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COM 597, Summer 2015 – Reading Guide Questions for
June 1

For Wilson and Putnam (1990):

1. What’s their complaint with the way conflict literature has traditionally used the word “goal?”  How do they contrast it with the way “goal” is used by communication scholars (bottom of p. 375-top of p. 376)?

2. What do they mean, in the first full paragraph of p. 376, by “bounded rationality?”  (Those of you who’ve had COM 324 should be able to answer this.)  What’s the link between bounded rationality and multiple goals?

3. Also on p. 376, what makes a goal an “interaction goal?”

4. What do they mean by global, regional, and local goals (pp.379-381)?

5. What’s their negotiation-oriented definition of instrumental goals (p. 381)?

6. How are instrumental goals different in distributive v. integrative bargaining (pp. 381-382)?

7. How do they define relational goals (p. 384)?

8. What are the interactional practices they identify as used toward establishing greater power?  Which have you done or seen in your workplace?

9. What is the trust-related tension that is called the “quintessential illustration of interdependence?”  How does this tension manifest itself where you work?  What interactional practices do they suggest to deal with this tension (p. 386)?

10. How do they define identity goals (p. 387)?

11. What interactional practices do they identify that people engage in to enhance their own identity goals?  To enhance others identity goals?  To impair others identity goals (pp. 387-388)?

12.  Put their four arguments for why interaction goals are dynamic into your own words.  What examples do they offer for each?  What examples for each have you seen in your workplace (pp. 389-390)?

13.  How do they suggest issue reframing happens (pp. 390-391)?

14.  What are the three types of goal conflict they identify?  How have each of these manifested themselves where you work (pp. 392-393)?   For those of you who’ve had grad or undergrad courses in interpersonal communication or personal relationships: What similarities do you see between these and relational dialectics?

15. How could acting in furtherance of one type of goal (e.g., identity) help you attain another type of goal (e.g., instrumental)?

16.  What are the big takeaways of this article for you?

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