Groups generally pass through a standardized sequence in their evolution. This sequence is called the five-stage model of group development. Although research indicates that not all groups follow this pattern. It is a useful framework to understand group development. The forming–storming–norming–performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who said that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results. In 1977, Tuckman, jointly with Mary Ann Jensen, added a fifth stage to the four stages: adjourning.
The typical stages of group development are described below:
At the first stage, group members get introduced to each other if they have not interacted earlier. They share personal information, start to accept other, and begin to turn their attention towards the group tasks. At this stage, interaction among group members is often cautious specially when they are new to one another.
After the forming stage which is mostly related to perceiving and assessing each other, members start interaction among themselves in the form of competing for status, jockeying for relative control, and arguing for appropriate strategies to be adopted for achieving group’s goals. Because of individual differences, different members may experience varying degree of tension and anxiety out of this interaction pattern.
In this stage close relationship develop and the group demonstrates cohesiveness. Group norms emerge to guide individual behavior which form the basis for cooperative feelings and behavior among members.
When group members interact among themselves on the basis of norms that have emerged in the group, they learn to handle complex problems that come before the group. Functional roles are performed and exchanged as needed, and tasks are accomplished efficiently.
In this stage the group prepares for its disbandment. This is the end stage of group development. High task performance is no longer the group’s top priority. Instead intention is toward wrapping up activities. The adjournment phase takes place in the case of those groups which are created for some special purposes like task force, committee etc. Other types of groups like department in an organization run on the basis of some permanency though there may be changes in group members.