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Understanding the Theoretical Model of Group Communication

Updated on February 28, 2014

How the Theory Works

The theoretical model of group communication allows us help to make intelligent decisions regarding how we all conduct ourselves within a group. Theories enable us to help make sense of other people and consequently the self theory can help us to anticipate our own behavior.

Types of Theories

While using the self theory we are able to build explain witnessed phenomenon to help anticipate future events regarding certain situations. When we have understanding about our own self concept we are able to then exercise certain control over a situation. Another theory which helps us in group communication is the explanatory theory.

The Explanatory Theory

The explanatory theory can help us to make sense from the interaction process group members experience with each other. In turn the predictive theory can help us to anticipate the likely outcomes of communication behaviors within a group.


Making Group Predictions

These theories help us to explain and try to make probable predictions while working in a group. Therefore, we are able to change our own communication behaviors to work better and obtain more rewards from our group.

Group Rewards

Although there are rewards of the theoretical model of group communication it also has its downfalls. For instance, the explanatory theory functions correctly only if people understand why a few groups are effective and others are not.

Holes in the Theory

But, when people do not understand why a few groups or group leadership is effective and others aren't then the explanatory theory falls flat. The lack of understanding causes a group to suffer and be unprepared in order to diagnose their group’s needs. The predictive theory is not always helpful either.


The Predictive Theory

The predictive theory has a tendency to fail whenever a group makes unrealistic predictions regarding their own goals or deadlines. Additionally, small group communication is complicated and is not always successful in every attempt to explain or anticipate group phenomena.

Group Communication is Complex

The complexity involved with group communication makes it so that not one theory can account for all the variables involved in the group communication process.

Theories Are Not Always Useful

Even systems theory, social exchange theory, symbolic convergence theory, structuralism theory and functional theory fail to systematically connect all variables to one another. Thus all of the theories of group communication presented don't show the complete picture of human behavior.


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