Group Dynamics Theories Sample

Tuckman’s model is also called as Successive Stage Theory of group development. •A number of subsequent studies have shown that groups do not always go through the successive stages of the Tuckman Model. •While the forming stage is common for all groups, many groups, even after the performing stage, do come back to the storming (re-storming) and norming (re-norming) stages.

•Software programmers, for instance, who work on products for long years, show signs of shifting from task-focused stages back to conflict and norming stages. •Bales (1965) studied a number of discussion groups and found that they tended to oscillate between periods of group effort and periods of cohesion-creating, interpersonal activity. •Bales’ equilibrium model of group development therefore assumes that group members strive to maintain a balance between accomplishing the task and enhancing the quality of the interpersonal relationships within the group. •In consequence groups cycle back and forth between what Tuckman called norming and performing stages.

•According to Bales, a period of prolonged group effort must be followed by a period of cohesion-creating, interpersonal activity. •A modification of Bales’ Equilibrium Model is the Punctuated Equilibrium Model which states that groups often go through periods of rapid activity and periods of relative inertia.

The Punctuated Equilibrium Model•Studies show that temporary groups do not go through the five stages of the Tuckman model •Instead they go through stages punctuated with activity and inertia.

The punctuated equilibrium model identifies following stages that temporary groups go through: •In stage one, the first meeting sets the group’s direction; this phase is one of inertia •A transition takes place at the end of the first phase, which coincides with the half-way mark of the project time •The transition stage is one of major changes and activities and ends the phase one •Phase two is a period heightened activities but again one of inertia •The last phase is the completion phases, when again the group goes through intense activities.

Lesson 2 : Teams Vs GroupsWhy Teams?

• work teams was considered something special; but today, it is the non-use of work teams that is considered surprising •Today most IT companies work with work teams; 80% of Fortune 500 companies have more than 50% of their employees working in teams. The reason for using work teams appears to be:

•Teams outperform individuals – especially when the task requires multiple skills input •Teams are found to be more flexible in a dynamic environment compared to the traditional departmental structures •Groups have the ability to quickly assemble, deploy, refocus and disband •Teams have greater ability to motivate individuals to better performance than a traditional hierarchical structure •It has also been found that cross-functional teams are better at dealing with customers than individuals. Difference Between Teams & Groups

•A Work Group may be defined as a group that interacts primarily to share information and to make decisions to help each group member perform within his or her area of responsibility •A Work Team, on the other hand, is a group whose individual efforts result in a performance that is greater than the sum of the individual inputs •Merely calling a group of individuals as a team does not make it automatically become effective and have positive synergy. There are some preconditions required to ensure the group “actually” becomes a team.

Are Teams Always Effective?Teams are not the panacea for all situations. Three thumb rules may be used to find out if a work team would be more effective in a given situation:•Can the work be done by more than one person?•Does the work create a common purpose for the group that is more than the aggregate of individual goals? •Are the members of the team interdependent?

Creating Effective TeamsPersonality is the sum total of ways in which an individual reacts and interacts with others.The Big Five Model of Personality, treats personality as a combination of five basic dimensions: •Extroversion – the comfort level of an individual with relationships; being sociable, assertive. Introverts tend to be reserved, timid and quiet. •Agreeableness – refers to individual’s ability to be cooperative, warm, trusting •Conscientiousness – individuals who are responsible, organized, dependable and persistent. •Emotional stability – ability of individuals to withstand stress •Openness – the ability ofindividuals to be creative, curious and artistically sensitive •Ideally groups must have people with similar personality traits

Challenges In Creating Effective Teams•Creating a team out of people who come from an individualistic society is a key challenge •Creating teams in an organization that is used to encouraging and recognizing individual efforts is another key challenge •Selection, training and rewards are keys to making teams effective.