For a speech class, main topic is interpersonal communication and problem solving.

Essay by Caprice2004University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2004

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Description: Excellent paper, although too short for an essay, it is an excellent assignment for a regular paper. The question at the beginning gives you an idea what the paper may best be used for.

1) On what kinds of problems do small groups tend to surpass even expert individuals as problem solvers? Why?

In the vocabulary used in the class a small group would solve a multi-faceted problem easier. A group allows you to draw on the expertise of many instead of just one person. However "problem solving" may not be a proper word to describe the work a small group would do. I would consider "Completing a task" a more proper description of the goal.

The types of problems small groups are better at solving include problems with several solutions. Any of these solutions would be just as good as the other. Small groups also prevail in problem situations where one person cannot have all the information needed to begin solving the problem.

The book's example of a college creating public television station is an excellent example of a small group drawing on expertise and being able to accomplish multiple "mini-goals" to complete the task. If just one person had taken on this task the delays in his or her research of the proper format and legal creation of the station could have delayed the project months. The book states it could outweigh the costs in time but unless the group is not working well together it could only seemingly move the project along quicker. However it is important to remember cohesiveness is vital in a small group taking on such a large project as this. One member out of the loop or ill feelings among the members can create unnecessary delays.

A small group would also work...