Go to Assignments | Go to Syllabus  | Go to Course Schedule | Go to Irwin's Main Page | E-Mail Irwin

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Department of Communication
COM 323 – Business and Professional Communication – Summer Session I 2003
Instructor: Irwin Mallin

Paper on Group/Team Communication
Due at the start of class on Tuesday, June 17



In his essay, Why Teams Don’t Work, J. Richard Hackman offers six requisites for successful teams, which he frames negatively (as “mistakes”) in explaining each of them on pages 248-256, and then frames positively (as requisites) in the list on page 256.  This paper is your opportunity to apply Hackman’s framework to a group or team of which you’ve been part at work or school.  Think of a particular task that had to be accomplished by a group or team, preferably one in which your experience was frustrating and/or unsuccessful.


The introduction of your paper should briefly explain what the group/team is, what its purpose/goal is, who it consists of, your role in the group, and the task you had to accomplish in this instance.

In the body of your paper, evaluate your group or team in terms of whichever three of Hackman’s six requisites you think are most relevant to the group or team.  For each of the three requisites you choose, evaluate how closely your group or team followed Hackman’s advice.*  For each requisite, if you think it was followed closely, do you think that was to the group/team’s benefit?  Why or why not?  For each of the three requisites you choose, if you think it was not followed relatively closely, do you think that was to the group/team’s detriment?  Why or why not?

The conclusion of your paper should make an overall assessment as to whether Hackman’s framework would be appropriate in this case, providing the reasons for your assessment.

*Framed positively (as a requisite), not framed negatively (as a mistake)



Generalizations will not lead to good papers. Support any claim you make with a specific example from your interaction. When I read the paper, I should be able to "see" the communication interaction to which you're referring. At the same time, though . . .

Rambling will not lead to good papers either.  The detail you provide should be what is necessary to provide evidence to back up your claims and no more.

The best papers will also be grammatically correct, and free of spelling and punctuation errors.

The essay should be between three and five pages in length.  It should be typed (double spaced, margins of 1" all around, font no larger than 12).  It should also be stapled.

Hints for success for this paper:

•Make sure you do everything called for in these directions.
•Don't wait until the last minute to do this!  Take your time, and use the services of  the Writing Center in Kettler 234 if you need to.
•You are invited to show me a draft or discuss potential paper topics in office hours or by appointment.


Go to Assignments | Go to Syllabus  | Go to Course Schedule | Go to Irwin's Main Page | E-Mail Irwin

Copyright © 2001-2003 Irwin Mallin
Last Updated: 9 June 2003
URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/mallini/323groupasmt.html