Stages of Group Development

Different researches have reported different stages of group development. For example, Bernard M. Bass and Edward C. Ryterband report that groups typically develop through a four stage process:
  • Mutual acceptance 
  • Communication and decision making
  • Motivation and productivity
  • Control and organization
However, the most widely accepted five stages of group development are ones as reported by B.W. Tauchman and M.A. Jensen. These are:
Stages of Group Development
  1.  Forming Stages: The first stage for almost every group is an orientation stage. This stage is marked by a great deal of caution, confusion, courtesy and uncertainty about the group's purpose, structure, and leadership. The formal leader exerts a great influence in structuring the group and shaping member expectations. This stage is complete when members of the group have begun to think of themselves as part of a group. 
  2.  Storming Stage: This stage is characteristics by conflict, confrontation, concern and criticism. Struggles for individual power and influences are common. In case, the conflict becomes extremely intense and dysfunctional; the group may dissolve or continue as an ineffective group that advances to higher levels of group maturity.
  3. Norming Stage: This is the stage in which close relationship among the members develops. The group evinces cohesiveness. The group now assumes to certain identify and camaraderie.
  4. Performing Stage: This is the highest level of group maturity. This stage is marked teamwork, role clarity, and task accomplishment. Conflict is identified and resolved through group discussion. The members of the group are aware of group's processes and the extent of their own involvement in the group.
  5. Adjourning Stage: This stage is recognized as end of group i.e. completing every task and the group will be automatically adjourned. Groups are adjourned for two reasons. First the group has completed its task. Second, the members decide to disband and close the group with sentimental feeling.

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