What is Group communication characteristics elements examples

Group  communication  is a process by which a group of people can transmit information, emotions, ideas and thoughts among themselves. It is one of the most important types of interpersonal communication as it takes place in many different contexts and has a huge impact on our daily lives.

For a group communication process to take place, there must be more than two participants. Depending on the relationships between them, we can speak of several different types, some of the most important being intragroup (between members of the same group) and intergroup (between people who do not belong to the same group).

As in other types of communication, within the group we can find explicit and conscious elements, such as deliberate words and gestures. On the other hand, we also find elements of which the interlocutors are not fully aware, but which contribute a lot of information to the process.

In this article, we will see what exactly group communication consists of, as well as studying what are the most important processes that compose it and several concrete examples that will help us to better understand when we are dealing with it.

Definition of group communication

two or more people

For most authors, group communication is any exchange of information that takes place between two or more people belonging to a community. In this sense, it differs from other similar phenomena, such as mass communication, in which more than two individuals also participate, but in which this association does not occur.

different ways

Group communication can take place in many different ways, with one of the community members addressing the rest exclusively, or more reciprocally in the form of conversation. Furthermore, in some cases it can also occur between members of different groups, known as “intergroup communication”.

feeling of belonging

One of the most important characteristics of this communication phenomenon is the presence of a certain feeling of belonging to the same community by all involved.

According to research in this regard, people tend to identify with those with whom we share traits or backgrounds, with different types of group attitudes and prejudices emerging in our minds.

Group communication elements

As in other types of communication, group communication is normally studied based on the different elements that allow the exchange of information. For most experts, these are sender, recipient, message, channel, code, and context. Next, we’ll see what each of them consists of.

– Issuer

In a group communication context, the sender is the person who transmits the information he wants to share with the rest. Your message should be addressed to the members of a specific group, whether self or external, with whom you want to speak for some reason.

– Receiver

In the case of group communication, there must always be more than one receiver and they must all belong to the same community for this context to occur. Recipients are those to whom the communication process is directed and, in this case, share a number of similar resources that led them to join a group.

– Message

In all types of communication, the message is the set of information, ideas, attitudes, thoughts and emotions that the sender conveys to the recipient(s). In the case of group communication, it usually has to do with something related to the community in which it takes place, although this is not always true.

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For example, at a meeting of friends, one of the group members may want to convey important news to the rest, so that the information is only related to themselves. However, in other cases, the message conveyed affects all members of the community.

– Channel

The channel is the means by which information is transmitted from the sender to the receivers. Traditionally, in traditional group communication, the only possible channel was speech, as there was no other way to send a message to more than one person at the same time.

Currently, however, new technologies such as social networks, instant messaging services and video calling have made it possible to use channels other than personal speech that allow members of a group to communicate massively without being physically present.

– Code

The code is a set of elements that allow the participants in the communication process to understand each other and to be able to transmit and receive the message correctly. It usually includes factors such as the spoken or written language being used, but in the case of group communication, it also incorporates other elements.

Thus, within a group, it is perfectly possible that there are communicative elements shared by the members of the group, but which would not be understood by anyone external to it. These elements are also part of the code.

– Context

Finally, in communication, context is considered everything that involves the exchange of information. Within this element, we find, for example, the nature of the relationship between the sender and the recipient, their personal characteristics, their intention or the culture in which they live.

In the case of group communication, it is essential to study the context in which it occurs in order to correctly understand what is happening. Depending on the relationships between the members of the community, the hierarchy of each of them, their joint past and other factors, such as beliefs or attitudes, the exchange of information will develop in one way or another.


Group communication occurs in many different contexts of our lives, and is in fact one of the most common types. Thus, we can observe this phenomenon in the form of a group of friends talking about what happens in their daily lives, but also at a work meeting or family dinner.

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