The Group Analysis Paper: The Band, The Company, the Organization The purpose o
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The Group Analysis Paper: The Band, The Company, the Organization
The purpose of this assignment is for you to be able to apply group theories from our text to real life scenarios. We can see that what happens for us in our groups/teams, is challenging for the most experienced (company CEOs, Band members, Community Organizers)
It is often easiest to think of smaller organizations – a band, for instance. There is much research on dynamics of bands if you choose the right one. Alternately, you may choose a community based organization, or a larger company. Try to apply the same elements of small group communication.
Remember, this is not just a “Behind The Music” tell-all; it’s an analysis of group behavior, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with this. You will be evaluated according to how well you all are able to explain and illustrate group communication concepts within the group of your choice.
Paper requirements for a C:
This assignment should be typed, double-spaced, 12 point- font, MLA citations/format.
Minimum of 3 pages (no more than 6 pages) & turned in on the day listed in the syllabus.
Be certain to cite your sources in-text of your essay (a minimum of 2 external credible sources required- MLA or APA formats accepted).
Cite both textbook and external source using bold or italics.
Use our book to support group concepts.
Give examples of the relevant ideas you’re covering to back up your claims.
You will be evaluated on several things:
Does your analysis show a deep understanding of the concepts?
Do you explain all concepts in their entirety?
Do the examples illustrate the concept in creative and clear fashion? Is your analysis well researched as demonstrated by citation of sources & well organized?
Is the paper written at a college level with minimal errors?
A “B” paper will go above and beyond minimums above. It will use ideas from the text rather than mere definitions. It will utilize strong external sources. It will cover several ideas below, rather than being limited in scope.
An “A” paper will be a minimum of 5 pages. It will draw extensively on the research available – using more than the minimum # of sources. It will connect the group experience thoughtfully to Coms. 16 textbook and cite clearly.
This assignment is an adaptation of one originally created by Prof. Char Morrison (Cabrillo College).
You will want to analyze the following ideas by applying them to a group.
I don’t expect you to cover every single one of these – just the concepts you feel are most relevant to the group you choose.
Influence of size – How does a new member or even a member’s new love interest impact the rest of the group? What happens when a member dies or exits?
Adaptability to change – How does the rate, degree, and desirability of change within the group affect their dynamic? Consider the impact of sudden fame, oodles of cash, etc.
Group Synergy – Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Some groups are pure magic when they’re together, then they split up and the various members’ solo careers don’t achieve the same success. Some teams, like the Olympics “Dream Team” are stars on their own, but don’t ‘play well’ with others. Why?
Leadership – Who is the leader of the group? Is there one? How does that get decided? What sort of leadership style is exhibited?
Conformity – How did members conform to group norms? Or did they? Were they ‘forced to’? How did the rest of the group deal with deviant members?
Interconnectedness – How do the actions of one member ripple through the rest of the group? What effect does the actions of one have on the experience of the others?
Conflict – Plenty to talk about here! What sorts of conflicts arose? Why? How did the group attempt to deal with that conflict? Where did they go wrong?
Roles – Who plays what role within the group? Do those roles change? Go beyond musical instruments or job titles.
Norms – What sorts of norms define the group? What norms did they create for themselves? How were norms imposed? How did these norms affect the overall group mentality?
Decision-making – How did the group make decisions? Consensus? Majority Rule? Did one person simply impose their will on the others? Did the way they made decisions end up being a factor in their demise? Explain.
Problem-Solving – How did the group go about trying to solve their issues?
Power – Who had power in the group? How did they wield it? Did other members resist or defy that power? How? Did the power dynamics change over time?
And of course, you’ll want to talk about how and why they ended. What went wrong? Could it have been avoided? What sort of fall-out resulted from their break-up?
Ideas of some well-known organizations to analyze:
Corporations (keep it simple- remember that this is about groups): UBER, WeWork, Facebook (interesting start!), Enron, Blockbuster, GM, Tower Records, The San Francisco 49ers (or any sports team), etc., a TV show (remember your focus)
Organizations: The Women’s March, the Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, any political campaign (again, focus on the people).
You’re free to choose whomever you want, (as long they’re a well-known group) but some of the juicier band stories in history can be found among the following groups.
The Beatles – probably the most epic break-up ever documented. Bitter fights, interloping, controlling girlfriends (hello again, Yoko!), drugs, business deals gone wrong, the dreaded “creative differences”…all of the things.
N.W.A. – Ugly! Slug-fest via the press, lawyers…the whole shabang.
The Supremes – The movie “Dreamgirls” deals with their story.
Cream – Back in the day, Cream was THE supergroup.
Oasis – Fightin’ brothers taken to a whole new level. Sibling rivalry totally run amok.
Metallica – They even made a spectacular documentary about all their problems called “Some Kind of Monster” – worth seeing even if you don’t like Metallica. The band is pretty embarrassed about that movie now, but it’s truly something to see!
Pink Floyd – A LEGENDARY mess – years of acrimony, bad blood, guilt over Syd Barrett’s acid breakdown, and of course, lawsuits. You know it’s bad when you’re suing each other over the rights to an inflatable pig. Bonus? Actual footage of the band discussing their completely dysfunctional communication.
Led Zeppelin – Drugs, groupies, and one dead drummer – all very, very Spinal Tap! And the remaining members STILL have issues with each other 30 years later.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Billy Corgan was a difficult front man to say the least.
Fleetwood Mac – Oh, what a saga, even in all their incarnations!
Mayhem – A Norwegian death metal band. Now THERE’s a story! This one takes the cake, IMO.
The Kinks – More fightin’ brothers! Plus a best friend who is caught up in the mix.
The Beach Boys – They seemed so wholesome! But trust me, they weren’t.
Aerosmith – They’re on – they’re off, they hate each other – all is forgiven. It was like that for years. In fact, it’s still ongoing!
The Doors – It wasn’t just Jim Morrison’s demise that did it – oh, there’s so much more!
Rage Against the Machine – Lots of raging and then, after awhile, they’re baaaaack!!
The Talking Heads – The front man goes solo, or does he? The rest of the band members are apparently the last to know!
The Clash – Heroin, power struggles, big-time feuds – it’s all the ingredients of a full-scale implosion and they do not disappoint.
Blondie – What happens when the singer gets more famous than everybody else in the band?
The Pogues – Another out-of-control front man.
The Velvet Underground – By the last album, only one original member remained. That oughtta tell you something!
The Band – Power issues, royalty complaints, addiction, ugly finger-pointing, all the usual stuff.
The Sex Pistols – An absolutely CLASSIC implosion- would we expect anything less?
The Police – Fistfights, name-calling, professional jealousies, bitter rivalries, and a pretty mellow guitarist who is powerless to stop Sting and Stewart Copeland (the drummer).
The Dead Kennedys – lawyers, accusations of “selling out,” and loss of punk cred –a very serious matter, at least for them!
The Mamas and Papas – Quite the 60’s soap opera! Marriages, affairs, hostile fights…
Husker Du – Their manager’s suicide was said to be brought on, in part, by the stress of trying to keep the band members from throttling each other.
Boston – Legal problems, perfectionism, a despotic leader, eventually it all takes its toll.
The Eagles – Ginormous egos, big-time feuds, etc, all eventually prevent members from physically occupying the same space. That last part is actually true!
The Pixies – Bad blood, public disputes, instruments thrown at each other while onstage. Oh dear.
Black Sabbath – They’re on, they’re off, they’re on, oh geez, who can tell anymore?
Guns-n-Roses – Lots of personnel changes, and well, Axl Rose. ‘Nuff said.
N’Sync – Cheesy boy band blues, although you’d think they’d have to know they were never going to keep Justin Timberlake around for long.
Blink 182 – Rumors of their breakup before their actual bust-up sure didn’t help any.
The Smiths – Morrissey was known to be difficult. Bring on the insults, the disputes over writing differences and then the lawyers.
Van Halen – The David Lee Roth version is epic, although Sammy Hagar was no picnic either. Neither was Eddie Van Halen.
Velvet Revolver – Theoretically now “on hiatus,” it’s clear that dealing with Scott Weiland was not easy.
Creed – The lead singer claimed to be a devoted Christian, so why were there so many drug issues, car accidents, groupie flings, etc, going on?
Faith No More – Rumors abounded about their imminent break-up and then, poof, it was over.
Nirvana – Kurt Cobain’s suicide was the capper, but things were never easy from the beginning with him. And don’t forget Courtney Love!
Jane’s Addiction – Onstage fisticuffs, and not one breakup, but two! Because it was so much fun the first time.
Spandau Ballet – Maybe it was their bad hair that did them in.
The Black Crowes – More fightin’ brothers – it’s an epidemic!
Alice in Chains – Although never “officially” disbanding, this group has had plenty of addiction problems that have led to extremely long periods of “inactivity.”
The Yardbirds – The only band to have the “Holy Trinity” of British guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page pass their way and yet they still couldn’t get it together.
Pavement – You know it’s bad when your lead singer sits on the tour bus, throws a coat over his head, refuses to speak to anyone, and refers to himself as “The Little Bitch.”
Blur – Lots of intra-group resentments, to the point where a journalist who was interviewing them remarked that they all seemed to be on the verge of a “nervous break-up.” And what do you know? They were.
The Libertines – Pete Doherty all on his own is quite something, but toss in an amazingly enmeshed relationship with his bandmate/best friend and you have a recipe for one hot mess.
TLC – Certainly the untimely death of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes spelled the end for this group, but even before that terrible event, they had their share of problems.
Destiny’s Child – Think of a more up-to-date version of the Supremes and you’re pretty much there. Beyonce’s rise created all sorts of friction with the other members of the group.
Motley Crue – They started as best friends, but after addiction, sobriety, addiction again, near death experiences, attempts at solo careers, and thousands of tattoos…they can’t stand each other.