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Theory of Group Development

Autor:   •  September 14, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,383 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,795 Views

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Theory of Group Development

Researchers have studied groups to understand how they develop. Several models have been suggested, but they all tend to follow a similar progression. Dr Tuckman published a model in 1965, which currently refer to as "Tuckman's model of group development." This model recognizes stages of group development. The stages are forming, storming, norming, and performing. Tuckman's model has become "the most predominantly referred to and most widely recognized in organizational literature" (Miller, 2003).

Known for his work in the field of educational psychology and as a researcher, Dr. Tuckman has been active in academia in a variety of roles ranging from a professor of education to dean and also director of several well-known research centers. Dr Tuckman created and founded the Walter E. Dennis Learning Center on the campus of the Ohio State University. Some of his work included teaching students with academic difficulties and conducting research on the associations between motivation and school achievement (Tuckman, 2003).

In 1965, Dr Tuckman published Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. This article concentrated on two areas of group development. These areas were interpersonal relationships and task activity. Dr. Tuckman found similarities in his studies in his research sought to identify a developmental sequence that would fit the findings of many of his studies. The four stages would go on to become popular in describing groups. The classification approach Dr Tuckman adopted for distinguishing the developmental studies was divided into three parts. The differences were based on setting, realm and where in the sequence the group fell in the particular stage of development.

Examples included group size, group problem area, group composition, duration of group life, etc.

According to Dr Tuckman, the task in the group-therapy setting was to help individual's be able to deal with their personal problems in a more efficient manner. The goal in group therapy was individual adjustment. In a typical group setting, the group make up would be between five to 15 members and a therapist. The minimum duration of the groups was three months.

In the human relations training group setting, tasking was more interactively focused with a goal of helping members of the group interact with one another in more of a productive manner and be less wary of one another. It was also noted that the task included helping the group members become more aware of the dynamics involved with their interaction. In these groups, there were anywhere from 15 to 30 members with a trainer or leader and these groups lasted anywhere from three weeks to six months.

Dr Tuckman noted that the most noticeable difference between therapy groups and training group settings were in areas of group make up, individual


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