Higher Education

In Mixed Company: Communicating in Small Groups, 8th Edition

  • J. Dan Rothwell Cabrillo College
  • ISBN-10: 1111346852  |  ISBN-13: 9781111346850
  • 528 Pages
  • © 2013 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $121.75
  • Newer Edition Available
  *Why an online review copy?
  • It's the greener, leaner way to review! An online copy cuts down on paper and on time. Reduce the wait (and the weight) of printed texts. Your online copy arrives instantly, and you can review it anytime from your computer or favorite mobile device.

If you prefer a print copy to review, please contact your representative.



The market leader for the small group communication course, Rothwell's IN MIXED COMPANY offers students a combination of theory and application, enabling them to apply small group communication concepts not only in class but in their own lives. The text follows the central unifying theme of cooperation, and the communication competence model continues to guide discussions of key small group concepts and processes. The inclusion of systems theory remains a key theoretical component of the text, and the unique focus on power in groups continues to be addressed throughout the text. To encourage critical thinking, the eighth edition has captions to accompany photos and illustrations, and it also offers interactive quizzes related to the visuals.

Features and Benefits

  • New photo and cartoon captions with related interactive quizzes encourage critical thinking.
  • The improved test bank includes additional questions, most of them single-answer multiple choice or standard true/false.
  • New material throughout the text includes expanded discussion and research on group composition and member diversity, leadership, and group polarization.
  • A communication competence perspective that provides a clear communication focus for the text is integrated throughout.
  • The text's focus on the role of power in small group communication is a unique approach and helps students see that power is a central underlying element in small group conflict, teamwork, decision making, problem solving, normative behavior, roles, and leadership.
  • Systems theory, a key theoretical component of the text, provides students with a clear conceptual framework for analysis and insights.
  • Boldfaced terms and an expanded glossary of key terms provide focused information for students and instructors.
  • "Closer Look" sections engage students by discussing topics such as high school cliques; leadership and team building; contrasting leadership styles; technology and the bias of speed; and Murphy's Law.
  • Gender and culture discussions have been updated and expanded. In some cases, previously boxed material on these important topics has been integrated with the prime subject matter.

Table of Contents

1. Communication Competence in Groups.
2. Groups as Systems.
3. Group Development.
4. Developing the Group Climate.
5. Roles and Leadership in Groups.
6. Developing Effective Teams.
7. Group Discussion: Defective Group Decision Making and Problem Solving.
8. Group Discussion: Effective Decision Making and Problem Solving.
9. Power in Groups: A Central Dynamic.
10. Conflict Management in Groups.
11. Technology and Virtual Groups.

What's New

  • Research and theory have been thoroughly updated in every chapter. More than 200 recent references have been added that incorporate the most current research and theory on small group communication.
  • Numerous important topics have been given expanded coverage, such as member diversity, deep diversity, culture, gender diversity, hazing, and virtual group effectiveness.
  • Discussion of technology and its influence on small group communication also has been expanded considerably throughout all chapters.
  • Several important topics have been added, such as structuration theory, respectful leadership, abusive communication, humor and secondary tension relief, and the global language of business.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I think this is the best small groups text in the market. . . . It has excellent topical coverage. It is particularly good in its coverage of decision making. It uses clear examples to illustrate points."

— Lawrence Hosman, University of Southern Mississippi

"This is a very accessible book for undergraduates . . . It compliments my approach to teaching the course because it provides practical examples that relate to students' lives. Further, it covers just about every topic that could be important to group communication dynamics. So, it is very thorough."

— Brian Richardson, University of North Texas

"This book does a great job of exposing the reader to a variety of issues in meaningful and understandable ways. It gives instructors a lot of leeway in how contents can be explored in the classroom and in assignments. It really meets with my goals of giving a comprehensive and applied exposure to small group communication."

— John Howard III, East Carolina University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 111184108X | ISBN-13: 9781111841089)

The Instructor's Manual contains resources designed to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of course preparation. This helpful manual includes suggestions for developing a course syllabus, chapter outlines, class-tested activities and exercises, technology resources, test items, and assessment tests. Each chapter includes a chapter outline; a list of key terms with definitions; suggestions for individual, group, and class activities; and true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and essay test items. The activities provide innovative ways to present relevant concepts in each chapter; they include group projects, out-of-class assignments, role plays, lecture ideas, and audiovisual suggestions.

Powerlecture, Powerpoint, Examview CD-ROM  (ISBN-10: 113304977X | ISBN-13: 9781133049777)

This one-stop lecture tool makes it easy for you to assemble, edit, publish, and present custom lectures for your course using Microsoft® PowerPoint®. In addition, the CD-ROM offers an electronic version of the Instructor Resource Manual and ExamView® software.

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

This online research and learning center offers over 20 million full-text articles from nearly 6,000 scholarly and popular periodicals. The articles cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and topics--ideal for every type of researcher. Learn more at www.cengage.com/infotrac. (Access code/card required).

List Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $24.00

Student Supplements

InfoTrac® College Edition Printed Access Card  (ISBN-10: 0534558534 | ISBN-13: 9780534558536)

Save time, save money, and eliminate the trek to the library and long waits for reserved readings with InfoTrac® College Edition, an online university library of more than 5,000 academic and popular magazines, newspapers, and journals.

List Price = $32.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $24.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

J. Dan Rothwell

J. Dan Rothwell is chair of the Communication Studies Department at Cabrillo College and the author of four additional books: IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS: AN INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION, TELLING IT LIKE IT ISN'T: LANGUAGE MISUSE AND MALPRACTICE, INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION: INFLUENCES AND ALTERNATIVES with James Costigan, and PRACTICALLY SPEAKING. During his extensive teaching career, Dr. Rothwell has received almost two dozen teaching awards, including the 2010 Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology conferred by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Florida State College, and the National Council of Instructional Administrators; the 2010 Cabrillo College “Innovative Teacher of the Year” award; the 2011 National Communication Association “Community College Educator of the Year” award; a 2012 official resolution by the California State Senate acknowledging his excellence in teaching; and the 2014 “Master Teacher” award from the Western States Communication Association. He has a B.A. in American History from the University of Portland (Oregon) as well as an M.A. in Rhetoric and Public Address and a Ph.D. in Communication Theory and Social Influence, both from the University of Oregon.