of Japanese American veterans who served in the U.S. military during World War II. This group’s goal is to interview and record the life stories of the veterans from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the 100th Infantry Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service. These interviews are considered _____ sources. a) primary b) elder c) secondary d) virtual Answer: a Rationale: Primary sources are original sources that provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person, or work of art. In this case, the interviews conducted by the Hanashi Oral History Program with the veterans themselves are considered primary sources because they are firsthand accounts of their experiences. 2) Choose the best example of a neutral question. a) Should city officials condemn the banking industry’s corrupt policies? b) What steps should city officials take to ensure banks are held accountable? c) Can city officials admonish dishonesty when they’ve been dishonest themselves? d) Why should we vote for public servants who openly support fraudulent business practices? Answer: b Rationale: A neutral question is one that does not imply a particular stance or bias. Option b is the best example of a neutral question because it asks about steps that should be taken without implying any judgment or bias. 3) Although a prolific letter writer, there does not seem to be any existing written correspondence between Thomas and Martha Jefferson. Because these letters are not available for historians to study, they must then depend on ________ sources to interpret the relationship between the third President and his wife. a) primary sources b) historical annotations c) oral footnotes d) secondary sources Answer: d Rationale: Since the original letters between Thomas and Martha Jefferson are not available, historians would rely on secondary sources, which are interpretations or analyses of primary sources, to understand their relationship. 4) What is the first step a small group must take in order to adequately prepare to solve the assigned problem? a) Gather material b) Generate solutions c) Assess the question d) Develop an agenda Answer: c Rationale: Before a small group can effectively solve a problem, they must first assess and fully understand the question or problem at hand. This involves clarifying the problem, defining its scope, and understanding its implications. 5) Nikki felt it necessary to interject a little humor into the discussion because the committee meeting became tense. A little later she took the lead and said, “Let’s take a break for a few minutes.” Nikki is carrying out the important function of a (n) a) gatekeeper. b) laissez-faire leader. c) agenda setter. d) democratic leader. Answer: a Rationale: In this scenario, Nikki is acting as a gatekeeper by helping to manage the flow and tone of the discussion. She uses humor to diffuse tension and suggests a break to give everyone a chance to relax and regroup. 6) Before he can make an arrest, Officer Oh must interview and weigh the statements of the crime victim, the accused, and the witnesses to determine which statements he gathered during the interviews are truthful. What type of questions does Officer Oh have to ask during this investigation? a) Question of value b) Question of policy c) Question of fact d) Question of procedure Answer: c Rationale: Officer Oh needs to ask questions that establish the facts of the case, such as who was present, what actions were taken, and what was said. These questions focus on determining what actually happened, which is essential for making an informed decision about whether to make an arrest. 7) When dealing with a question of value, the small group argues a) whether or not a statement is true or false. b) the morality of the issue. c) whether any specific action is in order. d) whether it is clearly stated. Answer: b Rationale: Questions of value involve evaluating the morality or worth of an issue. In these discussions, the group considers the ethical implications and the rightness or wrongness of a particular course of action. 8) When dealing with a question of policy, the small group argues a) the morality of an issue. b) whether any specific action is in order. c) whether or not a statement is true or false. d) whether it is clearly stated. Answer: b Rationale: Questions of policy focus on determining what actions should be taken. In these discussions, the group considers various options and evaluates their potential effectiveness in addressing the issue at hand. 9) “Entertainment, movies, movie stars, Hollywood, Walk of Fame, cement, shoe prints, finger prints, crime scenes, CSI, television shows, Marg Helgenberger, famous, Almost Famous, 70s rock stars ... ” Group members are generating possible ideas for a theme for the University’s welcome party. They came up with this list by “piggybacking” on each other’s ideas. This technique is called a) plagiarism. b) idea multiplying technique. c) brainstorming. d) gatekeeping. Answer: c Rationale: Brainstorming is a technique used to generate creative ideas by encouraging group members to build on each other's suggestions. In this case, the group members are piggybacking on each other's ideas to create a list of possible themes for the party. 10) An agenda is a) minutes to a meeting. b) an outline of the points to be discussed. c) the time frame of a meeting. d) the requirements a solution must have to be acceptable. Answer: b Rationale: An agenda is a list or outline of items to be discussed or acted upon in a meeting. It helps to keep the meeting organized and focused by setting out the topics to be covered and the order in which they will be addressed. 11) Joe has a forceful personality, marked intelligence, and dynamic communication skills. For these reasons, many of his classmates think he is a born leader. What perspective of leadership is this? a) Trait perspective b) Situational perspective c) Functional perspective d) Imminent perspective Answer: a Rationale: The trait perspective of leadership focuses on identifying the personal characteristics or traits that distinguish leaders from non-leaders. In this case, Joe's classmates believe he is a born leader based on his personal traits such as forceful personality, intelligence, and communication skills. 12) Criteria are a) minimal requirements a solution must have to be acceptable. b) the outlines of the points to be discussed in a group setting. c) the ideas offered by the group to encourage the free flow of ideas. d) the research material the group needs to decide the best solution. Answer: a Rationale: Criteria are the minimum requirements or standards that a solution must meet to be considered acceptable or satisfactory. They provide a basis for evaluating and selecting the best solution among several alternatives. 13) Nancy is a confident, dynamic businesswoman. She is heading up her company’s capital building committee. She enables the group members to decide who will perform which specific tasks and jobs. Her style promotes overall satisfaction within the group process. What is her leadership style? a) Autocratic b) Democratic c) Laissez-faire d) Trait Answer: b Rationale: Nancy's leadership style is democratic because she allows group members to participate in decision-making and encourages them to determine task assignments. This approach promotes overall satisfaction within the group process by empowering members to have a say in the outcome. 14) There is no need to have a controlling presence when the individual members of any group already function as a cohesive group. What type of leadership would be appropriate for this type of group with minimal direction or instruction being given to group members by any one individual? a) Autocratic b) Abdicratic c) Laissez-faire d) Democratic Answer: c Rationale: In a group where members already function cohesively and require minimal direction, a laissez-faire leadership style would be appropriate. Laissez-faire leaders provide minimal guidance and allow group members to make decisions autonomously. 15) What is the name of the leadership perspective that does not promote the role of a single leader and houses the task-related and process-related leadership behaviors? a) Functional perspective b) Relational perspective c) Trait perspective d) Situational perspective Answer: a Rationale: The functional perspective of leadership focuses on the behaviors and functions necessary for effective group performance, rather than on the traits or characteristics of individual leaders. It encompasses both task-related and process-related leadership behaviors. 16) Working to write a job description for a town manager serving a population of 22,000, Angela is the only member of the group with any work experience. Because she worked as a clerk in the mayor’s office for five years and no other member felt qualified to make any decisions, Angela “takes charge” of the group. She helps the group stop floundering by using what style of leadership? a) Democratic b) Autocratic c) Laissez-faire d) Pertinent Answer: b Rationale: In this scenario, Angela is using an autocratic leadership style by taking charge and making decisions without much input from the other group members. This approach is appropriate when a leader with experience or expertise is needed to guide the group. 17) Things such as relieving tension, gatekeeping, and offering encouragement to other group members are known as what kind of behaviors under the functional perspective of leadership? a) Task-related leadership behaviors b) Trait-related leadership behaviors c) Situational-based leadership behaviors d) Process-related leadership behaviors Answer: d Rationale: Process-related leadership behaviors under the functional perspective include actions that help manage the group dynamics and interactions, such as relieving tension, gatekeeping (managing the flow of communication), and offering encouragement to other group members. 18) _____ is the ability to exert influence on a group by providing a sense of direction or vision. a) Power b) Control c) Governance d) Leadership Answer: d Rationale: Leadership is the ability to influence and guide a group towards achieving a common goal or objective by providing direction, vision, and motivation. 19) In the _____ perspective of leadership, we frequently label a leader’s style as democratic, autocratic, or laissez-faire. a) trait b) functional c) situational d) judicious Answer: c Rationale: The situational perspective of leadership focuses on the context or situation in which leadership occurs, including the leader's style and behavior. It often involves labeling a leader's style as democratic, autocratic, or laissez-faire based on the situation. 20) A leader who keeps the group focused on the problem or question is said to be exercising _____ leadership behaviors. a) task-related b) role-related c) process-related d) trait-related Answer: a Rationale: Task-related leadership behaviors involve actions that help the group achieve its goals or complete its tasks. Keeping the group focused on the problem or question is an example of task-related leadership behavior. 10.2 Short Answer Questions 1) President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi, all have forceful personalities, marked intelligence, and dynamic communication skills. What type of leadership perspective do these elected officials possess? Answer: Trait perspective 2) List the three types of questions a group can identify in the preliminary steps in smallgroup discussion. Answer: The student should list the following question types: 1. Question of fact 2. Question of value 3. Question of policy 3) Once the group determines whether the question is one of fact, value, or policy, the next step is to Answer: formulate the question. 4) Newspaper accounts of current events, Time magazine’s analysis of President Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy, or a transcript of a speech are considered ________ sources. Answer: secondary 5) What three factors concerning question formulation should a group consider? Answer: The student should list the following questions for formulating a question: 1. Is the question clear? 2. Is the question neutral? 3. Does the question promote discussion? 6) ________ encourages creativity and the free flow of ideas in the group generation of a long list of possible solutions. Answer: Brainstorming 7) A leader who has a domineering presence is also known as a (n) ________ leader. Answer: autocratic 8) A ________ perspective of leadership focuses on the kinds of leadership behaviors that any member of the group can exhibit. Answer: functional 9) Initiating ideas, elaborating on the ideas of others, and raising thoughts are all _____ behaviors. Answer: task-related 10) The ___________ helps a group stay focused, although they may shift back and forth during the discussion, because it is an outline of points to be discussed. Answer: agenda 10.3 True/False Questions 1) A laissez-faire leader is never a good option for leadership style. Answer: False Rationale: While a laissez-faire leadership style, which involves minimal interference from the leader, may not be suitable for all situations, there are instances where it can be effective, such as when leading a group of highly skilled and motivated individuals who require little direction. 2) When a jury decides if a defendant is entitled to damages or how much to award a defendant in damages, the jury is deciding a question of policy. Answer: True Rationale: In legal contexts, questions of policy often refer to decisions about what actions should be taken or what rules should be implemented. In this case, the jury is making a decision about whether damages should be awarded, which falls under the category of policy decisions. 3) A jury must decide if Mike told the truth on the stand. During deliberations, the jury argues whether or not Mike’s statements were true or false. This is an example of a question of value. Answer: False Rationale: In this scenario, the jury is determining the factual accuracy of Mike's statements, which is a question of fact, not value. Questions of value involve judgments about the morality or worth of something, rather than determining the truth of a statement. 4) Constructing a neutral question can lead to a more fruitful discussion. Answer: True Rationale: Neutral questions are less likely to bias the discussion or influence participants' responses in a particular direction. By asking neutral questions, facilitators can encourage open and balanced discussion, leading to more constructive outcomes. 5) Examples of primary sources include newspaper accounts, reports by television journalists, and analyses in magazines. Answer: False Rationale: Primary sources are original sources that provide direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person, or work of art. Examples of primary sources include diaries, letters, photographs, and original research reports. 6) An agenda is an outline of the points to be discussed during a small group discussion. Answer: True Rationale: An agenda serves as a roadmap for a meeting or discussion, outlining the topics to be covered and the order in which they will be addressed. It helps keep the discussion focused and ensures that important issues are addressed. 7) Group members who are “born leaders” carry the functional perspective. Answer: False Rationale: The trait perspective of leadership focuses on identifying the personal characteristics or traits that make someone a leader. The functional perspective, on the other hand, emphasizes the behaviors and actions of a leader in relation to the group's tasks and processes. 8) The criteria are the minimum requirements a solution must have to be acceptable. Answer: True Rationale: Criteria are the standards or specifications that a solution must meet in order to be considered acceptable or successful. They serve as a basis for evaluating potential solutions and making decisions. 9) The democratic leader requires group involvement in the decision-making effort because the leader has no confidence. Answer: False Rationale: A democratic leader involves group members in the decision-making process not because of a lack of confidence, but rather to promote participation, collaboration, and ownership of decisions among group members. 10) In most groups, the type of leadership required to run a group depends on two chief ingredients: the reason for the group’s existence and the composition of the group. Answer: True Rationale: The effectiveness of different leadership styles can vary depending on the purpose of the group and the characteristics of its members. For example, a group focused on creative brainstorming may benefit from a more laissez-faire approach, while a group with a clear task and deadline may require a more directive leadership style. 11) Two primary types of behavior associated with functional leadership are functional and task-related leadership behaviors. Answer: True Rationale: Functional leadership involves behaviors that contribute to the group's effectiveness and cohesion, such as offering encouragement and resolving conflicts. Task-related leadership behaviors focus on achieving the group's goals and objectives, such as organizing tasks and setting deadlines. 12) A gatekeeper’s main responsibility is to regulate the flow of communication within the group. Answer: True Rationale: A gatekeeper helps ensure that all group members have an opportunity to speak and that the discussion stays on track. They regulate the flow of communication to prevent one person from dominating the conversation and to encourage participation from all members. 13) When going through the process of problem solving, you must first develop possible solutions before gathering material. Answer: False Rationale: In the problem-solving process, the first step is typically to identify and define the problem. Once the problem is understood, the next step is to gather relevant information and data before generating possible solutions. 14) Mandel is frustrated with his boss for providing minimal leadership, as his group is clearly flailing. Mandel’s boss is demonstrating a laissez-faire leadership style. Answer: True Rationale: Laissez-faire leadership involves minimal interference or direction from the leader, allowing group members to make decisions and solve problems on their own. If Mandel's boss is providing minimal leadership and the group is struggling, it suggests a laissez-faire leadership style. 15) Finding the best solution to a problem involves evaluating each idea according to the criteria set, deciding which ideas best meet the criteria, and striving for a true consensus. Answer: True Rationale: When evaluating potential solutions to a problem, it's important to use established criteria to assess each idea's feasibility, effectiveness, and alignment with the group's goals. Striving for a true consensus involves ensuring that all group members agree on the chosen solution. 10.4 Matching Questions For the questions that follow, match the word or phrase with its meaning. a) Minimum requirements a solution must have to be acceptable b) Domineering presence c) An outline of points to be discussed d) “Born leaders” e) The group members argue whether a statement is true or false f) Involves group members in decision-making g) The group must determine the morality of an issue h) The group must decide if any specific action is in order i) Gives minimal direction j) Documents such as letters, manuscripts, and taped interviews k) Interpretations or analyses of sources found in newspapers, magazines, and journals 1) Autocratic leader 2) Question of fact 3) Democratic leader 4) Question of value 5) Agenda 6) Laissez-faire leader 7) Question of policy 8) Primary source 9) Secondary source 10) Criteria Answers: 1) b 2) e 3) f 4) g 5) c 6) i 7) h 8) j 9) k 10) a 10.5 Essay Questions 1) What are the steps involved in the process of problem solving? Answer: The first step in the process of problem solving is assessing the question with the group. The group must determine whether the question at hand is one of fact, value, or policy. Once this is achieved, the group must formulate the question so that it is written clearly, neutral, and promotes discussion. The second step is gathering research material from primary and secondary sources. Next, the group must create an agenda that outlines the points to be discussed at the group meetings. Before any solutions are discussed, it is important to establish criteria for the solution. Criteria are the minimum requirements a solution must have to be acceptable. After the criteria are met, the group can develop possible solutions through brainstorming, research, and discussion. This is the group’s opportunity to be creative, not judgmental. At this stage, it is important to generate as many solutions as possible. Finally, the group must choose the best solution to solve the problem. This is done by evaluating each idea against the set criteria, then deciding which ideas best meets the criteria. 2) Define leadership, and differentiate between the different perspectives: trait, situational, and functional. Answer: Leadership is the ability to exert influence on a group by providing a sense of direction or vision. Each perspective of leadership is different. The trait perspective suggests that people are “born leaders” with certain personality characteristics or qualities that make them best suited to lead. The situational perspective approaches leadership from the situation created by the group, determining that the most appropriate style of leadership comes out of that information. Looking at the reason for the creation of the group, and how the members interact with one another, will help determine which style of leadership (autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire) is most beneficial for the group. The functional perspective focuses on the kinds of leadership behaviors (task-related or process-related) that arise as the group is making progress. One single leader is not promoted in this perspective; rather, an individual can perform this function whatever way necessary to keep the group focused on the problem/question/task or to maintain a positive climate within the group. 3) Compare and contrast the democratic, autocratic, and laissez-faire styles of leadership. Answer: The democratic, autocratic, and laissez-faire leadership styles all fall under the situational perspective of leadership. A democratic leader demonstrates his or her confidence in the group by involving group members in decision-making matters. The democratic leader allows the group to decide who will tackle specific tasks or jobs. As a result, group members thrive because their involvement, cohesion, and overall satisfaction are high. An autocratic leader has a more domineering presence. This individual usually decides what direction the group will take. The separation between the leader and group members is large and inhibits input from the group. As a result, productivity is high but group satisfaction is often low. A laissez-faire leader gives minimal direction or instruction to group members. Members have complete freedom to make decisions. However, because the group often does not make progress, due to lack of direction, the laissez-faire leadership style is the least effective of the three. 4) One of the first steps in small-group discussion is to assess the question the group has before them. Knowing which kind of question it is helps the group decide how to move forward. Identify and define these three types of questions, and provide an example of each. Answer: If the group is arguing whether a statement is true or false, they are dealing with a question of fact. An example of this is often found in the court jury decisions that weigh witness statements. A question of value is centered on whether something is good or bad or, in other words, the morality of the issue. For example, judging whether a defendant’s actions were unlawful or in violation of present law is a question of value for a jury. A question of policy is when a group must decide whether any specific action is in order. Many court jury decisions are questions of policy when they must decide if any damages should be awarded, and how much to award. 5) Virtual teams are becoming an essential component of business life. List the four ways our text offers to improve leadership within virtual groups. Answer: 1) Listen. Make sure to really focus on what is being discussed. (2) Use technology to enliven and energize the group. (3) Plan ahead. Plan meetings in advance, prepare for what can go right and wrong, and create a supportive communication climate. (4) Be a “virtual coach.” This will provide group members with individual attention. Test Bank for Communication: Embracing Difference Daniel M. Dunn, Lisa J. Goodnight 9780205943661, 9780205865635, 9781269602877

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