Chapter 17

Chapter Seventeen Objectives: Use of Groups in Policy, Advocacy, Management and Community Practice

Click here to download PowerPoint slides for this chapter.

Knowledge (Declarative Knowledge)

By the end of this chapter you should possess declarative knowledge about:
  1. The historical roots of group method in policy, advocacy, management, and     community practice
  2. The role of groups in policy, advocacy, management and community practice
  3. The dynamics of social groups; how they work (cause-effect)
  4. Moral reasoning (moral philosophy) as a tool used to evaluate the desired end-goals of and  the behavior of social groups
  5. The major theories borrowed from sociology that inform practice with non-clinical      groups in macro practice: (a) structure-functional theory, (b) symbolic interaction      theory, (c) power- conflict theory, (d) social exchange theory and (e) theories of      management
  6. The major perspectives from moral philosophy that provide normative guidance for        evaluating the dynamics of social groups
  7. Socio-political thought and its impact on governance and group deliberation  
  8. The differentiation of within and between group dynamics
  9. The use of small and large groups in social action (reform and societal change) to       achieve social justice
  10. The organization as a group entity with its own dynamics
  11. The typology of groups in management practice
  12. The dynamics of the deliberative meeting
  13. The difference between power and governance; collective governance
  14. The difference between discourse and the illusion of it
  15. Coverdale as model of practice that informs the use of groups to perform work within organizations
  16. The various typologies that conceptualize the construct of community
  17. The five functions of communities
  18. The bond between the individual and the community and between subgroups and the      community as a whole; The public square versus individual and minority rights
  19. The difference between majoritarianism and the rights of minorities; constitutional      democracy
  20. The role of democracy in values exploration
  21. Tavistock and sensitivity training as tools for understanding and managing the      Inter-group dynamics of social groups
  22. Organizing campaigns; educational, election, fund raising and issue campaigns
  23. The techniques of direct action organizing
  24. The differentiation of community practice from community mental health practice

Skills (Application of Knowledge- Procedural and Tacit Knowing)

By the end of this chapter you should demonstrate beginning competency in managing groups in policy, advocacy, management, and community practice by being able to:
  1. Identify the dynamics of the social groups of which you are member.
  3. Analyze power
  4. Convene and/or participate in deliberative meetings
  5. Take responsibility for the process and outcome of the groups of which you are a     member
  6. Note: Further skill development  on the use of groups in macro practice requires    additional course work and placement in a  policy, advocacy, management or    community practice setting under supervision.


  1. Appreciate that all social workers, regardless of specialization, will participate in groups throughout their career
  2. Honor the obligation all social workers have to intervene in negative group dynamics i.e. individual responsibility for collective group processes and outcome
  3. Respect dissent as essential to discourse, deliberation and participatory democracy
  4. Respect the cardinal principles of democracy: deliberation, non-repression and     nondiscrimination
  5. Appreciate the constructive and destructive group forces that operate in policy,    advocacy, management and community practice
  6. Honor both the common good and the rights of the individual/minority
  7. Appreciate Etizioni"s stance on moral scrutiny and overarching moral principles    when determining the merit of a group"s (community) values
  8. Value honesty, tolerance, and nonviolence
  9. Appreciate the need to subject the dynamics of social groups to moral scrutiny

Website Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy
Please send comments or suggestions about this Website to