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Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9010005

Interaction Diagrams: Development of a Method for Observing Group Interactions

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, 20 Kirkwood Ave, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
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Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract

Recording of team meeting’s processes with electronic devices can be problematic because of the invasiveness of the process: issues with privacy; interpretation difficulty with noise or quiet speech; and distortion of participants’ behaviour. There is a need for less intrusive methods. We developed the interaction diagram method by extending the directed graph nature of sociograms to capture the time sequence of events, including the identification of the person, communication behaviour, and duration of interactions. The method was tested on engineering team meetings. Data processing by quantitative and qualitative analysis is shown to be feasible. Several team roles were observed in the engineering context: Initiator; Passive collector; Explorer; Information provider; Facilitator; Arbitrator; Representative; Gatekeeper; Connector; and Outsider. The work provides a graphical representation of the record of the interaction flow during meetings. It does this without needing video recording. It is also an efficient method, as it does not require subsequent transcription or coding. It provides a procedure to quickly analyse communication situations, identify group roles, and compare group activity at different meetings. View Full-Text
Keywords: team communication; engineering communication; observation; group interactions; boundary object; artifact; team roles; mixed methods; written notes; sociograms team communication; engineering communication; observation; group interactions; boundary object; artifact; team roles; mixed methods; written notes; sociograms
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Nestsiarovich, K.; Pons, D. Interaction Diagrams: Development of a Method for Observing Group Interactions. Behav. Sci. 2019, 9, 5.

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