Book Review: Research Methods for Studying Groups and Teams

research_methods_for_studying_groups_and_teamsHollingshead, A. B,. & Poole, M. S. (Eds.). (2012). Research Methods for Studying Groups and Teams: A Guide to Approaches, Tools, and Technologies. New York, NY: Routledge.

Read the review by Lisa Slattery Walker of UNC Charlotte, published in the Small Group Research February 2013 issue.

Research Methods for Studying Groups and Teams: A Guide to Approaches, Tools, and Technologies, edited by Andrea B. Hollingshead and Marshall Scott Poole, is intended as a companion book to their earlier volume, Theories of Small Groups: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2005). As such, the current book focuses on the technical side of research on small groups and teams—choice of methods, do’s and don’ts from the field, software packages, and other practical questions—rather than the theoretical or substantive motivation for doing research. In fact, the editors quite SGR_72ppiRGB_150pixwexplicitly state that they are not trying to convince the reader to conduct research on groups, nor are they telling scholars what topics are currently important or significant. Rather, the intent is to provide readers who are already convinced of the worth of research on groups, the tools they need to conduct it, or perhaps to conduct it more effectively. Chapters are meant to be presented chronologically through the research process rather than by type of method (e.g., experiments). As stated in the introduction, “The chapters of this volume are ordered chronologically to parallel the way in which a typical group research project unfolds.” I found this idea intriguing, although it was not entirely clear to me that the chapters did follow that schema. For instance, the chapter on recruiting comes more than halfway through the volume.

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