Group Development: Performance Evidence Record

Topics: Decision making, Group dynamics, Kurt Lewin Pages: 28 (8836 words) Published: September 24, 2015
Performance evidence record

Unit …521…………………………..……..…………………………………………..

Learner name …Nick Cooper…………………………………………………………………..

Use this form to record details of activities (tick as appropriate) observed by your assessor
seen by expert witness
seen by witness
self reflective account

NB Your assessor may wish to ask you some questions relating to this activity. Ensure that they are recorded in the appropriate box overleaf. The person who observed/witnessed your activity must sign and date overleaf.

Links to
Date of Activity:
Unit ref
Learning outcome
Performance evidence

The goal of most research on group development is to learn why and how small groups change over time. To do this, research has examined differing patterns of change and continuity in a group over time. Aspects of the group that might be studied include the quality of the work produced by a group, the type and frequency of its activities, its cohesiveness or the existence of group conflict. A number of theoretical models have been developed to explain how certain groups change over time. In some cases, the type of group being considered influenced the model of group development proposed as in the case of therapy groups. In general, some of these models view group change as regular movement through a series of "stages," while others view them as "phases" that groups may or may not go through and which might occur at different points of a group's history. Attention to group development over time has been one of the differentiating factors between the study of ad hoc groups and the study of teams such as those commonly used in the workplace, the military, sports and many other contexts. In the early seventies, Hill and Grunner (1973) reported that more than 100 theories of group development existed. Since then, other theories have emerged as well as attempts at contrasting and synthesizing them. As a result, a number of typologies of group change theories have been proposed. A typology advanced by George Smith (2001) based on the work of Mennecke and his colleagues (1992) classifies theories based on whether they perceive change to occur in a linear fashion, through cycles of activities, or through processes that combine both paths of change, or which are completely non-phasic. Other typologies are based on whether the primary forces promoting change and stability in a group are internal or external to the group. A third framework advanced by Andrew Van de Ven and Marshall Scott Poole (1995), differentiates theories based on four distinct "motors" for generating change. According to this framework, the following four types of group development models exist. Life cycle models: Describe the process of change as the unfolding of a prescribed and linear sequence of stages following a program that is prefigured at the beginning of the cycle (decided within the group or imposed on it). Teleological models: Describe change as a purposeful movement toward one or more goals, with adjustments based on feedback from the environment. Dialectical models: Describe change as emerging from conflict between opposing entities and eventual synthesis leading to the next cycle of conflict Evolutionary models: Describe change as emerging from a repeated cycle of variation, selection and retention and generally apply to change in a population rather than change within an entity over time.

Some theories allow for combinations and interactions among these four "motors". For example, Poole found in his empirical research that seemingly complex patterns of behaviour in group decision making result from the interplay of life-cycle and teleological motors. An important observation made by McGrath and Tschan (2004) regarding the different models of group...
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