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According to Bollen and Hoyle (1979), cohesion is the degree of attraction members feel toward one another and the team; "it is a feeling of deep loyalty, of esprit de corps, the degree to which each individual has made the team's goal his or her own, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of morale" (as cited in Beebe & Masterson, 2000, p. Though cohesion is rooted in the feelings team mem-bers have for one another as well as a common goal, creating, shaping, and strengthening those feelings relies on the use of effective communication.
Communication scholars have long agreed that group or team cohesion is as much about the relationships created as the task at hand, and success in both fos-ters the development of team cohesion. Without a purpose or a common goal a team will eventually splinter into separate individuals working towards their own personal agendas and not together toward a team goal.
First good and appropriate communication is essential to creating and maintaining cohesion.
Communication leads to the second factor, unity of purpose.
In each of these situations, sets of individuals decide to work collectively to achieve particular goals.
Harrison, Price, and Bell’s study concluded that while homogeneous groups interacted and performed more effectively than heterogeneous groups in the beginning, with time and information, the diverse groups’ performance and processes improved more rapidly and “had grown more effective in identifying problems and generating solutions” .
Overall cohesiveness was strengthened in such cases.
Providing opportunities for the team members to interact socially is necessary to help build trust.
In addition, a safe environment in which the team can deal with conflict is critical to team cohesion.
The findings consistently suggest that “attitudinal similarity [is] associated with higher group cohesiveness.” Diversity also improves communication, reduces personal conflict, attracts friendships, and gives more satisfaction to group members.