Watch a prime time television show (or rerun) in which the episode focuses on a group of
people who are talking to each other in formal or informal meetings as the context for the show.
You may choose from the following: The Office, Law & Order, the Shield, 24, The Unit, or reruns
of shows such as Friends, Seinfeld, or Everyone Loves Raymond. If you would like to use a
different show, send a message to your instructor to get approval for your choice. Take notes
while you watch the show so that you can notice and recall who played group task roles, group
maintenance roles, and any self-centered roles. Your notes in Part I should be integrated into
your answers to the assignment questions in Part II.
Note: This assignment is not referring to communication that occurs because of people’s
personalities or job skills. Please refer to Figure 9.1 in your textbook for specific group
If the show you have selected does not give you an opportunity to observe a small group
working together in the particular episode you have chosen, please choose another episode or
show. It will be difficult for you to answer the questions well if the show does not match the
purpose of this assignment. However, you can discuss poor examples of group communication
roles as well as good examples and show your learning. You do not have to find only good
examples of group communication roles. If you cannot find a show with a group of people who
are very clearly in a small group communication situation, then you may need to discuss a real-
life group of people who are communicating with each other in a small group situation.
Read the following questions. Write the answers to the questions, review your work, and submit
your answers. Integrate the key concepts and key terms from this lesson into your answers.
The answer to each question should be approximately 6 to 10 sentences in length. You should
write your responses in complete sentences free of spelling and grammatical errors. Please
type your answers in a Word document and then paste your answers below each question in
the space provided.
Before completing this assignment, review the Grading Rubric.
1 List the television show that you watched. Use the communication task roles Chapter 9
and 10 discuss to describe two specific characters and the communication task role(s)
they played. How did these roles affect the group communication? Give specific
2 Describe each maintenance role in your own words, and explain which were present in
the television show you watched. Which maintenance roles have you commonly seen
happen in your everyday life?
3 Briefly describe a "self-centered role." How do you think self-centered roles detract the
group from its goals? Give specific examples.
4 Using the functional approach to leadership, analyze the leader of the group from the
television show you watched. Did this leader perform mostly task functions or process
functions? How did the person’s leadership affect the communication of the group? Give
specific examples and incorporate concepts from the textbook.
5 Of the variables that affect climate (found on page 267), which was the most prevalent in
the group communication that you observed?