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Bruce Tuckman's Theory of Group Development

            This essay will look at Bruce Tuckman's theory of group development and how it was applied to group work which I have completed. I will look at each stage of Tuckman's theory in detail and in some cases where criticism was found, I will include. .
             For the purpose of this essay I will be using the example of setting up a small business as part of the leaving certificate. The aim was to set up the business, make the product and sell the product on ˜Market Day'.
             Bruce Tuckman first proposed the forming-storming-norming-performing model of group development in 1965. He maintained that all four stages were necessary for a team to grow. The fifth stage, adjourning or mourning, of Tuckman's theory came in 1977 jointly with Mary Ann Jenson. (Wikipedia 2011) .
             Tuckman's theory is one of the best known team/group development theories. A small group is "a group small enough that each member is aware of and able to recall each other group member. Know who is and is not in the group, and recognise what role each is taking. " (Adams. K. Brilhart. J, K. Galanes. G, J.) Tuckman's theory has formed the basis for many further developments including Belbins team inventory, Fishers theory and Tubbs small group development. Tuckman's theory focuses on the way in which a group tackles a task from the initial formation of the group through to the completion of the task. Tuckman's has said "All the phases are necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work and to deliver results " (Tuckman 1965). I will now look at each of the five stages of Tuckman's theory and go into them in more detail.
             The first stage is the forming stage. This is where the group comes together for the first time and the task is set. This is usually done informally on the first day. Initially everyone is working independently and can appear anxious. Some time is spent planning and bonding.

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