Tuckman’s Theory of Communication Stages- Advantages and Disadvantages

Tuckman’s Theory of Communication Stages. Pros and Cons of Tuckman Theory. The 5 Stages of Tuckman’s group development theory. Tuckman Stages are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman Theory.

Tuckman’s Theory

Tuckman’s theory refers to the five stages of the group development model developed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. It is also known as Tuckman’s model, Tuckman theory, Tuckman ladder, five stages of group development theory, Tuckman’s team development model, Tuckman theory of communication, and also Tuckman stages.

Bruce Tuckman introduced his four stages of group development theory in 1965. However, in the 1970s, he added the fifth stage to his four stages of group development theory. In 1977, Tuckman and Mary Ann Jensen included the fifth and final stage into Tuckman’s theory. The name of the fifth stage is Adjourning, which represents the happiness of achieving the interdependent group goal by the group member. So, it gets known as Tuckman and Jensen’s theory after adding the fifth stage.

Tuckman’s five stages are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. It is one of the appropriate theories for explaining the behavior of group members with dynamic characteristics. Additionally, a perfect theory to describe how the group members adjust and adapt in a group gradually.

Tuckman's Theory of Communication- 5 stages
Figure 1: Tuckman’s Theory of Communication

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

The 5 Stages of Group Development are
  1. Forming Stage
  2. Storming Stage
  3. Norming Stage
  4. Performing Stage
  5. Adjourning Stage.
1. Forming Stage of Tuckman’s Theory: (Orientation)

Forming is the first stage of Tuckman’s theory of communication, also known as the five stages of the group development model. Usually, members carefully explore both personal and group goals in this stage. They feel uncomfortable working with a group of strangers or unfamiliar colleagues try to understand and test personal relationships. Member also orients itself to itself.

Primary Tension

Firstly, group member feels social unease and stiffness that accompanies the getting-acquainted stage in a new group. They become overly polite with one another. Additionally, members don’t interrupt one another. They often speak softly and avoid expressing strong opinions, also talk less, and provide little in the way of content.

How to Solve the Tension?

Firstly, the members should be positive and energetic so that other members build positive attitudes toward them. Secondly, smile and Laugh at others when interacting with them. Additionally, nod in agreement and exhibit enthusiasm because it is a very useful non-verbal cue to hold effective interactions. Group members should also be patient and open-minded, knowing that the primary tension will decrease with time. Finally, Be prepared and informed before your first meeting to help the group focus on its task.

2. Storming Stage of Tuckman’s Theory: (Power Struggle)

Storming is the second stage of Tuckman’s theory of Group Development. Group members become argumentative also emotional. The most confident members begin to compete for both social acceptance and leadership. Many groups try to skip this stage to avoid competition and conflict Conflict is necessary to establish a climate in which members understand the value of disagreeing with one another. The conflicts among group members are also known as noise in communication.

  • Conflict ⇒ cohesion dialectic.
  • Leadership ⇒ follower ship dialectic.
Secondary Tension in Tuckman’s Model

Firstly, frustrations and personality conflicts are experienced by group members as they compete for acceptance and achievement within a group. Members have gained enough confidence to become assertive and even aggressive as they pursue positions of power and influence. They gain a high level of energy and agitation. The group becomes noisier, more dynamic, and physically active in this stage of group development. Usually, members start to speak in louder voices, interrupting and overlapping one another so that two or three people may be speaking simultaneously. Members sit up straight, lean forward, or squirm in their seats. Finally, everyone is alert and listening intently.

How to Solve the Tension?

Making jokes is very important to avoid tension in the second stage of Tuckman’s theory. They should work outside the group setting to discuss the personal difficulties and anxieties of group members.

3. Norming Stage of Tuckman’s Theory (Cooperation)

Norming is the third stage of Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development Theory. Members start learning to work as a cohesive team and task-oriented. They start developing “rules of engagement.” However, they feel more comfortable with one another and are willing to disagree and express opinions – communication becomes open. Finally, a feeling of trust and clear goals emerge inside the group.

4. Performing Stage of Tuckman’s Theory (Synergy)

Performing is the fourth stage of Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development theory. Members become fully engaged and eager to work at this stage. Members adjust and adapt to the situation and also start solving critical problems. In this stage, the group identity, loyalty, and morale are generally high. However, disagreements do occur, but members usually resolved intelligently and amicably. Finally, Interaction patterns reflect virtually no tension; instead, the members are cheerful, loud, boisterous, laughing and verbally backslapping each other”.

5. Adjourning Stage of Tuckman’s Theory (Closure)

Adjourning refers to the fifth stage of Tuckman’s 5 Group Development Theory. Members have usually achieved their common goal and may begin to disband. It also represents whether the group members will work together or form a new group. Finally, they are happy with what they have achieved but feel lost when the group dissolves.

  • Disband = confront relational issues (For example, how to retain friendships with other members).
Tuckman’s Theory of Communication

Tuckman’s theory of communication has significant theoretical and practical contributions to research. The Five Stages of Tuckman’s Theory of Communication are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Although, in 1965, Tuckman proposed a four-stage group development theory but he later added the fifth stage called adjourning. Tuckman’s theory assists group members to subdue the group barriers. It also helps to adjust them in the group gradually.  Therefore, it is known as a group facilitation theory. Tuckman’s group development theory consists of five stages that facilitate group formation and development.

Tuckman identified both advantages and disadvantages of group communication and provided suggestions on reducing the barriers in group communication.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman’s Theory

The Tuckman model has both theoretical and practical advantages and disadvantages. Many researchers have identified the pros and cons of the Tuckman theory. It is also known as the strengths and limitations of the Tuckman model.

Advantages of Tuckman Theory

Firstly, Tuckman’s theory clarifies the specific stages of any group and team discussion; for instance, the 5 stages of group development are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Tuckman’s theory helps to understand more about primary and secondary tension. It also recommends how to reduce these tensions to active the group. It is very important to decline the tension among the group because these tensions obstacle to achieving the group goal. Additionally, it strengthens the relationship among group members and motivates them to be productive. Finally, the Tuckman group developing theory shows the perfect successful way of solving group uncertainty issues and gaining interdependent goals.

Disadvantages of Tuckman Theory

Tuckman’s Theory consists of five important stages that really difficult to maintain one by one. Group members need to follow different instructions to maintain effective communication and a good relationship with group members. Additionally, there is no instant solution to solve all conflicts in group communication, although suggested some recommendations to reduce conflicts. Furthermore, Tuckman’s model did not mention what would have happened if the storming stage does not end. Finally, Tuckman’s model has been failed to discuss why the group change over time.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, January 30). Tuckman Theory of Communication, Advantages, and Disadvantages. Educational Website For Online Learning. https://newsmoor.com/tuckmans-model-five-stages-of-group-and-team-development-theory/

Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process

Communication Elements, the 9 Elements of Communication are Context, Sender, Encoder,  Messages, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise. Additionally, Examples of the 9 Elements of Communication and or Components of Communication.

Communication Elements

Communication elements refer to essential tools of communication on which the communication process is conducted. Elements of communication initiate and regulate the entire cycle of sharing information between the sender and receiver. Therefore, elements of communication are essential and interconnected parts of the communication process. The 9 elements of communication (Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise) are essential tools or components for effective communication between sender and receiver. Communication elements are also known as the components of communication.

Communication Process

The communication process refers to the way of sharing information verbally or non-verbally between the sender and receiver. Verbal communication means communication through spoken words. Nonverbal communication refers to nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expression, movement, eye contact, body language, and so more. Communication means conveying the message via written text, speech, signals, visuals, or behavior. It also a process of exchanging opinions and imparting knowledge between speaker and audience through elements of communication.

The 9 Elements of Communication

 The 9 elements of the communication process are

  1. Context
  2. Sender
  3. Encoder
  4. Message
  5. Channel
  6. Decoder
  7. Receiver
  8. Feedback
  9. Noise
Communication Elements, 9 elements of communication process
Figure 1: The 9 Elements of the Communication Process
 Examples of Communication Elements 

Ela requested her husband to deposit $100 for the electricity bill while talking to her husband on a smartphone. At the same time, her son watched a cartoon video on Television with the volume on high. Therefore, her husband could not understand exactly how much needs to pay for the electricity bill. So, she repeated the same words to confirm him. Consequently, her husband asked about the due date of paying the electricity bill, and she replied that today is the last date to pay the electricity bill without penalty. In the meantime, she showed her angry face to her son to reduce TV volume. Instantly, her son reduced the volume.

Based on the example, the context is the social context. Ela is the sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. In similar, her husband is also a sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. Turning the thought into the message is the act of encoding. In contrast, transferring the message into thought is the process of decoding. The smartphone is the medium or channel of the communication process. TV volume is the environmental noise that bars the communication process.

1. Context

Context refers to the environment of communication in which the interaction happens or takes place. Communication context is the prime element of every communication process that controls the communication process among senders and receivers. This context may be physical, historical, psychological, social, chronological, or cultural. For example, you may feel comfortable sharing your personal information with close friends rather than colleagues. You will not speak to an unknown person as you talk to your wife. So, the context of communication sets the environment of the communication process.

For example, Ela is talking to her husband informally, so she feels very comfortable. Therefore, the social context has been designed from this communication process. The context will be physical-context if they communicate face to face.

2.  Sender

A sender is a person who sends the message to the receiver. The sender is also known as the encoder of the message. The sender is the initiator of the communication process who starts the procedure by sending a message or information. Therefore, the sender is a significant element of the communication process. A sender makes and uses symbols (words or graphic or visual aids) to convey the message and produce the required response. Therefore, a sender is a speaker or writer or a person who provides the information to share opinions, ideas, and messages.

For example, Ela is the sender and encoder who sends messages to communicate with her husband. The sender is the person who sends the message to share with others. So, Ela is the sender also an element of the communication process.

3. Encoding

Encoding means transforming abstract opinions and ideas into symbols such as words, pictures, signs, and marks. A symbol might represent or indicate opinions, statements, and actions. In contrast, decoding is the process of transforming the symbol into an idea or thought. Encoding is the process of transformation of the subject into symbols. The encoding process is related to the sender and receiver.

The message of any communication is always abstract and intangible. Transmission of the message requires the use of certain symbols.

For example, Ela has converted his thought into words to convey the message to her husband called encoding. Here, converting thought into words is the process of encoding. Words are serving as the spoken communication symbol. She called her husband and uttered some words to share an opinion as well as send the message.

4. Message

The message refers to the information, ideas, feelings, opinion, thought, attitude, and view that the sender wants to deliver to the receiver.  The message seems like a key element of any communication process. Any communication might happen to convey the message that is also known as sharing ideas, opinions, thoughts, and information. Always, the sender wants to convey the message to communicate with the receiver. So, senders need to ensure that the main objective of the message is clear and understandable.

Messages may convey through verbal and nonverbal cues. Verbal cues are the spoken language of the speaker, for instance, spoken words.

On the other hand, nonverbal communication examples are facial expression, eye contact, physical appearance, posture, gesture, etc.

For example, Ela was speaking to convey a message that indicates verbal communication.  She also showed her angry face to her son to reduce the volume of TV that is called non-verbal communication.

5.  Channel

Channel is the way or tool of transmitting the message. It is also known as a medium in communication that conveys the message from sender to receiver.  Communicators use different channels to communicate in a distinct context of communication. In face-to-face communication, the sender’s senses, such as hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting, are the channel of transferring the information. It is also one of the important elements of the communication process.

On the other hand, organizations use Television, Newspapers, Radio as a channel to disseminate information. People use the computer and mobile phone to communicate with a person who lives far away from each other. Nowadays, many people use online meeting platforms to conduct virtual group meetings. Sometimes, people choose a written medium, such as a letter, to convey the message, while other people choose an oral medium when spontaneous feedback is required from the recipient.

For example, Ela has transmitted the message through a smartphone, so the smartphone is the channel of the communication process. She uses technology to convey messages; therefore, it is called mediated communication.

6. Decoding

Decoding is the process of translating an encoded symbol into the ordinary understandable language in contrast to the encoder. In this process, the receiver converts the symbols into thoughts received from the sender.  Decoding is the opposite process of encoding to get the meaning of the message.

For example, Ela has transformed his thought into words to convey the message to her husband called encoding. At the same time, her husband converts those words into thought to understand the message that is the process of decoding.

7. Receiver

A receiver is a person for whom the message is targeted in contrast to the sender. Therefore, the receiver is the audience of the communication process that decodes the message to perceive the meaning. The sender surely sends a message aimed at the receiver. Receivers can be one person or a group of people or a big amount of population. The degree to which the decoder understands the message depends on various factors such as knowledge of the recipient, their responsiveness to the message, and the reliance of the encoder on the decoder.

For example, Ela has sent the message targeted at her husband to whom she wants to communicate. Hence, her husband is the receiver in this context of the communication.

8.  Feedback

Feedback refers to the response of the receiver or audience. It is one of the main elements of the effective communication process as it allows the sender to analyze the efficacy of the message. It also helps the sender in confirming the correct interpretation of the message by the decoder. Feedback may be verbal (through words) or non-verbal (in the form of smiles, sighs, etc.).  It may take written form also in the form of memos, reports, etc. Feedback is also one of the important elements of communication.

Feedback differentiates the linear and transitional models of communication. The communication model is linear if there is no feedback in the communication process, for example, Lasswell’s Model of Communication.

On the other hand, the communication model will be identified as an interactive and transitional communication model if the feedback is presented, for example, the Osgood-Schramm Model of Communication.

For example, Ela’s husband asked about the due date of paying the electricity bill.

9. Noise

Noise refers to the communication barrier or obstacles to effective communication. It is also known as communication noise or noise in communication. Noise is an unwanted element of the communication process that communicators always want to avoid during the interaction.

Noise in communication is any barrier that obstacles the effectiveness of the communication process. Actually, communication noises exist in all kinds of communication, such as noise in face-to-face communication, noise in group communication, noise in mediated communication, etc. Communication will be more effective and interactive if there is no noise. Actually, noises are unnecessary elements of communication that distract receivers from receiving the message.

The five types of noise in communication are Physical noise, Physiological noise, Psychological noise, Semantic noise, and Cultural noise.

For example, Ela’s son watches a cartoon video on Television with the volume on high when she was talking to her husband. The sound of the cartoon video bars Ela to listen to her husband’s speech, so it is an example of a communication barrier or communication noise, or communication distraction.

In conclusion, these nine important elements (context, sender, encoder,  message, channel, decoder, receiver, feedback, and noise) are essential in the communication process. The communication process might get faulty without any of these elements except noise because noise is the unwanted communication element.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, February 3). Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process. Educational Website For Online Learning. https://newsmoor.com/communication-elements-9-components-of-basic-communication-process/

M M Kobiruzzaman on ResearchGate

Reference
Lunenburg, F. C. (2010). Communication: The process, barriers, and improving effectiveness. Schooling1(1), 1-10.