Organization of Power and Satisfaction in Small Group Bible Studies Page: 4
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Organization of Power 4
Organization of Power and Satisfaction in Small Group Bible Studies
Every area of society has utilized and developed the efficacy of small group work in recent
decades. In the business sector, interpersonal communication skills are essential in the trend
toward work teams (Hirokawa & Keyton, 1995). Many educational programs advocate group
work as a necessary process for internalizing information (Smagorinsky & Fly, 1993). The
benefits of small group work in religious environments are increasingly being realized, as
evidenced by the extensive availability of Bible studies in most mainline churches. Small groups
formed in a religious setting, however, experience group processes differently than those formed
in other contexts. Given the additional factors influencing power distribution for a religious small
group, such as denominational norms and theological beliefs, member satisfaction may not be
predicted following expectations of a business or educational environment. Variables regarding
leadership, perceived illegitimate authority, dissent, small group format, and distracting group
members lead to the specific question: what factors of power organization influence the
satisfaction of members within a small group Bible study? The study also examines if there are
any differences based on the Christian denominations.
An extension of this issue looks at the denominational differences within religious small
groups, and the effect identity with a specific subgroup has on satisfaction with the previous
variables of leadership, perceived illegitimate authority, dissent, group format, and distracting
group members. Satisfaction with variables of leadership examines the necessity of designated
leadership, the relational ability of a leader, the biblical and denominational knowledge of a
leader, and a leader's response to distracting group members. Satisfaction regarding perceived
illegitimate authority in a small group Bible study is measured by the preference of a passive
response of stopping attendance, or the preference of an active response toward changing
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Reference the current page of this Thesis Or Dissertation.
Gibbs, Charlene E. Organization of Power and Satisfaction in Small Group Bible Studies, thesis or dissertation, Autumn 2004; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc146503/m1/3/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Honors College.