Small Groups as Complex Systems
Formation, Coordination, Development, and Adaptation
- Holly Arrow - University of Oregon, USA, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
- Joseph E. McGrath - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
- Jennifer L. Berdahl - University of British Columbia, Canada
Organization Studies (General) | Organizational Psychology (General)
This new general theory of small groups as complex systems draws on general systems theory, dynamical systems theory, and complexity and chaos theory.
The authors view groups as adaptive, dynamic systems that are driven by interactions among group members and by transactions between the group and its embedding contexts, as well as by external pressures.
By virtue of the empirical material integrated within this elegant analysis, the authors offer a more complete understanding of the nature of group behaviour and the factors which shape it.
Whilst this is an excellent book it is at a higher level than needed for our course. I would recommend it as an masters level course reader. It offers a new perspective on an old subject and links current thinking around the science of complexity with the social phenomena of groups in a concise way.
An exellent book that presents a holistic approach on reaseach on small groups and suggests a more holistic way of understanding and researching the complexity of small groups in a deeper manner. Ideal for post grad & doctorate level. However, too specific for our course level of understanding small group dynamics in an educational context.
Christian education in churches often takes place in the context of small groups, and knowledge of social theories about groups is crucial to manage them well. For those specializing in this direction, this is highly recommended reading