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OEL 525: Group Process and Team Dynamics (Graduate Level)

Course Description

This course will expose students to the social and psychological effects of group and team dynamics on an organization’s ability to stay competitive in a global environment. Students will have an opportunity to explore various concepts associated with the formation of groups (inter-and intra-group relations) and other methods for measuring and improving group effectiveness. Emphasis will be placed on theory and practice related to the various types of leadership teams, team cohesiveness, group communication, conflict resolution and other concepts related to group processes and team dynamics.

Prerequisite

  • OEL 501: Learning Community

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the social and psychological effects of group and team dynamics on an organization performance.
  2. Examine the various aspects of group formation (inter-and intra-group relations) and methods for measuring and improving group effectiveness.
  3. Apply theory and practice as an approach for developing an effective team.
  4. Apply various group models to specific group conditions/situations.
  5. Examine the communication challenges leading virtual teams compared to a traditional on-site team.
  6. Analyze various leadership types and its influences on the effectiveness of the team.
  7. Develop a personal philosophy of working with individuals in a group that respects human diversity.

Applicable Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

1. Assess and design learning communities in organizations.
2. Evaluate and formulate an individual leadership style.
3. Develop professional communication skills.
4. Recommend how one develops effective groups.
5. Construct organizational leadership strategies
8. Create strategies to support intercultural/global inter-relationships.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Individual Self-Assessment Reflection Journal

32%

Case Study Analysis Discussion Board

33%

Team Research Project

35%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through our online bookstore)

  • Levi, D. (2017). Group Dynamics for Teams. 5th ed. Sage Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1-4833-7834-3

Course Schedule

Week

PLOs

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

1,3,4,5

1,2,3

Weekly Topics:

    • Course Overview
    • Introductions
    • Team Basics
    • Understanding Teams and Team Success


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 1, 2 & Appendix
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Review Course Policies
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Discussion Board
    • Meet and Greet
    • Team Contracts
      • Draft and Feedback due Week 2
      • Final due Week 3
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 1 Survey Attitudes towards teams

2

1,3,4

1,2

Weekly Topics:

    • Stages of team formation
    • Basic team processes such as cooperation, competition


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 3, 4 & 5
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Case Study Team Leader Challenge 4
    • Team Contracts (Draft and Feedback due)
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 5 Survey Team Relationship Focus

3

1,3,4,5

1,2,3,4

Weekly Topics:

    • Communication
    • Managing conflict


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 6 & 7
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Case Study Team Leader Challenge 6
    • Team Contracts (Final due)
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 7 Survey Conflict

4

1-5

1,2,6

Weekly Topics:

  • Power
  • Team Leadership
  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 8 & 10
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Research Project Drafts, Feedback on Outlines
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 10 Survey Leadership Style

5

1,3-5

1-5

Weekly Topics:

    • Decision Making
    • Problem Solving
    • Creativity


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 9, 11 & 12
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Team Feedback: How are we Doing?
  • Reflection Journal
    • Posted Questions on Creativity

6

1,2,4,5,8

1,3,4,7

Weekly Topics:

    • Diversity
    • Culture


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 13 & 14
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Case study Team Leader Challenge 14
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 13 Survey: Attitudes Towards Diversity

7

1,3-5

1,2,5

Weekly Topics:

    • Virtual Teamwork
    • Evaluating and Rewarding Teams
    • Team Building and Training


  • Readings:
    • Group Dynamics - Chapters 15, 16 & 17
    • At least 1 peer-reviewed journal article to support your assignments
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Case study Team Leader Challenge 15
  • Reflection Journal
    • Chapter 16 Individual vs. Team Rewards

8

1-5,8

1-7

Weekly Topics:

    • Team Research Projects
    • Course Evaluations


  • Readings:
    • Review all chapters
  • Read assigned material
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Discussion Board
    • Feedback on Final Research Projects
  • Reflection Journal
    • Team Member Assessment
  • Complete Course Evaluation

Individual Self-Assessment Reflection Journal

Reflection nurtures personal development by cultivating life-long learning skills, revealing understanding, exercising problem solving skills, and acknowledging new knowledge, skills and abilities thereby building confidence. To encourage in-depth reflection and critical thinking, there is a reflection journal due every week. Many weeks you are responding to a self-assessment. Other weeks you are discussing a topic with your team members and then reflecting individually on the survey in conjunction with your team discussion. It is important to combine your reflections with a cognitive analysis of the readings, specialized terms, concepts, theories and other materials presented in the course as well as at least 1 peer-reviewed scholarly resource of your choosing. It is also important to tie the scholarly material to real life examples related to the topic. Reflection Journals should be approximately 1-2 pages, in question/short answer format, using APA style citations and reference list. Reflection journals are due on Sunday by 11:59PM.

Team Research Project

You will choose a case study involving a team to read, analyze and discuss as a team. The case must be approved by the instructor by Week 2. Submit a 7 to 10-page research paper (one per team) sharing your thoughts about the case as it pertains to your choice of the concepts presented in this class. A list of course topics is provided below. Please include a minimum of 5 references including peer-reviewed journals and the textbook.

  • Team formation and stages
  • Norms, Roles, Cohesion and Groupthink
  • Communication
  • Conflict management
  • Problem solving, and decision making processes
  • Creativity
  • Power
  • Leadership
  • Diversity
  • Culture
  • Evaluation and rewards
  • Team building, training and development
  • Decision making
  • Virtual Team Work

The paper is due on Wednesday of Week 8. Please submit the paper as a link to the Week 8 Final Research Project Feedback Discussion Board. Individual students will be required to respond to at least 2 teams/papers with constructive feedback and further discussion of the case by Sunday of Week 8. Your team will be responsible for facilitating the discussion board as it pertains to your paper.

The Team Research Paper will be graded on quality, use of scholarly resources, and presentation. Please refer to the Team Research Paper rubric for details about grading and expectations.

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.