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Group Communication Theories Matrix

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Instructions: Complete the following matrix by filling in the box for each of the five communication theories with the following four items: the theory definition, the main principles of the theory, a real-world theory example, and an application of each theory to virtual communication.

Theory definition
Main principles of the theory
Real-world theory example
Application of each theory to virtual communication
Social Exchange Theory
Theory that attempts to explain human behavior in terms as behavioral psychology. The main principle of this theory is social relationships are the outcome of an exchange process with the purpose of maximizing the benefits and minimizing costs. An example of this theory is asking someone out on a date, but you dislike the fact that he/she lacks money or good looks, but he/she is caring and fun to hang out with the therefore you go because the benefits outweigh the cost. The rewards of virtual communication include freedom from the constraints of time and space but the costs is the possibility for misunderstanding when we are not able to see each other’s facial expressions or tone of voice.

Systems Theory
Systems theory is an open system of interdependent elements, employing input variables and process variables to yield output. The main principle is to receive input, process input and yield an output An example would be in a group you collectively develop a task from input and expect productivity as a output. Connection through the internet can alter patterns in many ways making the system more open. Symbolic Convergence Theory

Theory of communication that explains how certain
types of communication shape a group’s identity and culture, which in turn influence other dynamics. Share group fantasies create symbolic convergence. In a business symbolic convergence is used to determine what the customers like about the business and that allows the business to cater to the customer. In, virtual communication the possibilities for visual, verbal, or auditory communication can make new avenues for fantasy themes and group identity. Structuration

Theory that provides a general framework
and explains how people structure their groups by making active use of rules and resources.

The main function of this theory is to focus attention on individuals’ behaviors in groups rather than on dynamics of groups. Basketball team is a example of structuration theory, because it has structure and rules that all members must follow. The coach is the leader and implements the rules for the team to follow. use of computers, e-mail, and the internet as resources can expand the repertoire of structures available to group members. Functional Theory Communication in groups that functions to promote sound reasoning, prevent errors, and build relationships among all members. Focus on results and outcomes of group behaviors and structure. In a group where members use this theory to make decisions and to solve problems. Use of virtual group communication to enhance areas of group interaction by extending dialogue beyond a meeting room.

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