Group Team Dynamics: Understanding the Overt and Covert Dynamics That Support Effective Work

Course Details

DYNM 651: Group Team Dynamics: Understanding the Overt and Covert Dynamics That Support Effective Work

Program Information

This is a Graduate course that satisfies the following requirements:

DYNM 651 will meet on the following special schedule:

  • Friday, January 14 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Friday, January 21 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, January 29 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday, February 11 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Friday, February 18 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Friday, March 4 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Friday, March 11 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, March 12 - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday, March 25 - 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Course Information

Although groups and teams are often lauded as the mechanisms that provide the competitive edge for organizations in today’s challenging economic environment, there is often little attention paid to the deeper social and psychological currents influencing group and team dynamics. Organizational leaders and facilitators frequently lack an in-depth understanding of how work groups, multifunctional teams, and cross-national executive groups develop, operate, accomplish their goals - or not - and end. Team members often struggle to make meaning of the myriad spoken, as well as unexpressed, factors influencing the process and outcomes of the groups of which they are a part.

This course, by emphasizing both theory and practice, provides students with a thorough grounding in the ways groups and teams develop and learn. The class will also examine approaches to building group and team competencies related to effective communication, conflict-resolution, and solving complex strategic problems as well as ways to manage the range of intentional and more hidden dynamics that both support and challenge high performance.

The course is designed to include seven 3-hour classroom meetings across the semester and two Saturday sessions that will afford students the opportunity to explore various theoretical frameworks. In addition to drawing on the extensive literature and research in group dynamics and team building, the class will rely on experiential methods to help students develop keener understanding and insight into the ways in which their own leadership and followership dynamics, as well as the dynamics of the group-as-a-whole, influence their team’s ability to accomplish its tasks.

  1. To explore current team and group dynamic development theories and their application to effective leadership and followership
  2. To understand in depth the impact of overt and covert forces on the patterns of behavior which emerge in groups and teams - e.g., conflict; team problem solving; decision-making; communications; etc.
  3. To gain an understanding of the roles individuals take on as well as the multiple group memberships they bring to the team
  4. To explore the concepts of "self as instrument" and the power of "parallel process" as a vehicle to becoming more effective team leaders, facilitators, or members
  5. To develop a broad repertoire of techniques which will enable students to diagnose and/or intervene in a group and/or team’s work
  6. To learn the differences between the interpersonal, group and organizational levels and the implications for working with or intervening in groups and/or teams


Please see the course bulkpack.