An Approach to Comparing External and Internal Methods for Analyzing Group Dynamic
Beginning with the question, can a multimethodology explore the nature of group work from both the inside out (group participant self-analysis) and the outside in (facilitator observed analysis), this study presents the results of a statistical analysis comparing 2 different approaches to assessing group function: SYMLOG (A SYstem for the Mul- tiple Level Observation of Groups) and BECM (Being, Engaging, Contextualizing and Managing). SYMLOG is a quantitative internal assessment of group function made by members of the group, whereas BECM is a qualitative external assessment made by an outsider observing the groups. Together, it is argued, they provide a unique, triangu- lated assessment of the group dynamic. By using a “best subsets” linear regression technique it was found that some of the 26 characteristics of SYMLOG are related to BECM scoring (adjusted R2 0.82). This article discusses the reasons for this and the repercussions for such blending of approaches to understanding group dynamic. The article ends by discussing the relative advantages and disadvantages of the 2 ap- proaches and potential for further hybridizing of them in blended group dynamic approaches.
Bell, S. and Morse, S. 2013. An Approach to Comparing External and Internal Methods for Analyzing Group Dynamic. Group Dynamics: theory, research and practice. 17, 4, 281 – 298.