Group roles
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Group Roles. Holly Claus Kirstyn Davies Andrew Papadopoulos John Pizzedaz Mariah Strong.

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Group Roles

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Group Roles

Holly Claus

Kirstyn Davies

Andrew Papadopoulos

John Pizzedaz

Mariah Strong

Roles will develop as a situation occurs. They will not stay consistent throughout a situation but will be likely to change based on communication. Roles can develop more strongly or can become weaker based on the other members and roles that they play.


Throughout life people wear different “hats” based on the situation that they are put into.

Will a person only wear one hat in a given situation?


  • Social system that has specific goals of making a decision or solving a problem.

  • In order to reach goals one must perform the functions

  • Demonstrated by the communication behavior during group meetings.


A repeatable pattern of communicative behaviors that group members come to expect from each other.


When group members engage in communication to reduce uncertainty about the work the group is doing, they also evaluate the behaviors of other members.

Steven Beebe & John Masterson (2003)

  • Statements that group members make and then send messages to other group members about who they are and what function they serve.

    Kenneth Benne

    & Paul Sheats (1948)


  • Roles are learned behaviors

    • Assigned

    • Emerged

  • Self- Concept affects role behavior

    • Each member helps to establish an identity

  • 3) Multiple roles are played simultaneously

    Role Strain

    Group requires members to assume a new role but they feel reluctant to do so.


    Information Seeking


    Response given by the speaker

    Individual roles

    Evaluate role performance


    • How it is said

    • Who they say it to

    • Content of the information

    • How to gain the information


    • Negative

    • Positive

    • Ambiguous

      • Little information is given

      • Neither positive nor negative

      • Not enough clarification


    • Specific positions

      • Assigned

      • Appointed

      • Elected

    • Keeping the group on task and moving

      toward the ultimate goal


    • Move group towards goals

    • Convince the audience that group has achieved goal

    • External and internal influences

    • Most complex role


    • Take the minutes

    • Record actions of the group

    • Group Meetings

    • Important dates

    Critical Advisor

    • Challenges member’s ideas

    • Constructive criticism

    • Think through all the steps

    • Positive and negative solutions


    • Emerges through member interaction

    • More than 1 member can perform each role

    • There are 5 types of informal roles

      • Task Leader

      • Social- Emotional Leader

      • Information Provider

      • Central Negative

      • Tension Releaser

      • Follower

    Task Leader

    • Take charge attitude

    • Technical skills

    • Problem- solving abilities

    • Puts group members at ease

    Social- Emotional


    • Mutual respect for all members

    • Support ideas

    • Building relationships

    • Maintaining member quality

    Information Provider

    • Synthesize information

    • Facts

    • Stats

    • Examples

    Central Negative

    Tension Releaser

    Light humor


    Eases tensions of the group

    • Challenges group decisions

    • Strong criticism

    • Unhappy with group work


    • Goes along with the group

    • Doesn’t complain

    • Physically following the group


    • Destroy groups productivity and success because the communication focuses on the individual member rather than the group.

      • Aggressor- attacks members verbally and group tasks

      • Dominator- shows superiority

    Benne & Sheats (1948)


    • The skills and abilities need to be processed to engage in a variety of group member roles.

      • Resist role rigidity

      • Group goals come before individual goals

      • Contribute to group task roles

    When Hiking Goes Wrong

    Our journey from day 1!

    Day 1

    • Dr. Webber assigned each group a Leader (Holly)

    • Based on our self-evaluations we were placed into groups

    • Our first meeting day we created a group contract

      • Everyone read what they viewed themselves as

      • Everyone read what they wanted their experience to be like

      • Decided to make group decisions by voting

      • Kirstyn volunteered to take the minutes at our meetings

    Day 2

    • Brainstorming Day

      • Everyone brought ideas of what we wanted to do our project on

      • We voted to make a video for our presentation

      • Everyone’s decisions were heard and evaluated throughout the group

      • We voted on the top three ideas to do our video on

    Day 3

    • Planning was put into action

      • Holly wrote the script based on personalities she saw in the group and the evaluations that each group member had read.

      • Mariah had role strain when she saw that she was going to have to get into an argument with Andrew.

      • John was the member in the group that was very task oriented and Holly portrayed that in his character in the film

    Filming Day

    • Leader- Holly & Andrew

    • Recorder- Kirstyn

    • Critical Advisor- Andrew & John

    • Task Leader- Andrew

    • Social- Emotional Leader- Mariah & Kirstyn

    • Information Provider- John

    • Tension releaser- Mariah & Kirstyn

    • Dominator- Andrew

    • Aggressor- Kirstyn

    • Follower- Mariah


    Myers, S.A., & Anderson, C.M. (2008). The fundamentals of small group communication. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

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