Groups and teams are a major feature of organisational life. The work organisation and its sub-units are made of, are groups of people. Most activities of the organisation require at least some degree of co-ordination through the operation of groups and teamwork. An understanding of the nature of groups is vital if the manager is to influence the behaviour of people in the work situation. Groups are an essential feature of the work pattern of any organisation. Members of a group co-operate in order for work to be carried out and managers themselves work within the groups. People in groups influence each other in many ways and may develop their own hierarchy and leaders. Group pressures can have a major influence over the behaviour of individual members and their work performance. The activities of the group are associated with the process of leadership. The style of leadership adopted by the manager has an important influence on the behaviour of members of the group. The essential feature of a group is that its members regard themselves as belonging to the group.
Tuckman (1965) devised a model of group formation which consists of the following five stages. Stage 1 – Forming
This refers to initial formation of the group where tasks have to be understood, resources and information acquired, individuals have to get to know one another and there is considerable reliance on the leader. Stage 2 – Storming
It represents the period when problems begin to be faced more openly than in the earlier stage. Individuals begin to question or challenge the task and have to confront emotional issues between and among themselves. Stage 3 – Norming
This period of relative upheaval moves into a more considered stage where conflicts are settled, new standards are developed and owned by the members. Cooperation really takes off.
Stage 4 – Performing
This stage opens the way for the most productive moment when the group is working effectively both in terms of goals and its...