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Group  Discussion

Main Topics Guidelines Elements Agenda Doubts Assessment


THE VALUE OF AN AGENDA (applicable to discussions based on case-studies) For any type of formal discussion, there must be an agenda or method for handling business . Without a basic structure for discussions, it is unlikely that a group will conduct the kind of systematic thorough investigation necessary for wise decision making. Wood, Phillips and Pederson in their book on Group Discussion have talked about a standard agenda for a group discussion. It is as follows :

1. Understanding the charge: Why is the group in existence? What is it to do? What form does its output take ? What is to be done with it?

2. Understanding and phrasing the question : What precisely is the group to examine or inquire about? What do the words in question mean? Are all the technical words and issues clear to the members?

3. Fact Finding: What are the symptoms of the problems? What is the cause of the symptoms? What is happening that should not be happening? What is not happening that should be happening? Who is suffering from the situation? How badly ? What will happen if the situation is not remedied? How much the question be modified in light of fact finding?

4. Setting criteria and Limitations: What is possible (as opposed to what is desirable) What are the legal, moral, financial, practical and logistical limits on decision making? What would a solution look like? What would be happening that is not happening now? What will stop happening?

5. Discovering and selecting solutions: What are the alternatives? How does each meet the goals? How do they measure up against the limitations? Which provide more of what is wanted with the least now harm? Which one should be selected? Who is to do what about what, when, and where, with what projected effect and how will it be paid for? What evaluation plan can be measure the effectiveness of the solution?

6. Preparing and presenting the final report: What must be written down? What must be said? When, where and to whom? How can the final report be most persuasively presented?

 



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