A new article published in Small Group Research by Mary J. Waller, Golchehreh Sohrab, and Bernard W. Ma of York University explains how showing brief film excerpts in class can be an effective way to teach group dynamics to management students:
In our opinion, the ability to quickly recognize group behavior in situ, understand how that behavior maps onto fundamental group processes, and then take appropriate action all represent critical skills for students of group dynamics. However, discussion of the development of such skills is missing from the group dynamics textbooks we reviewed … as well as from textbooks on organizational behavior …. We suggest that the recognition of group behavior in dynamic organizational settings is a specific ability that may be developed through the use of film as a pedagogical tool. In effect, this ability rests on the concept of thin slicing group behaviors—that is, the ability to recognize and correctly identify behaviors based only on a thin slice of interaction …. Existing research provides evidence that individuals trained to recognize specific human behaviors, such as those involved in negotiations, can accurately do so using only very brief thin-sliced examples of real behavior …. In this article, we suggest ways in which using multiple brief excerpts from films in rapid sequence can help students develop quick and accurate real-time recognition of group behaviors.
Read the article, “Beyond 12 Angry Men: Thin-Slicing Film to Illustrate Group Dynamics,” in the Small Group Research OnlineFirst section.