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In this project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following competency:
Analyze group interactions from social science perspectives
Firm X has started an initiative to investigate group dynamics and what makes effective teams in the workplace. Workplace cultures are often complex, as employees come from various backgrounds with differing values and expectations about teamwork.
To determine how to best organize teams within the organization around shared goals and values, Firm X has assembled a cross-functional team of employees at a weeklong retreat. You have been selected as a member of this team.
Your supervisor, Maria Gonzalez, a division manager at Firm X, has charged the team with analyzing group interactions from the perspective of different social sciences. Your team will compile the results and give a presentation to all employees at Firm X’s yearly organization-wide meeting. To give credibility to the presentation, Ms. Gonzalez wants it to be well-grounded in theory and research and to include examples of real-world applications. She has suggested that the team look at research from the psychology, sociology, and anthropology fields.
At the retreat, your team decided that each member will work on a portion of the presentation to be delivered to the organization. You have been asked to work on a portion of the presentation that will discuss the ways in which psychology, sociology, and anthropology influence group dynamics by analyzing an issue from a group you belonged to. This portion of the presentation will be used to educate employees about the “science behind how groups work (or don’t work).”
As part of a cross-functional team of employees at Firm X’s weeklong retreat, you have been asked to contribute 7–10 slides to the presentation that will be given at the organization-wide meeting. In your portion of the presentation, you will analyze an issue from a group you belonged to.
Ms. Gonzalez has asked you to relate your presentation to a time when you had to collaborate with a group outside of your current role at work. Possible groups include clubs, sports teams, your close friends, a church group, your team at work, or classmates at school. Choose a group whose characteristics would be relevant to other employees at Firm X and various work situations. In other words, it will be helpful if you choose a group where you have had to work toward a common goal.
Once you have selected your group, consider some issues that occur within that group and how they impact its dynamics. Think about what you have learned about different perspectives in group dynamics and how these perspectives could help address the issue. Then, start working on your portion of the presentation. The team has asked you to provide comprehensive speaker notes (600–800 words) that reflect what you would say in an audio or in-person presentation. In your 7–10 slides, you may include a combination of graphics and text to support your message.
Throughout your presentation, keep in mind your manager’s request to use research from the social sciences to justify your main points. Make sure you cite all of your sources of information. In your presentation, address the following:
Start by describing the group in detail. Apply social science terms and concepts in your description. How could this group be described from a psychological, sociological, and anthropological perspective? You may use the questions in the My Group Guide located in the Supporting Materials section to guide your description.
Next in your presentation, analyze the issue that is impacting the group’s dynamics. Specifically, discuss how the social sciences approach similar issues related to group behavior, defining key concepts and theories. Consider the following in your response:
What is the issue impacting the group?
How have psychology, sociology and/or anthropology approached similar issues? You don’t need to consider each discipline equally, but you should discuss the issue using an applicable social science approach.
How do these disciplines define the issue?
How could theories and concepts from these fields be applied to this issue?
What key studies in these fields help you understand the issue?
What research methods do the disciplines use when studying group behavior?
Recommend how the issue could be addressed from a social science perspective. What specific actions would you take to address the issue? Use information from the social sciences to support your recommendations.
Close your presentation by explaining how the social-science perspectives addressed in your presentation could be used to improve a team’s effectiveness in the workplace; provide specific examples.
What to Submit
Presentation (7–10 slides)
You will analyze an issue in group behavior from the perspective of the social sciences. In your presentation, you should address different concepts, theories, and research studies from social science disciplines (psychology, anthropology, and/or sociology) to justify your main points. Your presentation should be 7–10 slides and include comprehensive speaker notes.
Review the tutorials and resources in the How to Design and Deliver an Effective Presentation document if you need help with core functionality, tool features, and the elements of effective presentation design.
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