Communication Skills For Group Decision Making

Authored by: Dennis S. Gouran

Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills

Print publication date:  January  2003
Online publication date:  February  2003

Print ISBN: 9780805834178
eBook ISBN: 9781410607133
Adobe ISBN: 9781135664114


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Of the many topics on which communication scholars interested in the study of groups have focused, none has been the object of more sustained attention than that of decision making (Gouran, 1999). This is understandable in light of the fact that decision making is an activity in which individuals and groups engage numerous times virtually every day. It is even more understandable when one considers the significant ramifications such activity often has for the decision makers and others’ well-being. At an individual level, the activity is exclusively cognitive, unless, of course, one solicits input from others while attempting to reach a decision. In groups, the process of making decisions is manifested and unfolds in the communicative exchanges that occur among the members. In either case, the likelihood of choosing appropriately (Gouran, 1988) depends on a number of skills. In this chapter, I identify such skills and relate them to the outcomes that decision-making groups achieve.

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