Even a quick glance at the literature of group development reveals a wide range of theoretical models concerning developmental processes. Most commentators assume that groups go through a number of phases or stages if they exist for an extended period. It is clear, for example, that people tend to want to know something about the other members; have to develop a degree of interdependence in order that the group or team may achieve its tasks and be satisfying to its members; and has to learn at some level to deal with conflict if it is to survive. The most influential model of the developmental process – certainly in terms of its impact upon texts aimed at practitioners – has been that of Bruce W. Tuckman. While there are various differences concerning the number of stages and their names – many have adopted a version of Tuckman’s model – forming, storming, norming and performing. He was later to add a fifth stage – adjourning. To begin we will look at his original formulation.
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