Twelve Angry Men

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Dr. Colman
COM 353
2/20/13

The movie Twelve Angry Men provided an example of a work group and a service group, because they had the goal of finding the man innocent or guilty on behalf of the organization of the court system and assisted a worthy cause that helped people outside the group. The judge said, “One man is dead. The life of another is at stake. If there is a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused . . . then you must declare him not guilty. If, however, there is no reasonable doubt, then he must be found guilty. Whichever way you decide, the verdict must be unanimous. I urge you to deliberate honestly and thoughtfully.” This is the goal that the men are striving to achieve and what makes them a working group and the man they are helping makes them an example of a service group. I noticed that the group did not have synergy in the beginning when the Forman says “Nine... ten ... eleven... That's eleven for guilty. Okay. Not guilty? (NO. 8's hand is raised.) One. Right. Okay. Eleven to one, guilty. Now we know where we are.” Then Lee Cobb sarcastically replies to Henry Fonda,” Somebody's in left field. You think he's not guilty?” There was no combining forces that made the group better than the individual members until the men started to discuss how the boy could be innocent. For example, synergy started when Robert Webber said, “I may have an idea here. I'm just thinking out loud now but it seems to me that it's up to us to convince this gentleman that we're right and he's wrong. Maybe if we each took a minute or two, you know, if we sort of try it on for size.” The Forman, Martin Balsam replies, “That sounds fair enough. Supposing we go once around the table.” The group started to put their knowledge and skills together for the purpose of proving a point. Tuckman’s stages were representing in the movie from forming to adjourning. The forming started when the Jack Warden took out his gum and offered it to the other members. Jack made small talk by saying, “Y' know something? It's hot. (NO. 6 nods.) You'd think they'd at least air condition the place. I almost dropped dead in court.” Forming continues when Jake Klugman said he didn’t realize that the guards lock the doors. You can see that the men are reluctant to talk to one another because they are scattered across the room, everywhere from the window to the water fountain. The nonverbal actions of their distance and facial expressions shows they would rather not be there. The storming stage is where the members were competing for status after they all got seated and did the first vote. The scene where you can see the conflict arising is when Henry Fonda votes not guilty and Lee Cobb says, “Somebody’s in left field. (To NO. 8) You think he's not guilty? ” I don't know.” In turn, Cobb says, “I never saw a guiltier man in my life. You sat right in court and heard the same thing I did. The man's a dangerous killer. You could see it.” Fonda responds, “He's nineteen years old.” Cobb makes the condescending jab, “That's old enough. He knifed his own father, four inches into the chest. An innocent little nineteen-year old kid. They proved it a dozen different ways. Do you want me to list them?” The tension is seen in the scene above, but it does move the group forward to the norming stage. The norming stage was when the tensions started to get resolved. This happened when the majority started to see Fonda’s point and agreed that the boy was not guilty. The scene where the vote is nine not guilty and only three guilty is part of the norming stage, where the men are task oriented and coming to a balanced decision. The next stage is the performing stage. The men had found their roles and wanted to complete the task in order to come to a conclusion. An act where the performing stage is seen is when Lee Cobb rips up the picture of himself and his son and says, “Not guilty.” This is an example of the performing stage because all twelve men...
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