The ability of organizations to achieve their objectives is through the formation of people from groups into teams. Your essay will answer the following questions:
- Summarize the key concepts and theories behind Tuckman’s model of Group
- Provide a critical analysis of Tuckman’s model. The critical analysis will be graded as part of the subject matter as described in the assessment rubrics.
- As you have been working in your group, relate Tuckman’s stages of group development with your own experience in this class. Compare and contrast Tuckman’s stages with your own experience so far.
- Conflict is part of group development. Examine some of the common conflicts that can arise in work group performance. Describe two types of conflicts that arise in work groups. How do the work groups resolve the two types of conflicts described? Has your work group experienced the described conflict and did your work group use the same technique to resolve the conflict?
- Group decision making is one of the biggest challenges working in groups. Examine how groups make decisions and describe the pros and cons of group decision making. How will you use what you learned about group decision making to improve the performance of your own working group?
- Examine how work groups can became work teams. What are the main differences between work groups and work teams specifically in the areas of leadership, decision making and conflict resolution? Based on your understanding of work groups and work teams, do you think you are in a work group or a work team and which would you prefer and why?
- APA reference page
Tuckman's Model of Group Development
In this modern era characterized by complexity and mechanical solidarity, it is necessary to find a template or a model to strengthen the understanding of how an association or a group functions. A scientific justification and method should be available for proper functioning and the achievement of the goal of a group. Hence Tuckman has developed a model which describes and prescribes at the same time, the way a group is supposed to function and proceed towards the path of development. In this essay, that model of development shall be discussed elaborately so as to provide a background to the reflective discussion on my experience in a group for developmental purposes. The discussion shall begin by summarizing the ideas of Tuckman’s Model of Group Development. Following that, there shall be an illustration of my experience in a group, which I shall be contrasting and comparing with the model that Tuckman has proposed. Since conflicts are an inevitable part of any collectivity, the need for solving it also arises naturally. A section shall also be dedicated to how I had taken the initiative of solving a conflict situation during my presence in the group.
Tuckman has proposed five steps which should be followed for conducting the activities of a group. They are in form of stages, cyclical in nature (Seck & Helton, 2014). The model has been designed in such a way that none of the stages can be skipped, and the envisaged progress of the stages in the cycle has to be maintained strictly. Any breach of that principle shall not bear the optimum results. The stages involved are- Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning (Raes et al., 2015). The stage of Forming, as the name suggests is for the purpose of the formation of the group. The members of the group try to develop habits which would incur them the favourable disposition of the group leaders (Betts, & Healy, 2015). That shall be a vital stage in accelerating the acceptability of the candidates to the group. At this stage the members develop an idea of the nature of the task that they are about to undertake and also an idea of the risks and conflicts that shall be coming in the process. In the stage of Storming, the conflicts emerge (Cameron, & Green, 2015). The rapport at the personal and professional level with colleagues on one hand, and the collective and personal commitment towards the group on the other hand, clashes with each other at this level. This generates a sense of tension in the group and overcoming that is a prime challenge. Some group members remain acquiescent, while some others tend to take charge of the situations dominantly. A major change in the behaviours of the group members can be witnessed at this stage. At this stage quite a number of members quit as they are unable to bear the pressure of the task that comes their way (Perry, Karney & Spencer, 2013). Following a tumultuous phase of rivalry comes the stage of building up cohesion amongst group members. This is the phase of Norming. The members focus on acknowledging the fact that the contribution of each and every member in the group is inevitable for the group to function as a whole (Humphrey & Aime, 2014). The onset of intra-group harmony and solidarity is the essence of this phase. The stage of Performing is not a stage into which every member of the group can reach up to. At this stage the rate of productivity is usually very high as the primordial clashes and conflicts get almost resolved and each individual has already adjusted with the organization and with the work environment as well. The personal and professional commitments gets well balanced, hence all the potentialities of clashes get virtually eliminated. The identity as a group is established in this stage decisively (Morita & Burns, 2014). The final stage is the stage of Adjourning. In this stage an evaluation of the performance of the members of the group (Turaga, 2013). On the basis of it appraisals, promotions, incentives are provided by the leader of the group. The underperforming members are terminated as per the decisions undertaken.
Critical Analysis of Tuckman's Model
On closely analyzing the model provided by Tuckman, one shall find that he has not provided for any alternative method of group development (Meeussen, Delvaux & Phalet, 2014). It cannot always be possible that a group shall strictly follow the course set by Tuckman, there can be discrepancies and Tuckman has failed to address that. Moreover such a uni-linear model might not be applicable in today’s post modern world when the system of structure is being done away with in many social setups that are contractual in nature (Bell & Morse, 2013).
Now, in this part of the essay I shall be providing a reflection on my experience as a member of a group and shall be illustrating how it matches with the model of Tuckman, and also in what ways has there been a mismatch between my experience and the model. When I had joined the Nature Group of my class, there were at around 20 people in the group. We all were highly focussed on performing to the best of our capabilities so that we could impress the teacher in charge of the activities that we were supposed to undertake. The prime motivation was to bag a leadership post as that would bestow a great deal of power and prestige along with a lot of responsibilities. Bagging the post of a leader meant a lessening of responsibilities, as the person assuming as the leader shall be delegating more than performing any task. That phase had actually caused many of us to fall apart with each other, because group commitments had started clashing with personal ego and a feeling of jealousy had developed in almost all of us.
Such jealousies and uncanny feelings were natural as someone was performing well and there were many others who were too ready to sabotage the efforts. That did cause the achievement of the main objectives and goals of Nature Club to suffer. However, by the guidance of our team leader we did reconcile with our differences. Our team leader had been the one to generate a binding force in our group. He was very much respected as he did not boss over any of us. He was considerate and had a clear vision which he could convey with equal amount of clarity. None of us left the group, and we are still very much a part of the Nature Club under the leadership of the very same boy. It has been more than a year now.
Personal Reflection on Experience in a Group
So what I can deduce is that my experience matches with the part of critical analysis of Tuckman’s Model. Yes, we did exhibit tendencies of Tuckman’s stage of Forming and Performing, but the other three stages were not applicable in my experience as a member of Nature Club. Tuckman spoke of members turning away from the group at two levels, but we did not experience any such thing. Tuckman also did not speak anything about the role of a team leader. Had it not been the team leader, our Nature Club would have not been the way it is even today.
So in the concluding section I shall once again reiterate what the critical analysis says. It is not necessary that practical situations shall always follow the exact dialectic that theorists’ vision codify. Here comes the relevance of postmodernism which can very aptly justify that structures are not always necessary. They are required for comprehension of a situation and coming up with solutions. However there is no such hard and fast rule that the course of events shall exactly be the same as theorists theorize. There can be differences and my experience at Nature Club proves it.
Bell, S., & Morse, S. (2013). Groups and facilitators within problem structuring processes. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 64(7), 959-972.
Betts, S., & Healy, W. (2015). Having a ball catching on to teamwork: an experiential learning approach to teaching the phases of group development. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 19(2), 1.
Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.
Humphrey, S. E., & Aime, F. (2014). Team microdynamics: Toward an organizing approach to teamwork. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), 443-503.
Meeussen, L., Delvaux, E., & Phalet, K. (2014). Becoming a group: Value convergence and emergent work group identities. British Journal of Social Psychology, 53(2), 235-248.
Pelegrini Morita, P., & Marie Burns, C. (2014). Trust tokens in team development. Team Performance Management, 20(1/2), 39-64.
Perry Jr, E. E., Karney, D. F., & Spencer, D. G. (2013). Team establishment of self-managed work teams: a model from the field. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 19(1/2), 87-108.
Raes, E., Kyndt, E., Decuyper, S., Van den Bossche, P., & Dochy, F. (2015). An exploratory study of group development and team learning. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 26(1), 5-30.
Seck, M. M., & Helton, L. (2014). Faculty development of a joint MSW program utilizing Tuckman's model of stages of group development. Social Work with Groups, 37(2), 158-168.
Turaga, R. (2013). Building trust in teams: A leader's role. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 7(2), 13-31.
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