Five Stage Model-Group Development - Organizational Behavior

This group development model given by Tuckman and Jensen characterizes groups as proceeding through five distinct stages: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.

1)     Forming: this first stage is characterized by a great deal of uncertainty about the group's purpose, structure and leadership. Members are "testing the waters" to determine what types of behavior are acceptable. This stage is complete when members have begun to think of themselves as part of a group.

2)     Storming: the storming stage is one of the intra-group conflicts. Members are accepted the existence of the group, but there is resistance to the constraints that the group imposes on individuality. Furthermore, there is conflict over who will control the group. When stage is complete, there will be a relatively clear hierarchy of leadership within the group.

3)     Norming: in this stage, the close relationships develop and the group demonstrates cohesiveness. There is now a strong sense of group identity and camaraderie. This norming stage is complete when the group structure solidifies and the group has assimilated a common set of expectations of what defines correct member behavior.

4)     Performing: the structure at this point is fully functional and accepted. Group energy has moved from getting to know and understand each other to performing the task at hand.

For permanent work groups, performing is the last stage in their development. However, for temporary committees, teams, taskforces and similar groups that have a limited task to perform, there is an adjourning stage.

5)     Adjourning: in this stage, the group prepares for its disbandment. High task performance is no longer the group's top priority. Instead, attention is directed toward wrapping up activities. Responses of group members vary in this stage. Some are upbeat, basking in the group's accomplishments. Others may be depressed over the loss of camaraderie and friendships gained during the work group's life.

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