Theory of Group Interaction and Development

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Tuckman's theory of group interaction and development is one theory that I can relate to. I will be discussing what Tuckman's theory is, and how his theory affects me. Tuckman's theory is that he believes "that groups go through four basic and predictable stages of development..." (Working in groups: Communication principles and strategies, Engleberg and Wynn, 2003). These four stages include forming, storming, norming, and performing.

Forming, which is Tuckman's first step to his theory, is when new members of a group or team get together for the first time, and feel uncomfortable. This first step consists of the new members to try to understand each other, define their tasks, and test personal relationships. Once everyone gets comfortable, and learns what they are supposed to do, then the second stage begins. This second stage is called storming. As group members start talking about important ideas and issues they tend to get emotional and argumentative.

To avoid conflict, many teams try to skip this step. The problem with this is that without storming, team members "may be unsure of individual members' roles, who is in charge, or even what the group's goal is." (Working in groups: Communication principles and strategies, Engleberg and Wynn, 2003) In the third stage, norming, the groups begin to work better by resolving their conflicts and working as a team toward their goal. The last and final stage is called performing. During this stage the teams are more focused, decisions are made, and solutions are agreed upon. A good example of a group of people that go through all four steps of Tuckman's theory would be juries. When the jury goes into the back room to decide whether they are going to convict someone they may feel uncomfortable because they don't know...