Explain different models of group development
Explain different models of group development. In your opinion which model describes the developmental process most appropriately?
Answer: Group development plays a very important role. There are a number of models related to group development. There are different types of groups.
A psychological group may be defined as one in which the two or more persons who are interdependent influence every other person. These include families, friendship circles, political clubs, work, educational, religious, neighborhood, and recreational groups. The social group on the other hand is an integrated system of interrelated psychological groups formed to accomplish a defined function or objective. Formal groups refer to those which are established under the legal or formal authority with the view to achieving a particular end result and the group is named after on the basis of its organizational structure, having work assignments establishing tasks. For example, the teachers union. The Informal groups refer to the aggregate of the personal contacts and interaction and the network of relationships among individuals obtained in an informal way. The primary groups are characterized by small size, face-to-face interactions, and intimacy among the members of the group. Examples are family groups and neighborhood groups. The secondary groups are characterized by large size and individuals’ identification with the values and beliefs prevailing in them rather than actual interactions. Examples are occupational associations and ethnic groups.
Apart from these groups, there are a number of different groups as well. The appointment of individuals to a group based on their compatibility, diversity, or expertise does not assure effectiveness in achieving group goals. A group is initially a collection of personalities with different characteristics, needs, and influences. To be effective, these individuals must spend time acclimatizing themselves to their environment, the task, and to each other. Organizational experts and practitioners have observed that new groups go through a number of stages before they achieve maximum performance. Each model presents the members with different challenges that must be overcome before they can move on to the next stage. These stages have been identified as forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.
Forming is one of the most important models of group development. It involves the formation of relations with other members as well as with the relevant work also. This model helps the members to get familiarized with the task and also helps them to preoccupy themselves with other members of the group. This is sometimes referred to as the dependent stage, as members tend to depend on outside expertise for guidance, job definition, and task analysis.
Storming is another group development model. With the help of this model, the group encounters conflict as members confront and criticize each other and the approach the group is taking to their tasks. Issues that arise include the identification of roles and responsibilities, operational rules and procedures, and the individual need for recognition of his or her skills and abilities. This stage is also referred to as the counter-dependent stage where members tend to “flex their muscles” in search of identity. In some cases, the group may have problems getting through this model. This may occur if the group encounters difficulty clarifying their task, agreeing on their mission or mandate, or deciding how they will proceed. Lack of skills, ability, or aptitude can also contribute to their inability to get beyond this stage.
Norming as a group development model works in the normalization of the tension created among colleagues or members of a team. At this point, members start to resolve the issues that are creating the conflict and begin to develop their social agreements. The members begin to recognize their interdependence, develop cohesion, and agree on the group norms that will help them function effectively in the future.
In the Performing group model, the team members start doing their relevant tasks. When the group has sorted out its social structure and understands its goals and individual roles, it moves towards accomplishing its task. Mutual assistance and creativity become prominent themes at this stage. The group, sensing its growth and maturity, becomes independent, relying on its own resources.
During the Adjourning phase, the group resorts to some form of closure that includes rites and rituals suitable to the event. These may include socials and parties, or ceremonies that exhibit emotional support or celebration of their success.
In my opinion, the most important group development model is performing. This is because the task that is allowed to every member becomes the responsibility of the members. It urges them to complete the task within the given time limit. It also helps in developing the habit of mutual help among the members. This also helps in maturing the approach of group members and helps them to become more independent of their personal resources.