Date of Award

Summer 1997

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Simmons, Karl B.

Second Advisor

Scotton, James

Third Advisor

Griffin, Robert J.


The motivation for this study stemmed from my interest in small group communication classes both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student. Having participated in more small group projects than I care to remember, and having grown to admire and respect the professors who held the projects together for us, I began to realize that the wisdom and lectures presented to us must hold some truths for group processes. However, as the classes became more repetitive, and the group processes more standardized, my interests in the importance of the standard agenda were piqued. I began to question the necessity of reiterating the agenda process and of adhering so closely to such a systematized format. In following such agendas, the groups in which I participated all seemed to contain members who could be classified as "quiet," "loud-mouthed," "social," "reclusive," and any number of other adjectives. I then speculated as to whether this difference in the way people communicated within a small group context, coupled with the rigidity of the standard agenda would be benefits or deterrents to the productivity of the group, as a whole, and to the individual members' satisfaction of the group process. With these reflections in mind, this thesis sought to answer my questions.