A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction
For the purposes of this assignment I will be discussing a group of which I am a part of in my place of employment. In my career as an employee of the State of California working for the Department of Transportation—CalTtrans, I am involved with district-wide accident prevention committee. This committee referred to as the DAPC, is comprised
Of members of management, as well as, the rank and file and is charged with accident evaluation and procedure development to ensure a safe working environment for all employees. Per the assignment the following topics will be covered as they pertain to the group which will be referred to as the DAPC: the relevant background factors, environmental factors, leadership styles and behaviors, communication factors, decision-making processes, and conflict styles and processing.
Relevant Background Factors
As stated previously, the DAPC is comprised of 15 members of both management and rank and file employees. Its membership is varied and will be outlined at length in the paragraphs to follow.
• Personality—The members of the group have varying personalities. They come from different backgrounds and find themselves in this group setting again for a number of reasons. To evaluate the personalities from the perspective of the Extended DISC personality profile would yield results that would be dramatically different form the results this class experienced. This class grouped is formed from individuals with somewhat common interests and goals while the DAPC is made up of individuals with diverse motivations, goals, and agendas. I think the distribution would be all over the graph. There are certainly strong D-dominate types. The problem is that they tend to conflict with each other and due to the large group size this tends to lead to factions within the group. There are also plenty of I-inducement and S-submissive types. This helps to give stability to the group and makes for plenty of new and fresh ideas and discussion. There are also a couple of C-compliant types that anchor the group with their attention to detail and ability to focus on the task at hand which can be tedious at times.
• Sex—The members of the DAPC are mostly men. To be precise, there are 11 men and 4 women. The gender roles are not quite traditional or conventional though. The type of woman that a job like this attracts is not what one might expect. The gender roles are a bit blurred and even though the numbers are skewed in the favor of the men, the women have no difficulty having their viewpoint heard. This can be a very interesting dynamic because the expectations of the men in the group about female personality and demeanor is rooted in other more traditional female roles similar to those modeled for them by their spouses and mothers.
• Age—There is some diversity in the age distribution of the DAPC. It is the goal of the committee to include varied...