Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication or Discussion. Six Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group or Team Communication.

Group Communication 

Group communication means intercommunication among a number of people who interact regularly to achieve a goal.

Small-Group Communication

In similar, Small group communication means intercommunication among a small number of people who communicate regularly to achieve a goal. It is also known as a small group discussion or team interaction. Small group communication is very important for group learning.

Group members need to overcome many stages, conflicts to achieve the individual and group goal. According to Tuckman’s Theory, the five stages of group communication are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Additionally, the four types of barriers in group communication are ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication

Every group communication is intended to achieve a common goal. Group members communicate to achieve their individual and common goals. However, every group discussion or communication has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of Small Group communication are superior performance, Greater member satisfaction, Greater civic engagement, More learning, More creativity, Enhanced cultural understanding, and so on. In contrast, the disadvantages of small group communication are more time energy, and resources, conflict, social loafing, blaming for shared errors, sleeping members, and scheduling problem.

Based on the study, the author has outlined a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Small Group Communication.

Firstly, the author is going to discuss six advantages of a small group or team communication or discussion. After that, discuss six disadvantages of a small group or team communication or discussion.

Six Advantages of Small Group Communication
  1. Superior performance
  2. Greater member satisfaction
  3. Greater civic engagement
  4. More learning
  5. More creativity
  6. Enhanced cultural understanding
1. Superior Performance

According to MIT Management Professor, Peter Senge: “If you want something really creative done, you ask a team to do it, instead of sending one person off to do it on his her own”. Groups make better decisions also solve problems, especially complex, and unclear problems. Finally, groups share the workload within group members.

2. Greater Member Satisfaction

Social benefits – opportunity to make friends, socialize, receive peer support, and feel part of a unified and successful team or group. The more opportunities group members have to communicate with one another; the more satisfied they are with the group experience.

3. Greater Civic Engagement

You are able to apply theories, methods, and tools to better engage in service to the community that you learn in a group communication course. 

4. More Learning
  • A group provides many resources to work on a problem
  • “Synergistic” effect (Buckminster Fuller, the architect of the geodesic)
  • Synergy = the sum is greater than its parts
  • Members are able to learn from also with other members
  • New members learn from veterans, similar amateurs learn from experts.
  • They also learn more about how to work as a group in contrast just merely topics they discuss.
  • It also helps in the decision-making process.
  • It is the product of interacting individuals stimulating one another so that what emerges is a product that no one member could accomplish working alone.
  • Additionally, it allows group members to share collective information, stimulate critical thinking, challenge assumptions, and raise standards of achievement.
  • In the academic context, collaborative learning promotes higher individual achievement in knowledge acquisition, retention, accuracy, creativity in problem-solving, and higher-level reasoning.
5. More Creativity

The key to creativity is the mental flexibility required to mix thoughts from our many experiences. Groups provide a creative multiplier effect by tapping more information, more brainpower, and more insights.

6. Enhanced Cultural Understanding

Members differ in characteristics, life experiences, cultures, interests, and attitudes. Therefore, group members get a chance to enhance their cultural understanding of others. Working effectively = understand, respect, and adapt to differences in members’ skills, experiences, opinions, and behavior as well as differences in gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, race, status, and worldviews.

Advantages and Disadvantages or Pros and Cons

Six Disadvantages of Small Group Communication
  1. More time, energy, and resources
  2. Conflict
  3. Social Loafing
  4. Blaming for shared errors
  5. Sleeping Member
  6. Scheduling
1. More Time, Energy, and Resources
  • A group needs more time, energy, and resources to discuss issues and to analyze and resolve problems. In contrast, less time, energy, and resources are needed when individual works alone.
  •  A group does not have a long attention span rather it has a short attention span (David Berg, 1967). A long attention span is an inevitable element to complete a task within the time period.
  • In group communication, there have a tendency to get side-tracked.
  • Similarly, topics that do not pertain to the discussion at hand may be brought up.
2. Conflict
  • Disagreement = aggressive also disruptive
  • Members in a group often are confronted with an individual who wants to take over therefore conflict exists in the group.
3. Social Loafing

Social loafing refers to the idle activity of a person or group member who pays less effort compared to other members to achieve a goal. Actually, they work very well alone for completing their own tasks but pay less effort while working in a group. Therefore, sometimes, social loafing stimulates to makes a group less productive.

4. Blaming for shared errors

A proverb says that to err is human. Errors come from both personal and group activities; therefore, it is important to identify the root cause of errors as well as the person who creates the errors. In group communication, sometimes, group members do not acknowledge the responsibility of shared errors rather they blame each other. Therefore, blaming for shared errors might increase conflict among group members that reduce productivity.

5. Sleeping Member

Sleeping members are always barriers to reduce production in Small groups because they do not contribute to achieving the goal.

6. Scheduling Problem

Scheduling a group or team meeting is a great challenge that the group faces regularly. Usually, all members of the group are not available to join the meeting at the same time for their personal busyness. Scheduling for group meetings is the essential element to increase group member’s commitment. Hence, it reduces the group productivity not for scheduling regular meetings among members.

Conclusion

The advantages and disadvantages of small group communication have been discussed elaborately in this article so that readers get an idea about small group or team communication. The group or team needs to take the necessary steps to handle effective communication among group members. However, reducing the disadvantages of small group communication will surely increase the productivity of the group.

References

Berg, D. M. (1967). A thematic approach to the analysis of the task‐oriented, small group. Communication Studies18(4), 285-291.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021). Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication. Educational Website For Online Learning. https://newsmoor.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-small-group-communication-pros-cons/

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