Six Stage Model-Group Development - Organizational Behavior

Linda jewel and joseph reitz:  he had developed a six stage model of group development it includes: orientation, conflict and challenge, cohesion, delusion, disillusion and acceptance.

a.      Orientation: in this stage, uncertainty exists about the group's structure, purpose, leadership, procedures, and norms of behaviot, roles of members and so on. In the first meeting, members discuss why there is a need for them to come together for a particular purpose, which should constitute the group, who the leader should be, what the roles of other members should be, how group goals should be accomplisged and the like. Emphasis is usually placed on making which interpersonal behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable in the griop and a new member is heavily dependent upon others for providing cues to acceptable behavior. Of there are some strong personalities attempting to sominate other group members or dictate how the group should operate, the issues of power, infouence and authority may come up. Once the group estavlishes a comfortable level of mutual trust and acceptance, it can focus its attention on the work of the group. Thus, brobadly, individuall members here might

I.            Keep feelings to themselves until they know the situation.

II.            Act more secure than they actually feel.

III.            Experience confusion and uncertainty about what is expected of them.

IV.            Be polite.

V.            Try to size up the personal benefits relative to the personal costs of being involved in the group. Tuckman and jensen called this stage a "forming" stage.

2)     Conflict and challenge: conflict over goals and competition over the leadership role are dominat themes at this stage. Some members may withdraw or try to isolate themselves from the emotional tension generated. The key is to manage conflict during this stage, not to suppress it or withdraw from it. Tuckman and jensen call it "storming".

3)     Cohesion: co-operation within the group is a dominant theme. A sense of shared responsibility for the griup develops. Overtime, the group begins to develop a sense of oneness. As the group is cohesive, the work of the group really gets going. Thus this stage is marked by rapid increases in-group effectiveness. Tuckman and jensen calll it "norming". Group norms emerge (norming) to guide individual behavior.

4)     Delusion: this is a pleasant stage in development where members because of mutual acceptance and trust believe that everything within the group is okay. Interpersonal conflicts in this stage are ignored or glossed over. Some groups continue to learn and develop from their experience thereby  improving their efficiency and effectiveness. Other groups may perform only at the level needed for their survival. A minimally adequate level of prformance may be caused by excessive self-oriented behaviors by group members, the development of norms that inhibit task effectiveness and efficiency, poor group leadership, or other factors, tuckman and jensen call it "performing" stage. In this stage, the group focuses ots attention on the advantage of task specialization in order ot facilitate goal attainment.

5)     Disillusion: when persistent doubts are glossed over member attitudes are hardened and the danger of disillusionment stars staring in te face. The "bubble" soon bursts and group effectiveness shows little improvement as interpersonal problems crop up. It is a situation of "group puberty" before full maturation of the group. Because of disillusionment, some members may leave the group. If the group's membership changes, either through the loss of  an established member or the inclusion of a newcomer, it may well engaged in some activities common in earlier stages of development as it accommodates the newcomer or adjusts to the loss. Through this stage is negative in nature, it is not to be discouraged. Deviants will either get converted to the group's views or depart from the group leaving it more cohesive.

6)     Acceptance: in this final stage of development, the group has become a mature, effective, efficient and productive unit. The group has successfully worked through necessary interpersonal task and authority issues. It is now characterized by a clear purpose or mission; a well understood set of norms of behavior; a high level of cohesion; and a clear, but flexible, status structure of leader-follower relationships. This stage in Tuchman and Jensen is "adjourning". This stage involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relations-oriented behaviors. Some groups with a time bound program such as project teams with a specific objective have a well-defined point of adjournment. When the task is accomplished or the group fails to accomplish it, it may be disbanded or have a new composition, and the stages will start all over again. Other groups may go on indefinitely, till some key members leave the organization.

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