Stages of Group Formation

Before a group becomes productive, it usually goes through the stages of group formation and also through some cycles of high/ low performance. Bruce Tuckman developed the Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing – Adjourning, process of group formation.

A group is:

  • two or more people who share a common definition and evaluation of themselves and behave in accordance with such a definition (Vaughan & Hogg, 2002, p. 200)
  • Conceiving of a group as a dynamic whole should include a definition of group that is based on interdependence of the members (or better, the subparts of the group). Kurt Lewin (1951: 146)
  • a collection of individuals who communicate with each other, acknowledge rights and responsibilities as members and who share a standard identity

Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Formation

The following text, discusses about the process:

1. Forming stage of group development

In the preliminary stage of group formation, the building of the group happens. The individual’s conduct is influenced by a desire to be accepted by the other participants, and prevent dispute or conflict. Serious problems and emotions are avoided, and folks focus on being busy with programs, for instance group organization, who does what, when to meet, etc.

However participants additionally collect information – about each other, and about the scope of the task and the ways to approach it. It is a comfortable stage to be in, but the prevention of disagreement and threat implies that very little actually gets done. The group meets and discovers the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to deal with the tasks.

Stages of Group Formation

2. Storming stage of group development

It is a time of testing. Group members test the leader’s policies and assumptions as they make an effort to figure out how they fit into the power structure. A Sub group takes shape, and it is not easy to identify rebellion. A number of groups delay in this stage. Administrators of the group in this stage might be more accessible, but may remain directive in their assistance of decision-making and professional conduct. The group members may as a result sort out their issues and individuals will be able to participate together more comfortably.

3. Norming stage of group development

Group members set up implicit or explicit guidelines about how exactly they’ll attain their aim. They deal with the types of interaction which will or will not benefit the job. Indications include: Questioning performance, Reviewing/clarify goals, Changing/confirming functions, Opening risky issues, Assertiveness, Listening, Testing new ground, Identifying weaknesses and strengths.

Video: What are the five stages of group formation in organisational behaviour?

4. Performing stage of group development

It’s possible for a few groups to achieve the performing phase. These types of high-performing groups have the ability to function as a unit because they discover methods for getting the task completed smoothly and successfully without unacceptable clash or the need for outside supervision. By now, they’re determined and knowledgeable. The group members are now competent, independent and equipped to handle the decision-making process without supervision.

Dissent is predicted and permitted so long as it’s channeled through means acceptable to the group.

5. Adjourning stage of group development

Quite a few groups will arrive at this stage at some point. It involves the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships. A planned conclusion generally consists of recognition for participation & achievement and an opportunity for participants to say goodbye.

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