Conditions of Use
The book is written in accessible language, with practical learning activities and related resources interspersed. It was helpful to see the sample course syllabus and schedule, because it allowed me to consider similarities and differences with... read more
The book is written in accessible language, with practical learning activities and related resources interspersed. It was helpful to see the sample course syllabus and schedule, because it allowed me to consider similarities and differences with existing courses that may benefit from adopting this textbook. Although the conceptual frameworks provided in the textbook are relevant for graduate students, they are sometimes presented in a way that seems more appropriate for undergraduate students. If the book was used for a graduate-level course, I believe it may need to be supplemented with scholarly publications that highlight the related research.
The content is generally accurate and unbiased. Some of the hyperlinked embedded within the text are broken.
The concepts are relevant for present-day application, including descriptions of many classical psychological experiments. However, in several chapters, I was somewhat disappointed the references were not more current and reflective of recent research.
The text is written in accessible prose, and many of the chapters contain appropriate attention to terminology. While many images and textboxes are visually appealing, some of the figures are not as crisp as I would like them to be.
There is much more variance between chapters than I had anticipated, making the book seem a little more like a coursepack (i.e., collection of resources) than a textbook. The difference in structure and approach are extreme enough that I believe students would find it frustrating. The variation may also be difficult for instructors to manage, as they consider different approaches to learning objectives, vocabulary, discussion questions, application activities, concept checks, outside resources, etc.
The text is composed of many smaller reading sections, including Wikipedia entries. Accordingly, it could be reorganized and realigned without losses from the shifts. However, because most chapters are freely available elsewhere, I would be inclined to go back to those original sources (e.g., OpenStax, NOBA, and other Pressbooks), rather than relying upon this book, which may not reflect the most current version.
I appreciate the organization in three macro sections. However, I remain unclear why some chapters/sections are included and/or positioned where they are. For example, the chapter on “Intercultural and Plane Crashes” seems random. It would be helpful if each of the macro sections began with an overview of the contents, describing the mental model that explains the organization.
The interface is generally sufficient, but it varies from one chapter to another, which can leave readers confused about what to expect with different hyperlinks or font effects. Also, while many of the font effects are carried into the PDF version, some functionality is lost, which may cause some confusion for readers using the PDF version.
The text contains few grammatical errors.
The book contains cultural variety and sensitivity to the same level I would expect in similar textbooks. Like most textbooks, though, there are opportunities for underrepresented populations to be better reflected in the examples and images provided. While this varies from one chapter to another, I was pleased to see some demographic diversity in photographs included in the book.
Because the book comes across more as a coursepack than a textbook, I may be inclined to create my own course rather than adopt this book. However, it did highlight related resources that could be used for such a coursepack or adopted as an alternate option for an open textbook.
I would be using the book for a graduate-level course in Adult Learning/Education, with a focus on leadership, particularly leading nonprofit organizations. The content is appropriate for the workplace. The content has a good broad overview of... read more
I would be using the book for a graduate-level course in Adult Learning/Education, with a focus on leadership, particularly leading nonprofit organizations. The content is appropriate for the workplace. The content has a good broad overview of different approaches to group dynamics and could be useful at the graduate level, although probably more appropriate for undergraduate. That is to say it is comprehensive and broad, more so than drilling more in-depth into particular areas. There is no glossary or index.
The book seemed accurate and up to date.
The content is definitely up to date, with many theories that have longevity. Workplace topics are, of course, changing rapidly in today's world, so there will be a need for updates, something the author cannot control.
I liked the writing style. This text is easy to understand. It has a nice flow.
The book is organized with consistency that is followed throughout the book, making it easy to navigate.
I would not personally use the whole text, so the modularity of the book is important. It is organized and presented in a manner where chapters can be single, or even sections within chapters.
The organization is presented in a clear fashion, making it easy to navigate and to read.
The book is mostly in APA style, but there seemed to be a mixture of citation styles in some places. The images were important. I would prefer more images (but that is personal preference). Graphics, such as charts, are clear.
I am not a good proofing editor. I did not notice errors.
There was some attention paid to cultural responsiveness but did not extend the issue as much as today's world demands. More research on racial bias and the neuroscience of racial bias could be helpful. I appreciate the multi-racial photos, but there could be more.
The content covers a range of topics that are useful for a junior/upper level class about working in groups and teams. The content can be used for potentially two different courses- one a class about working in groups and the other one about... read more
The content covers a range of topics that are useful for a junior/upper level class about working in groups and teams. The content can be used for potentially two different courses- one a class about working in groups and the other one about business communication in groups. The book starts out by drawing a distinction between groups and teams, which is a useful way to start a class about problem solving in teams and groups. Certain chapters such as Chapter 18 had descriptions and images of empirical studies on conformity and obedience that would enhance student understanding of the content. However, there were some chapters that needed additional content. For example, chapter 2 focuses on cooperation and chapter 3 is about social comparison. A section on competition, particularly the role of communication, and its effect on teams and groups is needed. If this book is being used in Communication courses, it would be beneficial to include how group processes such as competition and cooperation are communicative in nature. Gibbs (1961) communication patterns would be helpful in identifying how communication can create defensive or supportive communication climates in teams and groups. Similarly, the role of culture is alluded without mentioning Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.
Most of the claims seemed accurate. The content was error-free and unbiased. On page 308, a claim needs a citation.
As a whole, there was literature presented that covered the history of how we study groups and what group dynamics look like in existing businesses. The text is arranged in a way that updates will be straightforward to implement.
The chapters were easy to read. However, the title of chapter Chapter 21 “Intercultural and Plane Crashes” is incomplete.
The text seems to be internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
The text is readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within a course.
It is useful to start the book differentiating teams from groups given that people often use the two terms interchangeably. Students will appreciate the examples of different types of teams the author provides along with the organizational charts. References were provided at the end of each chapter, which is easier to look up as compared to textbooks that have all references listed at the end. It would be helpful for the readers if there is a justification for the layout of the book. For example, chapter 5 Shared Information Bias would fit well with Chapter 15 Judgment and Decision Making. There is no rationale for why Chapter 5 is part of section 1 (An overview section ) and not section 3 (Group and team theory).
The book chapters have different citation styles. Some of the chapters seemed to be written in American Psychological Association’s (APA) style that uses in-text author citations and others are written in a different style with end notes . In section 1 most of the chapters are written in APA, while in section 2 and 3, there seems to be a mix of citations for the different chapters. The reader would have to adjust given that one can become used to reading in APA because of the first section.
The book seems to be largely error free. There are two floating “I” on page 293
The book is not culturally insensitive. There was some variation in pictorial representations. Study results also included women and people of different countries.
Thank you for developing this textbook. I teach a group dynamics course at a community college, and was looking for a new text for my course, as well as I want to help students reduce the cost of purchasing textbooks. With that said, I would... read more
Thank you for developing this textbook. I teach a group dynamics course at a community college, and was looking for a new text for my course, as well as I want to help students reduce the cost of purchasing textbooks. With that said, I would like to offer some constructive feedback about the textbook. Overall, the book is comprehensive as evidence that it provides good information about group work, stages of group and other things about the pros and cons of group. It would have been helpful if the author had included more information in the introduction section including the purpose, how the book is organized, and maybe a personal note as to the reason he decided to write the book. That would be beneficial, because readers could decide whether or not they want to click the links of the table of contents to determine the content.
The text appears to be accurate, error-free, and unbiased.
The content is relevant and it addresses current trends as it relates to working with teams and groups. The information was somewhat generic, meaning, the information seemed tailored to the workplace, not necessarily for group counseling, although some of the activities are useful for teaching group counseling and group dynamics.
The text is written simply and clearly. The language and terms are user-friendly.
The psychology of groups section provided relevant information in terms of gaining an understanding of the rationale for groups and the overall role groups play in personal and professional development. It also provided good information on management and leadership styles.
The sections can be easily divided for class assignments. This text provides ample activities to promote student learning and engagement. Group dynamics is a skills-based course. Since the classroom has various types of learners, it is significant to utilize various teaching methods to convey information. In addition to lecture and PowerPoint presentation, including icebreakers and other fun activities in the syllabus enhances the learning experience for students.
The text is organized well. I appreciate that the author included references within each chapter, instead of at the end of the text. Some of the chapters have a list vocabulary words, however for the sake of having information at your fingertips, it would be helpful if the author included a glossary, a name index, and a subject index.
There were no navigation issues, and all images and charts were clear.
There weren't any noticeable grammatical errors.
It was good to see that the author included images of various ethnic and cultural groups. Our world is becoming increasingly diverse, and it is imperative that publications and media outlets reflect today's world regardless of personal opinions and biases. Of course, there could be more images included throughout the book, since an image speaks volumes.
The textbook opened with a table of contents. The beginning chapter started with the difference between group (informal/formal) and team. A key distinction for students to know. The content included the five stages of group development. The book... read more
The textbook opened with a table of contents. The beginning chapter started with the difference between group (informal/formal) and team. A key distinction for students to know. The content included the five stages of group development. The book did not give enough detail group diversity, benefits of diversity in groups, and group decision making--missing some key decision making processes (Delphi and nominal group techniques). The book did not contain a glossary or index. I was unable to find information on contemporary organizations and new types of teams--virtual teams.
The information is accurate. I did find that some information could have been fleshed out more and additional information added for example the punctuated equilibrium model for group formation was not discussed.
The information is broad enough to allow for additions.
Excellent key terms. The terms were easy to understand.
Some inconsistencies were evident in the book. The reader activities in the book were not evident throughout the different chapters. Some chapters had activities, key takeaways, and/or discussions but not all chapters.
There were many areas of the text which were large areas of texts.
Perhaps the Groups Theory section should have proceeded the Groups & Teams in Action
The images were good.
The book did not have any grammatical errors.
No--I only noticed one set of children of color (picture depicting empathy) and African American male in the section discussing conformity. As an African American woman I could not relate to many of the images in the book.
Some of the paragraphs were long and perhaps should be broken up with graphics or other images.
Table of Contents
I. Groups & Teams Overview
- 1. Defining Teams and Groups
- 2. The Psychology of Groups
- 3. Cooperation
- 4. Social Comparison
- 5. Shared Information Bias
- 6. Judgment and Decision Making
II. Groups & Teams (In)Action
- 7. Professional Writing
- 8. Persuasive Presentations
- 9. Gantt Chart
- 10. Groups and meetings
- 11. Organizational culture
- 12. Inattentional Blindness
- 13. Teams as Systems
- 14. Performance Evaluation
III. Group & Team Theory
- 15. Power in Teams and Groups
- 16. Leadership
- 17. Structuration Theory
- 18. Symbolic Convergence Theory
- 19. Conformity and Obedience
- 20. Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions
- 21. Intercultural and Plane Crashes
- 22. Conflict and Negotiation
- 23. Nonverbal Communication
About the Book
This textbook covers content relevant to COMS342 Problem Solving in Teams and Groups at the University of Kansas.
About the Contributors
Cameron W. Piercy, Ph.D