Group Size - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Sociology

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 19 pages of information about Group Size.
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Goal-Oriented Groups

As Steiner (1972) notes, purposes for which groups are formed can vary on a continuum from task performance at one extreme (e.g., solving a problem, creating some product) to sociability at the other (e.g., simply enjoying one another's company). Groups whose purpose is primarily sociability have been little studied. Assuming that sociability is defined by spontaneous, reciprocal conversation, enjoyment should be highest in groups with no more than five or six members, the largest group size in which this kind of interaction occurs easily. This rule may be qualified in larger groups, however, if the situation is arranged so that people interact in smaller subgroups.

Most experimental research has focused on groups that are more task oriented. Here the most consequential feature is the nature of the task, or task structure. The first major program studying task-oriented groups experimentally was conducted by Bales and associates...

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This section contains 5,450 words
(approx. 19 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Group Size Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Sociology
Group Size from Encyclopedia of Sociology. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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