Problem Solving (Communication)

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  • A systematic process undertaken by an individual or a group of individuals to identify and evaluate situations that are difficult, disagreeable, or harmful and to decide on methods to resolve such situations.

    Scholars credited with early research and writings on the topic of problem solving include John Dewey in the 1910s and the team of James McBurney and Kenneth Hance in the 1930s. In the early 1980s, a group of Pennsylvania State University researchers studied nine problem-solving groups to determine whether the order of steps they followed made a difference in their rate of success. Reporting for the group, Randy Hirokawa noted that uniformity in the steps followed was not essential. However, those groups that approached problems in an analytical and evaluative manner before attempting ...

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