Tuckman Theory- Tuckman's Stages of Group Development - Newsmoor (2023)

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

Tuckman Theory

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

Tuckman Theory- Tuckman's Stages of Group Development - Newsmoor (1)

Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development

Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development is
  1. Forming Stage
  2. Storming Stage
  3. Norming Stage
  4. Performing Stage
  5. Adjourning Stage.
1. Forming Stage of Group Development: (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.

Primary Tension

Firstly, group member feels social unease and stiffness that accompanies 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 Group Development: (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 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.

  • Conflict ⇒ cohesion dialectic.
  • Leadership ⇒ follower shipdialectic.
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.

4. Performing Stage of Group Development: (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. In this stage, the group identity, loyalty, and morale are generally high. However, disagreements do occur, but members usually resolve them intelligently and amicably. Finally, Interaction patterns reflect virtually no tension; instead, the members are cheerful, loud, boisterous, laughing and verbally backslapping each other”.

5. Adjourning Stage of Group Development: (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 what they have achieved but feel lost when the group dissolves.

  • Disband = confront relational issues (For example, how to retain friendships with other members).
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 advantages and disadvantages of group communication; therefore, he provided suggestions on 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 Theory

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 how to reduce the tensions among members and influence the group activities. It is essential to decline 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.

Disadvantages of Tuckman Theory

Tuckman’s theory consists of five important stages that really 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 been failed to discuss why the group change over time.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)

Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2022). 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 Bulletin,63(6), 384.

FAQs

What does Tuckman's theory explain? ›

What Is Tuckman's Theory? Tuckman's theory was first proposed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. It stated that teams would go through 5 stages of development: forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. These stages supposedly start when the group first meets and last until the project ends.

What are the five 5 stages of team group development? ›

To ensure the team runs as smoothly as possible, and goals are hit, it's in everyone's best interest to implement the five stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. If you're new to this concept, you're not alone. Let's break it down!

What is the Tuckman theory and why is it important to team development? ›

Tuckman's model is significant because it recognises that that groups do not start off being fully formed, and functioning. He suggests that teams grow through clearly defined stages, from their creation as groups of individuals to cohesive, task focused teams.

What are the strengths of Tuckman's theory? ›

The value of Tuckman's model is that it helps us understand that teams evolve. It also helps us to consider how they may encounter different problems at different stages of their development. One limitation of the model may be that it makes team building appear too linear and sequential.

What is Tuckman's five stage model? ›

These stages are commonly known as: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Tuckman's model explains that as the team develops maturity and ability, relationships establish, and leadership style changes to more collaborative or shared leadership.

What is an example of norming? ›

An example of the norming stage would be a period, usually after around six months into the research project, where the team members understand each other's preferences, such as preferred methods of working and personal boundaries, and show respect for them.

Why are the 5 stages of group development important? ›

Understanding the five stages of team development enables you to get teams started, resolve conflicts more smoothly, share information effectively, achieve top results, and then review outcomes to keep finding ways to improve.

What happens in the storming stage? ›

In the storming stage, people start to push against the established boundaries. Conflict or friction can also arise between team members as their true characters – and their preferred ways of working – surface and clash with other people's.

What are the 4 stages of group development and their definition? ›

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results [1] ...

Why is Tuckman's theory not effective? ›

Based on Norton's observations, the Tuckman model doesn't work like predicted. The linear phases are not undertaken in set periods of time. Teams may never get out of storming, or they sometimes transition into norming to return and stagnate into storming for long periods of time.

What is the most significant theory of group development? ›

The Tuckman Team Model. “Tuckman's Stages of Group Development,” proposed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965, is one of the most famous theories of team development. It describes four stages that teams may progress through: forming, storming, norming, and performing (a 5th stage was added later: adjourning).

What is meant by forming, storming, norming, and performing? ›

The concept of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing (FSNP) describes the four stages of psychological development a team goes through as they work on a project. Teams move through each stage as they overcome challenges, learn to work together and eventually focus on accomplishing a shared goal.

Why is storming stage important? ›

Some teams will never develop past this stage, that said, conflict and disagreements within the team can also make a team stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively as a unit. The storming stage is necessary to the growth of the team.

What is the most difficult stage of team development? ›

This stage of team development is known as storming. Storming is the most difficult and unproductive of the five stages of development, but it is nevertheless vital to the team development process. When team members are upset with themselves, the task, or each other, they learn what causes the most dysfunction.

How does Tuckman theory help communication? ›

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.

How does Tuckman theory help communication? ›

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.

Why is the five stages of group development important? ›

Understanding the five stages of team development enables you to get teams started, resolve conflicts more smoothly, share information effectively, achieve top results, and then review outcomes to keep finding ways to improve.

What is the most significant theory of group development? ›

The Tuckman Team Model. “Tuckman's Stages of Group Development,” proposed by psychologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965, is one of the most famous theories of team development. It describes four stages that teams may progress through: forming, storming, norming, and performing (a 5th stage was added later: adjourning).

What is meant by forming, storming, norming, and performing? ›

The concept of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing (FSNP) describes the four stages of psychological development a team goes through as they work on a project. Teams move through each stage as they overcome challenges, learn to work together and eventually focus on accomplishing a shared goal.

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