A Model for Explaining the Context and Process of Teamwork

Topics: Group dynamics, Group development, Team Pages: 6 (1739 words) Published: March 27, 2008

Team Model Building

A model for explaining the context and process of teamwork must operate on two plains. There is a group dynamic impacting the team process as a whole and a personal dynamic that tracks the phases and changes that the team members experience throughout the team process. After reviewing the University of Phoenix Team Life Cycle Model, reflecting on the course readings, and conferring with teammates, two tracks were identified that have application for University of Phoenix teams; and possibly, a broader representation for industry and not-for-profit organizations.

Team A concluded that Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 Team Development Model provides one of the best descriptions of group dynamics. It represents the typical group stages experienced by Team A members as they have participated on University of Phoenix teams. It also describes the typical evolution described by Team A members from their team activities at work and social activities. While the group dynamics evolve, changes also take place within the individuals who participate on teams. This is most clearly observed in University of Phoenix teams where individual team members only share a personal goal of achieving a degree. They are not employed by the same company, members of a particular political or social organization, or share other ties. They come from varied backgrounds, countries, and socioeconomic experiences. When forced by the University to work as a team, the members evolve through a predictable process that mimics Tuckman’s Model.

When these two evolutional models are displayed – Tuckman’s group dynamics and the observed individual evolution models – a template is formed that can be applied to a wide range of organizations in order to provide leadership a tangible direction, complete with benchmarks,

Group Dynamics - Bruce Tuckman's 1965 Team Development Model Tuckman´s Team Development Model
This section will summarize Tuckman´s contribution to the field of team development given his recognized validity and generalized applicability. A brief background review of his work will be followed by the extension of his theory, in 1977, by himself and Jensen, that added a fifth stage to the model. Finally, the implications of the theory will be briefly summarized as well as a starting point to the presentation of a unique team development model. Background

Tuckman reviewed, in 1965, 50 articles that were dealing by the time with stages in development of groups. Tuckman´s purpose was to review this literature and through evaluation and extrapolation of the general concepts, be able to suggest and formulate a general model applicable to most of group development cases (Tuckman, 1965). This author considered therapy groups, training groups, and laboratory groups as different settings. The goal of the author was to extract common concepts from these different settings and with them propose a new general model. The output of his work was known as the four-stages model (forming-storming-norming-performing), which stages are succinctly described as follows. Forming

This stage is one of testing in which group members identify the limits of interpersonal behaviors as well as those of task behaviors (Tuckman, 1965). As addressed by Fall and Wejnert (2005) in this stage “group members struggle to find their place in the group, and the primary feeling is one of uncertainty and anxiety” (p.315). Storming

After the initial exploring stage, the second one is characterized by conflict, emotional reactions, interpersonal issues being exposed and a sense of resistance to the assignment and team work. Burn (as cited in Fall and Wejnert, 2004) captured very well the essence of this stage when possed the following question: “How long would it take before members of the groups drop their guard, censor their behavior less, get on one another´s nerves, and disagree about who should do what...
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