Understanding the Overt & Covert Dynamics That Support Effective Work

Course Number
DYNM 651 001
Course Code
Course Key
Non-DYNM students must complete a course permit request: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/dynamics/course-permit
Primary Program
Course Note
DYNM Categories: DE, A; DYNM Concentrations: LMC, OC
Course Description
Although groups and teams are often lauded as the mechanisms that provide the competitive edge for organizations in today's challenging economic environment, there is often little attention paid to the deeper social and psychological currents influencing group and team dynamics. Organizational leaders and facilitators frequently lack an in-depth understanding of how work groups, multifunctional teams, and cross-national executive groups develop, operate, accomplish their goals--or not--and end. Team members often struggle to make meaning of the myriad spoken, as well as unexpressed, factors influencing the process and outcomes of the groups of which they are a part. This course, by emphasizing both theory and practice, provides students with a thorough grounding in the ways groups and teams develop and learn. The class will also examine approaches to building group and team competencies related to effective communication, conflict-resolution, and solving complex strategic problems as well as ways to manage the range of intentional and more hidden dynamics that both support and challenge high performance. The course is designed to include seven 3-hour classroom meetings across the semester and two extended sessions that will afford students the opportunity to explore various theoretical frameworks. In addition to drawing on the extensive literature and research in group dynamics and team building, the class will rely on experiential methods to help students develop keener understanding and insight into the ways in which their own leadership and followership dynamics, as well as the dynamics of the group-as-a-whole, influence their team's ability to accomplish its tasks.
Subject Area Vocab