Tuckman Stages of Group Development

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“Storming” as the term suggests is a period turmoil that begins shortly after groups are formed. According to Tuckman, “it is characterized by competition and conflict in the personal relations dimension and organization in the task functions dimension”. Basically, what Tuckman is stating is that as group members try to organize, conflict for a number of reasons is bound to occur and needs to occur in order for the group to move onto the next stage. He is suggesting that there is or will be conflict due to personal relations or lack of as well as conflict in trying to formulate a structure and get tasks completed.

In this discussion paper, my intention is to highlight why I think ‘Storming” is an integral part of group development in that it leads to healthier more productive working groups. As a group begins to feel more comfortable and less guarded with each other the personalities, beliefs, opinions and values of its members begin to emerge. This emergence gives members an opportunity to understand each other better by allowing commonalities and differences in areas such as opinions, skills and knowledge bases to be explored. Furthermore, this period of conflict also assists in role develop, allows for procedures to start taking shape and helps set ground rules for the group. For example, in groups where a leader or facilitator has not been previously established, leaders begin to show their skills very easily as conflict takes place. In terms of procedures and ground rules, members will begin to recognize the need for formalities and structures in order for organization and task functions to take place. As well in this stage, competitiveness gives members a chance to vie for position and to try and establish themselves in relation to other team members. This again helps set the stage for clarity in roles. Furthermore, these power struggles even though they are distracting will permit emotions and relationship issues to get out on the table...
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