Group Interactions and time: Using Sequential Analysis to Study Group Dynamics in Project Meetings

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Quera, V., Burba, M. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

Video-recorded observations of group interactions present a unique challenge for group researchers. This article presents methodological advice on how to perform sequential analysis when collecting observational timed-event data of group discussions. Sequential analyses is a statistical method that examines dynamic behavioral sequences in group interactions. To exemplify the method, the authors present data from 1 industry project team that was video-taped during 24 consecutive meetings. Meeting behaviors were coded into different categories (e.g., procedural and action-oriented communication). They compared sequential behavioral patterns in meetings from the first and second half of the project and provided guidelines on the topic of interrater reliability and reported a detailed psychometric analysis of the observational instrument. Overall, the authors showed that positive procedural communication can inhibit dysfunctional communication patterns in group meetings. Their results also show that communication patterns of negative action-orientation only appeared in the second half of the project. This study extends previous group research on microsequential patterns with respect to larger scale macrotemporal group dynamics. Overall, they provided practical suggestions for researchers who aim to run observational research and aim to look for sequential dynamics in video-recorded team interactions.
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