Theories of Group Formation
Below is an explanation of the different models of group formation processes by Lewin, Tuckman, McGrath, and Gersick including the major features, steps, and characteristics. Tuckman (1965), stated these roles/processes are needed for group formation: Forming: Group members learn about each other, and the task at hand. Indicators of this stage might include: unclear objectives, confusion, and low morale. Storming: As group members continue to work, they will engage each other in arguments about the structure of the group which often are significantly emotional and illustrate a struggle for status in the group. Lack of cohesion marks this phase. Norming: Group members establish implicit or explicit rules about how they will achieve their goal. They address the types of communication that will or will not help with the task. Indicators include: Questioning performance, Reviewing/clarify objective, Changing/confirming roles, Opening risky issues, Assertiveness, Listening, Testing new ground, Identifying strengths and weaknesses. Performing: Groups reach a conclusion and implement the conclusion. Indicators include: Creativity, Initiative, Flexibility, and Open relationships. McGrath (1991), stated these roles/processes are needed for group formation: Mode I: Inception and acceptance of a project (goal choice) Mode II: Technical problem solving – solution of technical issues (means choice) Mode III: Conflict resolution – resolution of political issues conflict (policy choice) Mode IV: Execution – the performance requirements of the project (goal attainment) Unfreezing – this phase involves overcoming inertia and dismantling the existing “mind set”. Defense mechanisms have to be bypassed. Change – typically a period of confusion and transition. One is aware that the old ways are being challenged but does not have a clear picture to replace them yet. Freezing – the new mindset is crystallizing and one’s comfort...
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