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.

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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.

List of Social Groups- Types & Examples of Social groups PDF

List of Social Groups- Types of Social Groups PDF. Examples of Social groups. Also, Types of Social Groups in Sociology

Social Groups

Social groups refer to many groups in a society formed by more than two people who communicate regularly to achieve individual and their respective group goals. The people in the same group share similar characteristics, mutual expectations, and shared identity. Many groups have been prevalent in society for thousands of years, such as learning groups, work-group, self-help groups, etc. The social group is divided into many small groups. However, a social group is also known as a small group when a small number of people create the group. Small group communication is significant to achieving the group goal.

Group communication has many stages, tensions, and conflicts, so members need to maintain all the challenges to achieve the final goal. According to Tuckman’s Theory, the five stages of group discussion are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Members must need to overcome all these stages to achieve the independent and interdependent goal. Additionally, the four types of barriers in group communication are Ethnocentrism, Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination.

List of Social Groups or Types of Social Groups

The 10 Types of Social Groups are:
  1. Primary Group
  2. Social Group
  3. Self-help Group
  4. Educational or learning Group
  5. Service Group
  6. Civic Group
  7. Work-Group
  8. Public Group
  9. Virtual Group
  10. Also, Political Group

Based on the research, the author has revealed a list of the top 10 types of social groups—the list of the top 10 types of social groups with the overall purpose and example given below.

Examples of Social Groups
1. Primary Group

Firstly, Satisfy primary needs (needs for inclusion [affiliation, belonging] also affection [love, esteem]. Interpersonal communicative behaviors are self-disclosure, empathy, trust, and perceived understanding. Some textbooks also use “long-standing group” because of long-term relationships.

For example, Nuclear family, Roommates, Several friends who meet daily around a table (best friends), and co-workers who regularly share Coffee breaks are under the primary group.

2. Social Group

Some textbooks also use “secondary group,” usually formed to do work. Completing a project, solving a problem, and also making a decision. Although an intimate relationship can develop, the social group shares a common interest or engages in a shared activity.

For example, Athletic Teams and Peer Groups are social groups.

3. Self-help Group

To offer support and encouragement to members who want or need help. A self-help group refers to individuals who share a common problem or life situation. Anonymous and support groups are available on the Internet, providing health, personal, or relationship issues.

For example, Doctor Budak and MyEndosis is a self-help group.

4. Educational or Learning Group

Usually, the Educational or Learning Group primarily discovers and develops new ideas and ways of thinking.
This group is intended to enhance members’ skills, abilities, also cognitive processes.  Members hope to gain additional knowledge or improve behavior.

For example, professional workshops and health and fitness classes (Yoga) are educational and learning groups.

5. Service Group

The service group comprises primarily volunteers who donate their time, energy, and effort to help others in need of a particular service or who lack something that would help them lead a functional life. The task of this group is to help someone less fortunate. To support worthy causes that help people outside the group.

For example, PT Foundation and Kiwanis is a service group.

6. Civic Group

A civic group is formed to support worthy causes that help people within the group.

For example, Fire and Police Auxiliary Groups are civic groups.

7. Work-group

Work-group is also known as decision-making and problem-solving groups (solving and dealing with specific issues)-Occur within an organizational context. Members complete particular tasks and routine duties on behalf of an organization whose members take collective responsibility for the job.

For example, Standing committees, Taskforces, and Management Teams are workgroups.

8. Public group

A public group is focused on discussing important issues in front of or for the benefit of the public. However, the members of this group are key decision-makers.

For example, Symposiums, Panel discussions, and Forums are public groups.

9. Virtual Group

The task-oriented group can collaborate across time, space, and organizational boundaries. Members of the virtual group work interdependently on a task but from different physical locations via communication technology. This group evolves into a virtual community or a group that meets regularly in cyberspace for members to share their experiences, opinions, and knowledge on a particular topic or interest. Virtual groups communicate via virtual meeting platforms, such as Google Meet, Zoom meeting, Microsoft Team, and so more. 

For example, a CEO from another country is a virtual group.

10. Political Group

A political group is formed to discuss crucial political party issues and contribute to countries’ well-being.

For example, the Democratic Party Liberal Party is a political groups.

Types of Social Groups PDF
List of Social Groups- Types of Social Groups & Examples of social group. Social groups Definition & Examples. 10 Types of Social Groups are Primary group, Social Group, Self-help Group, Educational or Learning Group, Service Group, Service group, Work-group, Public group, Virtual Group, Political Group.
 Types & Examples of Social groups pdf