in the film “Thirteen Days,” a film that portrays the inner-circle discussions and decision-making processes of the Kennedy administration during and regarding the Cuban missile crisis. Using the team/teams within the film you will be asked to identify several key components to small group communication. Watch the film with the group decision-making context in mind and reflect on this context as you answer your questions. Answer each question thoroughly. Be clear and complete in your application of the material. Support your answer with appropriate references to the movie and to the concepts covered in the textbook or class discussions. You will address two of the following issues. Your responses should be 1½ to 2 pages in length (double spaced) and no longer than four pages together (not including the title page). 

Choose any two (2) of the following to address in your analysis:

  1. Using chapter 2 of the textbook, we discussed groups as structured open systems. In particular, we learned about inputs, throughput processes, outputs and the environment. Using this framework, identify these elements of the group system/systems portrayed in the film and present your analysis.
  2. There are many times in the film that we can find examples that illustrate the principles of communication. According to your textbook, communication is symbolic, personal, and transactional. Using at least two examples from the film, describe how these three characteristics of communication apply in each example.
  3. In one particular scene in the film, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara has a conflict with the Chief of Staff of the Navy over nonverbal meanings of actions. While also using this exchange as one example, how do we see the principles of nonverbal communication portrayed by the film? What are the misunderstandings that arise? What are the differences between the intended meanings and the perceived meanings? Give other examples as well as the exchange between the Secretary of Defense and the Chief of Staff of the Navy. Refer to the three principles of nonverbal communication found in your textbook.
  4. Using chapter 7 on group problem-solving procedures, give a thorough analysis of the decision-making portrayed in the movie based upon the components of P-MOPS, the RISK technique, and PERT technique. (NOTE: You may choose to respond to this item as the only one for this assignment. If you choose this option, then your analysis should be a full three to four pages in length.)
  5. In the “Groupthink” video we were presented with eight symptoms of groupthink and several suggestions for preventing groupthink. Dr. Irving Janus examined the Bay of Pigs invasion during the Kennedy administration as a prime example of groupthink that lead to disaster. Using what you have learned about these symptoms and the means of avoiding them, what examples in the film do you find when groupthink could/may have occurred and what are the actions/means that are taken (either intentionally or unintentionally) that avoided groupthink?

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