Tuckman Theory- Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development

Tuckman Theory- Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development. Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman Theory.

Tuckman 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 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 in Tuckman’s theory. The name of 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 Stages of Group Development

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

Tuckman Theory
Tuckman Theory of Group Development

Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development

Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development is
  1. Forming Stage
  2. Storming Stage
  3. Norming Stage
  4. Performing Stage
  5. Adjourning Stage.
1. Forming Stage of Group Development: (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 trying 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, nodding in agreement and exhibiting enthusiasm is a 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 Group Development: (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. 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 group members’ difficulties and anxieties.

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 be 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 Group Development: (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 resolve them 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 Group Development: (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 later added the fifth stage called adjourning. Tuckman’s theory assists group members in subduing 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; therefore, he provided suggestions on reducing the barriers to 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 five stages of group development are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Tuckman’s theory helps to understand more about primary and secondary tension generated from group communication. It also recommends how to reduce the tensions among members and influence the group activities. It is essential to decline the tension among the group because the tensions are obstacles to achieving the group goal. Additionally, the theory 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 it suggested some recommendations to reduce conflicts. Furthermore, Tuckman’s model did not mention what would have happened if the storming stage did 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. (2022). 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/
Tuckman 1965 Reference Apa 7th Edition

Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin63(6), 384.

Small Group Communication Advantages and Disadvantages

Small-Group Communication Advantages and Disadvantages. Six Benefits or Advantages of Small Group Communication. Also, Disadvantages of Small Group Communication.

Small-Group Communication

Small group communication refers to the intercommunication among a small number of people who communicate regularly to achieve a shared goal. It is also known as a small group discussion or team interaction. Small group communication is essential for group learning. The vital features of group communication are Goals, Members, Interaction, Interdependence, and Working. These elements are inevitable to conduct small group communication. The members are the primary elements of the group communication who form the small group to achieve a common goal. For example, a small group of students communicates regularly to complete group assignments.

Definition of Small Group Communication 

The definitions of small group communication by different scholars are as follows:

A small group is an interaction between two or more individuals who interact over time to achieve common group goals or achieve individual goals valued by each member who believes that this group can help them achieve them (Bormann and Bormann, 1980).

A limited number of people who communicate face-to-face share a common understanding of an interdependent goal, influence one another, and express a sense of belongings to the group (Schultz, 1996).

Two or more persons interact with one another so that each person influences another person (Jones, George, and Hill, 2000).

According to David and Chris (2009), a small group as a few people engaged in communication interaction over time, in a face-to-face or computer-mediated environment with common goals and norms and has developed a communication pattern for meeting their goals in an Interdependent manner.

Small group members encounter a few stages and barriers to achieving the individual and group goals. According to Tuckman’s theory of group discussion, the five steps of small group communication are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Additionally, the four barriers in group communication are ethnocentrism, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.

Examples of Small Group Communication

The ten examples of small group communication are nuclear family group communication, assignment small group communication,  co-worker group communication, self-help group communication, educational group communication, learning group communication, service group communication, workgroup communication, virtual group communication, sports team Communication, and political group communication. These groups are also known as the example of Social Group

In the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual communication has become very prevalent in our society. Politicians, students, employees, and businessmen create a virtual group to communicate via virtual meeting platforms.  Apart from that, people build small groups to achieve personal, educational, and professional goals.

Characteristics of Small Group Communication

The five characteristics of small group communication are members, goals, interactions, working, and interdependence.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Group Communication

Every group communication is intended to achieve a common goal. Thus, group members communicate to achieve their individual and shared goals. However, every group discussion or communication has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, the benefits of Small Group communication are superior performance, Greater member satisfaction, Greater civic engagement, More learning, More creativity, Enhanced cultural understanding, and so on. In contrast, the disadvantages of small group communication are more time, energy, and resources, conflict, social loafing, blaming for shared errors, sleeping members, and scheduling problem.

Based on the study, the author has outlined a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Small Group Communication.

Firstly, the author will discuss six advantages of a small group or team communication or discussion. After that, discuss six disadvantages of a small group or team communication or discussion.

Small Group Communication Advantages and Disadvantages
Small-Group Communication Advantages and Disadvantages

Six Advantages of Small Group Communication

  1. Superior performance
  2. Greater member satisfaction
  3. Greater civic engagement
  4. More learning
  5. More creativity
  6. Enhanced cultural understanding
1. Superior Performance

According to MIT Management Professor Peter Senge: “If you want something really creative done, you ask a team to do it, instead of sending one person off to do it on his her own.” Groups make better decisions also solve problems incredibly complex and unclear problems. Finally, groups share the workload among group members.

2. Greater Member Satisfaction

Social benefits – opportunity to make friends, socialize, receive peer support, and feel part of a unified and successful team or group. The more opportunities group members have to communicate with one another, the more satisfied they are with the group experience.

3. Greater Civic Engagement

You can apply theories, methods, and tools to better engage in service to the community you learn in a group communication course. 

4. More Learning
  • A group provides many resources to work on a problem
  • “Synergistic” effect (Buckminster Fuller, the architect of the geodesic)
  • Synergy = the sum is greater than its parts
  • Members can learn from also other members
  • New members learn from veterans; similar amateurs learn from experts.
  • They also learn more about how to work as a group in contrast just merely topics they discuss.
  • It also helps in the decision-making process.
  • It is the product of interacting individuals stimulating one another so that what emerges is a product that no one member could accomplish working alone.
  • Additionally, it allows group members to share collective information, stimulate critical thinking, challenge assumptions, and raise achievement standards.
  • In the academic context, collaborative learning promotes higher individual achievement in knowledge acquisition, retention, accuracy, creativity in problem-solving, and higher-level reasoning.
5. More Creativity

The key to creativity is the mental flexibility required to mix thoughts from our many experiences. Groups provide a creative multiplier effect by tapping more information, more brainpower, and more insights.

6. Enhanced Cultural Understanding

Members differ in characteristics, life experiences, cultures, interests, and attitudes. Therefore, group members get a chance to enhance their cultural understanding of others. Working effectively = understand, respect, and adapt to differences in members’ skills, experiences, opinions, behavior, and differences in gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, race, status, and worldviews.

Six Disadvantages of Small Group Communication
  1. More time, energy, and resources
  2. Conflict
  3. Social Loafing
  4. Blaming for shared errors
  5. Sleeping Member
  6. Scheduling
1. More Time, Energy, and Resources
  • A group needs more time, energy, and resources to discuss issues and analyze and resolve problems. In contrast, less time, energy, and resources are required when individual works alone.
  •  A group does not have a long attention span; instead, it has a short attention span (David Berg, 1967). However, a long attention span is an inevitable element to complete a task within the period.
  • In group communication, there tend to get side-tracked.
  • Similarly, topics that do not pertain to the discussion at hand may be brought up.
2. Conflict
  • Disagreement = aggressive also disruptive
  • Members in a group often are confronted with an individual who wants to take over; therefore, conflict exists in group communication.
3. Social Loafing

Social loafing refers to the idle activity of a person or group member who pays less effort than other members to achieve a goal. They work very well alone to complete their tasks but spend less effort working in a group. Therefore, sometimes, social loafing stimulates to makes a group less productive.

4. Blaming for shared errors

A proverb says that to err is human. Errors come from personal and group activities; therefore, it is essential to identify the root cause of errors and the person who creates them. Sometimes, group members do not acknowledge shared mistakes; instead, they blame each other. Therefore, blaming for shared mistakes might increase conflict among group members that reduce productivity.

5. Sleeping Member

Sleeping members are always barriers to reducing production in Small groups because they do not achieve the goal.

6. Scheduling Problem

Scheduling a group or team meeting is a great challenge that the group faces regularly. Usually, all group members are not available to join the meeting simultaneously for their busyness. Hence, it reduces the group productivity not for scheduling regular meetings among members. Therefore, scheduling group meetings is the essential element to increase group member’s commitment.

Conclusion

The advantages and disadvantages of small group communication have been discussed elaborately in this article so that readers get an idea about a small group or team communication. Of course, the group or team needs to take the necessary steps to communicate among group members effectively. However, reducing the disadvantages of small group communication will surely increase the productivity of the group.

The rationale of Studying Small Group Communication

Firstly, we are literally living among many small groups; for example, your family group and groups of close friends. Additionally, colleagues at work, social and recreational clubs, athletic teams, and many more. In addition, The world of work—government, politics, health, a business group. The work reliance on small groups of experts to gather, interpret and present data to the decision-makers in their organizations. Similarly, Learning how to act and react in a group can help you overcome some anxiety and uncertainty. Finally, Help you diagnose and improve your own performance.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2022). Small-Group Communication Advantages and Disadvantages. Best Online Learning Platform. https://newsmoor.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-small-group-communication-pros-cons/
References

Berg, D. M. (1967). A thematic approach to the analysis of the task‐oriented, small group. Communication Studies18(4), 285-291.