How to Observe Your Group, 4e
Dimock Series on Groups

Hedley Dimock, Raye Kass    

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-55322-137-1 (2007)
98 pages, 140 g, 6 X 9, $12.00 (US$12.00)

How to Observe Your Group, 4e highlights the most useful strategies for group development and presents the appropriate procedures for observing them. In this edition, a comprehensive overview of group dynamics as well as a unit on adjusting theory for observing different types of groups has been included. In addition to this, there is an improved discussion of the difficulty of observing group conflict. Notable additions include; seniors with hearing problems, immigrant groups with language barriers and special needs persons.

This book is adaptable for courses in many different subject areas including, management, health, social services and education. As accountability increasingly becomes a requirement in many corporate and human services organizations, How to Observe, 4e provides the insight and tools needed to develop a program method to achieve organizational goals effectively.

Resources such as guides, checklists, charts and outlines to aid observations are included to enhance effective observation.

Key Features

This text is designed for instructors from different fields and expertise to integrate into their courses. Users can easily adjust the structure and content based on their specific program needs. Courses in management and health services will find that principles such as goal setting, decision making and conflict management are more effectively learned with the how to observe approach.

New to this edition
Cultural/Special groups — This edition acknowledges that the workplace is constantly evolving. New discussions have been designed to highlight the importance of adjusting observation techniques based on cultural norms, values and expectations. Observational tools have also been adjusted to acknowledge the unique dynamics of persons with special needs and seniors in the work place.

Table of Contents   top


PART ONE Some Ways of Looking at Group Development

  • The Role of Theory in Group Observation
  • Observing Personal Needs
  • Viewpoint I — Developmental Areas
  • Viewpoint II — Member Roles
  • Viewpoint III — Interpersonal Relations
  • Viewpoint IV — Work and Emotion
  • Viewpoint V — TORI and Trust Formation
  • Viewpoint VI — The Forming-Storming Model of Group Development
  • Viewpoint VII — Lacoursiere’s Life Cycle in Groups
  • Endings
  • Observing Group Conflict
  • Male-Female Roles in Group Development
  • Scapegoating the Assistant Designated Leader
  • Adjusting Theory Use for Observations

PART TWO How to Observe Group Behaviour

  • So You Are a New Member in a Group
  • Observation Guide — Developmental Areas
  • Other Observation Areas
  • Group Records
  • Reporting Observations to Your Group
  • Summary Comments.

Observation Tools

  • Behaviour Frequency Observation Guide
  • Group Observation Guide
  • Roles of Group Members — Definition Sheet
  • Roles of Group Members
  • Survey of Group Development
  • Survey of Group Activity.


Instructor Resources   top

Related Resources   top

Online Course:

About the Author   top

Dr. Hedley Dimock is the Director of the Centre for Human Resource Development, an independent consulting and research organization in Guelph, Ontario. He has been on the faculty of several universities, including McGill, Toronto, Concordia and Guelph. Prior to his university work, he was heavily involved in recreational, educational, health service and community work settings. His consulting work with over 400 organizations has taken him to all provinces in Canada. He has published extensively in both professional and popular magazines, and five of his ten books have been published in Japan.

Dr. Raye Kass is an associate professor of applied human sciences and a program director of the Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. She has led over 1,000 workshops in leadership training, communication skills, team building, problem solving and conflict management throughout the world — in the U.S., Europe and Asia with special programs in Lausanne, London, Manila, Moscow, Singapore, Strasbourg and Toulouse. She is the author of the book Theories of Small Group Development, now in the 4th edition.

Dr. Kass was Principal Investigator on two space simulation missions: the 1994 CAPSULS mission held in Canada; and the 240-day space simulation SFINCSS held in Russia in 1999-2000. Both these projects examined the psychological problems of living and working in an orbiting space station with an international multicultural crew. The project involved providing team building and team talk sessions that would equip crew to deal with problems arising from long-term isolation in close quarters. Dr. Kass is currently involved in a project with NASA-Ames Research Centre, which examines the effectiveness of various training approaches to counteract team dysfunction among multi-cultural and gender-mixed teams. Results from this study will serve as a test bed for similar activities to be performed for the New International Space Station.