Tuckman’s Theory of Communication Stages With Advantages and Disadvantages

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

Tuckman’s Theory of Communication

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’s theory, Tuckman’s ladder, five stages of group development theory, Tuckman’s team development model, Tuckman’s theory of communication, and Tuckman’s 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 the fifth stage is Adjourning, which represents the happiness of achieving the interdependent group goal by the group members. So, it became 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 behavior of group members with dynamic characteristics. Additionally, a perfect theory describes how group members adjust and adapt to a group gradually.

Tuckman's Theory of Communication Five Stages. Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman's Theory.
Bruce Tuckman’s Theory of Communication

Five Stages of Tuckman’s Theory

The five Stages of Bruce Tuckman’s Theory in Communication 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 trying to understand and test personal relationships. Member also orients itself to itself.

Group Develops in the Forming Stage: 

  • Ice-breaking” stage.
  • Group members are uncertain about their roles.
  • Mutual trust is low.
  • There is a good deal of holding back to see who is in charge.
  • Conflict is beneficial and leads to increased creativity.
Primary Tension

Firstly, group members feel social unease and stiffness accompanying 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 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 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.

Group Develops in the Storming Stage:
  • Time of testing (Testing leader’s policies and assumptions and how they fit into the power structure).
  • Subgroups take shape
  • Subtle forms of rebellion occur
  • 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.

Group Develops in the Norming Stage:
  • Group more cohesive.
  • Less conflict with increasing team member interactions and interdependence of work tasks.
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. Group identity, loyalty, and morale are generally high in this stage. However, disagreements occur, but members usually resolve them intelligently and amicably. Finally, Interaction patterns reflect virtually no tension; the members are cheerful, loud, boisterous, laughing and verbally backslapping each other”.

Group Develops in the Performing Stage:
  • Activity focused on problem-solving.
  • Work done without hampering others.
  • The climate of open communication and full engagement.
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 their achievements but feel lost when the group dissolves.

  • Disband = confront relational issues (For example, how to retain friendships with other members).
Group Develops in the Adjourning Stage:
  • Work completed; group moves on to other activities.
  • Opportunity for leaders to emphasize valuable lessons.
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 the advantages and disadvantages of group communication; therefore, he provided suggestions for 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’s Theory
  1. Framework for Understanding Group Dynamics: Tuckman’s model provides a structured framework for understanding the natural stages of group development. 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 reducing the tensions among members and influencing group activities. It is essential to reduce 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.
  2. Predictive Capability: By recognizing the typical stages of group development outlined in the model, leaders can predict potential challenges and issues that may arise. This predictive capability enables proactive intervention to address conflicts, facilitate communication, and foster cohesion within the group.
  3. Facilitates Team Building: Tuckman’s model emphasizes the importance of communication, trust-building, and goal-setting in group development. It provides guidance for leaders to actively promote team-building activities and create an environment conducive to collaboration and goal achievement.
  4. Enhanced Leadership Effectiveness: Understanding Tuckman’s model allows leaders to adapt their leadership style to the needs of the group at each stage of development. Effective leaders can provide support, direction, and empowerment as necessary, facilitating the group’s progress toward maturity and productivity.
Disadvantages of Tuckman’s Theory
  1. Oversimplification: Critics argue that Tuckman’s model oversimplifies the complexities of group dynamics. Real-world groups may not always linearly progress through the stages, and the model may overlook individual differences, cultural influences, and external factors that can impact group development.
  2. Focus on Conflict: The emphasis on conflict in the Storming stage of Tuckman’s model may reinforce negative stereotypes about group dynamics. While conflict can be a natural part of group development, an overemphasis on conflict may neglect the importance of relationship-building and collaboration in achieving group goals.
  3. Limited Practical Application: In dynamic and rapidly changing environments, Tuckman’s model may have limited practical application. Groups operating in fast-paced settings may not have the luxury of progressing through each stage sequentially and may need to adapt more quickly to changing circumstances.
  4. Neglect of External Influences: Tuckman’s model primarily focuses on internal group dynamics and may neglect external factors such as organizational culture, leadership style, and external pressures. Ignoring these influences may limit the model’s applicability in diverse organizational contexts.

Tuckman’s theory consists of five important stages that are 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 failed to discuss why the group changes over time. These are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman’s Theory.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2024). 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.

Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process

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

Communication Elements

Communication elements are essential components and stages connected with transmitting messages from senders to receivers. They are also known as the elements of an effective communication process.  Communication elements initiate and regulate the information-sharing cycle between the sender and receiver. Therefore, communication elements are essential and interconnected parts of the communication process.

Based on linear interactive and transactional models of communication, the 9 elements of communication are Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise. These are essential tools and mechanisms except noise to convey messages between sender and receiver. Communication elements are also known as the components of an effective communication process.

Communication Process

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

9 Elements of Communication

 The 9 Elements of Communication 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. Elements of the communication process with examples. Components of communication.
Nine Elements of Communication Process With Examples
 Examples of 9 Communication Elements 

Elly wants to pay the electricity bill. She thinks that her husband (Jack) can pay for it now; therefore, Elly requests 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 he needed to pay for the electricity bill. So, she repeated the exact words to confirm him. Consequently, her husband asked about the due date for paying the electricity bill, and she replied that today was the last date to pay the electricity bill without penalty. In the meantime, she showed her angry face to her son to reduce the TV volume. Instantly, her son reduced the volume.

Based on the example, the context is a verbal communication. Verbal communication occurs when people converse physically or over a phone call. Elly is the sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. Similarly, her husband is also a sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. Turning the thought into a message is the act of encoding. In contrast, transferring the message into view is the process of decoding. The smartphone is the medium or channel of the communication process, and TV volume is the environmental noise that bars the communication process.

Example Scenario of Communication Elements
  1. Sender: Elly
  2. Message: “Deposit $100 for the electricity bill
  3. Encoding: “Elly decides to call her husband to send a message”.
  4. Channel: Phone Call
  5. Receiver: Her Husband (Jack)
  6. Decoding:  Her Husband (Jack) interpreted the message and took action
  7. Feedback: “Asked about the due date for paying the electricity bill”.
  8. Noise: “TV Sounds”.
  9. Context: “Verbal Communication”.

1. Context in Communication

Context refers to the environment of communication in which the interaction happens or takes place. Communication context is the circumstance and prime element of every communication process that controls the communication process among senders and receivers. The most common five communication contexts are intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, and mass communication settings. Additionally, 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, and 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.

Types of Communication Context

The most common five types of communication contexts are intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, and mass communication. The additional contexts of communication are verbal and nonverbal communication settings.

Example of Context in Communication

For example, Elly talks to her husband informally and feels very comfortable. Therefore, the social context has been designed from this communication process, and it is also an interpersonal context as they communicate face to face.

2. Sender in Communication

A sender is a person who sends a message to the receiver. The sender is also known as the encoder of the message. The sender initiates the communication process and 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, writer, or person who provides the information to share opinions, ideas, and messages.

Example of Sender in Communication

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

3. Encoding in Communication

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.

Example of Encoding in Communication

For example, Elly has converted his thoughts into words to convey the message to her husband, which is called encoding. Here, converting ideas into words is the process of encoding. Words serve as the spoken communication symbol. She called her husband and uttered some words to share an opinion as well as send a message.

4. Message in Communication

The message refers to the information, ideas, feelings, opinions, thoughts, attitudes, and views the sender wants to deliver to the receiver. The message seems like a vital element of any communication process. Any communication conveys a message, also known as sharing ideas, opinions, thoughts, and information. Invariably, 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 be conveyed through verbal and nonverbal cues. Verbal cues are the spoken language of the speaker, for instance, spoken words.

On the other hand, the most common types of nonverbal communication are facial expression, eye contact, physical appearance, posture, gesture, etc.

Example of Message in Communication

For example, Elly was speaking to convey a message that indicates verbal communication. She also showed her angry face to her son to reduce the TV volume, which is called non-verbal communication. In this regard, spoken words and facial expressions are examples of messages in communication. The most common examples of messages in communication are spoken words, written words, facial expressions, eye contact, phone calls, video, email, and text messages.

5. Channel in Communication

Channel is the way or tool of transmitting the message. It is also known as a medium of 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 channels for transferring the information. It is also one of the crucial elements of the communication process.

On the other hand, organizations use Television, Newspapers, and radio to disseminate information. People use computers and mobile phones to communicate with people who live far away from each other. Many people use virtual meeting platforms to conduct group discussions. Sometimes, people choose a written medium, such as a letter, to convey the message, while others prefer an oral medium when spontaneous feedback is required from the recipient.

Example of Channel in Communication

For example, Elly has transmitted the message through a smartphone, so the smartphone is the channel of the communication process. She uses technology to convey messages, which is called mediated communication. The most common example of communication channels is TV, Radio, Newspapers, Social media, and the five human senses. For instance, Global Assistant is a renowned education consultant in Asia and they communicate with potential customers via official websites and social media platforms. So, websites and social media sites are channels of communication.

6. Decoding in Communication

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 message’s meaning.

Example of Decoding in Communication

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

7. Receiver in Communication

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

Example of Receiver in Communication

For example, Elly sent a message targeting her husband, with whom she wanted to communicate. Hence, her husband is the receiver in this context of communication.

8. Feedback in Communication

Feedback in communication refers to the response of the receiver or audience. It is one of the main elements of the effective communication process that differentiates the communication models into linear and transactional. Linear communication models explain one-way communication without feedback.  Feedback is an inevitable component of the transactional model.  Feedback may be verbal (through words) or non-verbal (in the form of smiles, sighs, etc.). It may take written form and also in the form of memos, reports, etc. Feedback is also one of the essential elements of the transactional communication process.

Feedback differentiates the linear and transitional models of communication. Linear means one-way communication, and transactional denotes two-way communication. The communication model is linear if there is no feedback in the communication process, for example, Aristotle’s Model of Communication, Shannon and Weaver’s Model of Communication, Lasswell’s Communication Model, and Berlo’s SMCR 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, Westley and Maclean Model of Communication, Eugene White’s Model of Communication and the Helical Model of Communication.

Example of Feedback in Communication

For example, Elly’s husband asked about paying the electricity bill’s due date. Additionally, feedback is demonstrated when the students reply lecturer’s questions.

9. Noise in Communication

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

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

Example of Noise in Communication

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

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

Conclusion

In conclusion, the nine elements of the communication process are context, sender, encoder,  message, channel, decoder, receiver, feedback, and noise. These components are essential in the transactional communication process. The communication process might get faulty without any elements except noise because noise is the unwanted communication element. This article has presented the nine elements of the communication process with examples.

Citation For This Article(APA-7th & MLA-9th Edition)
APA Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2024). 9 Elements of Communication Process With Examples. Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform. https://newsmoor.com/communication-elements-9-components-of-basic-communication-process/