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Tuckman’s Theory

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Tcukmans group interaction and development theory remains to be one of the most accepted group theories. Tuckman’s theory is accredited for its ability to explain group development and interaction in the simplest manner possible (Isa & Wynn, 2006). Tuckman’s group theory contains four major stages namely: forming, storming, norming and performing. It should however be noted that the stages have been given an additional of adjournment stage to improve it analysis of team formation and development. According to studies, Tuckman’s theory has been tested widely on companies and organizations interaction making its authenticity valid and reputable (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006).

This study asserts that Tuckman’s theory plays an integral role in lives of staff members in organizations and companies and to my professional work dynamics (Isa & Wynn, 2006). It can be argued that, most organizations create groups to help in achieving organizational goals which cannot be realized at an individual level. For example, I have been employed by Allstate Insurance Company for the last 20 years and the company provides a ‘team’ based work environment which allows team development and interaction among the groups which comprise of three members. I belong to one such team and I work in the company as a claims processor where I settle and pay unpaid medical bills. Tuckman’s theory has played an important role in helping Allstate Insurance Company working teams achieve their goals and objectives. For instance, through Tuckman’s theory new members are successfully integrated into the existing teams. New members in my organization may initially not be able to fully socialize with the existing team members but Allstate Insurance has trained its members to be able to acknowledge and sustain the new member. One such way is through ensuring that the numbers of people in a team are very small such that a presence of a new person is easy.

Studies show that, groups take time to develop and hence the need for organizations and companies to be able to offer conducive environments for the growth and development of the teams within their staff (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). Allstate Insurance Company is concerned with maximizing on returns through producing consumer quality goods and services through enhancing team work among its staff. The company has been able to employ the use of Tuckman’s theory’s four stages which ensure that performance of team members is highly improved and enhanced. For example, Tuckman’s theory ensures that teams at Allstate Insurance are stabilized to a greater extend which also ensures that performance is not compromised at the team level. Tuckman’s theory can be argued to play an important role in ensuring worker satisfaction since the working environment is comfortable. Through Tuckman’s theory I am able to understand how teams are formed and at the same time gain an understanding of the behavior of individuals in a team. In this manner my professional dynamics are enhanced to a great extend since I can be able to interact with teammates from diverse origins’ and also enhance my mobility within the existing teams. On the other hand, it is apparent that to successfully achieve organizational goals, small teams can be employed through the process of Tuckman’s theory.

Describe how the theory would designate the team member roles and responsibilities

Tuckmans theory can be argued to be one of the most successful group development and interaction theories, since it simplifies the stages involved from team formation to its termination (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). For example, the theory’s five stages are such that team members can easily be designated their roles and responsibilities. The first stage which entails the formation stage has three major components which are the project team, team members and the project manager. The project team has to get oriented with its internal and external environment. Weather it’s a new employee or an employee who is moving to a new department after a promotion it is mandatory to go through the first stage of Tuckman’s theory. At the team member’s level, new members may be anxious and uncertain of how to proceed at with the newly found team (Isa & Wynn, 2006). It is the duty of the project manager to make sure that new members have a smooth transition with the new team. On the other hand, team members could also be trained to acknowledge new members and at the same time ensure their smooth transition to the newly found group (Isa & Wynn, 2006). Consequently, it is at this stage that the goals and objectives of the team are communicated to the new members ensuring their smooth transition to the team.

As members progress to the storming group, new team members show that they are at ease with the existing team since they have interacted and socialized to some extend (Isa & Wynn, 2006). At this stage team members are able to contribute towards the group objectives and goals. The project team though making progress in terms of their working capabilities, personal issues may still be inevitable. The team members may face frustrations and disagreements because of differences in opinions and diversity (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). For example new members may feel discouraged if their opinions are not accepted in the course of realizing the group’s goals and objectives. It is the duty of the project manager to ‘guide’ the group and ensure that the team moves towards realizing the goals and objectives of the team.

From the formation stage, the team moves to the norming stage, where they have to cultivate and create their identity (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). For example, the group at this stage is able to create their norms, behaviors and codes of conduct. Team members learn to accommodate each other and learn to adopt virtues of problem solving so that they can learn how to effectively co-relate with each other. The norming stage team members realize their major role in working as a team to make sure that they achieve the groups’ objectives and goals.

As the team progresses to the performing stage, the group gets into the ‘working’ phase whereby team members are now used to each other and can work as a unit (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). The project team is now aware of what is expected of them and at this time they drive all their efforts in ensuring that they achieve their team’s objectives and goals. On the other hand, new team members have now fully integrated into the activities of the group and are duly aware of what is expected of them. The project manager on the other hand, learns to delegate duties to the team to encourage participation. For example at this stage, team members are able to make pertinent decisions regarding their job performance. When the team achieves the set goals and objectives the adjourning stage sets in. In many cases the adjourning stage does not necessarily mean that the team will be dissolved. New projects can be introduced into the team to ensure that Tuckman’s cycle repeats itself and the team does not loose interest in helping the employers achieve their goals and objectives.

Explain how participation, leadership, and motivational skills would be demonstrated according to this theory

Participation, leadership and motivational skills are effectively demonstrated in Tuckman’s theory. Participation is enhanced through ensuring that team members make contributions towards the teams realization of the teams objectives and goals. At the formation stage for instance, team members are encouraged to get to know each other (Isa & Wynn, 2006). Consequently, the storming stage also involves heated debates and a surge of new ideas and opinions which may or may not be accepted by other members causing discouragements and tensions. The norming stage motivates members to make their own code of conduct, rules and regulations to govern the team (Isa & Wynn, 2006). On the other hand, at the performing stage, the level of interaction is heightened so that members are supposed to voice out their opinions and thoughts and critique their friend’s opinions too.

In all the stages of Tuckman’s theory, leadership is well distributed. For instance, teams at the organizational or company level are lead by a project leader or a project manager who ensures that teams work together towards the realization of the organizations goals and objectives (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). At the formation stage the project manager is supposed to reduce anxiety in the team through bringing the teams together. On the other hand, leadership also means that the team leader does not always make decisions per se but at some point allows his team members to be able to make decisions as depicted at the performing stage. Similarly a team leader brings sanity in the team such that team members don’t get derailed from the goals and objectives of the team by interpersonal problems. Studies show that, Teams are complex since they contain individuals from diverse origins and mindsets (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). In this light, team development and performance can be easily affected by group diversity but team leaders are supposed to ensure that they guide team members to learn to work together and co-relate efficiently.

Motivation is also effectively demonstrated in the Tuckman’s theory through ensuring team members satisfaction. When team members are comfortable in their working environment their output is greatly increased. This paper asserts that Tuckman’s theory plays an integral role in building and developing teams and at the same time understanding individuals in the team setup. Motivation is effective when needs of team members are well known and satisfied (Orvilleb & Turman, 2006). For example, at the formation stage, new members may not have a clue of what is expected of them and helping then fully integrate into the team usually increases their motivation.

On the other hand, at the storming stage allowing team members to share and critique their opinions may not just lead to frustrations and disagreements but competition which motivates team members to outdo each other. Team leaders should be able to ensure that team members are given equal opportunities towards the development and performance of their team. For example, new members in teams should be able to take part in team activities and discussions and not be left out simply because they are new members. Tuckman’s theory allows team members to be trained effectively in ensuring smooth transition of new team members into the activities of the team (Isa & Wynn, 2006). In other words, the team manager does not have to always ensure the full integration of team members without the help of team members.

Describe how the theory affects your perspective on group interaction in the workplace

Tuckman’s theory has had a great impact on my perception of group interaction at the workplace. Tuckman’s theory has five stages which distinctively explain the formation of small groups and their transition from inception to the time when the group is terminated. Tuckman’s theory is able to explain the formation of groups and how to effectively ensure that groups achieve their set goals and objectives. Studies show that most employers employ the use of groups at the workplace to achieve their goals and objectives (Isa & Wynn, 2006). Through the same principle I have learned that work objectives are best achieved when staff members work as a team or in a group setting. For example, there are goals and objectives which cannot be achieved at an individual level but can be achieved at a group level hence the need to form groups at the organizational or company level.

Consequently, Tuckman’s theory has also helped me learn to understand the behavior of my team mates and know how to interact with them. For example, in my team I find it easy to open to someone who knows and understands me. In this light, when team members orient themselves about each other and get to know each other, it becomes much easier to work together in unison towards the goals and objectives of the organization or company. On the other hand, as a team player I have also learned to recognize new team members and help them with their transition to the team.

Reference list

Orvilleb. J. & Turman, P. D. (2006). Group communication pitfalls: Overcoming barriers to an effective group experience. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Isa N. E. & Wynn D. R. (2006). Working in Groups:Communication Principles &Strategies. 4th  Ed,. Allyn & Bacon

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