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Theory of Group Interaction and Development

Prepare report identifying a specific theory of group interaction and development. Apply this theory to the work environment. The report must cover the following topics:
a. Explain how it applies to professional work dynamics.
b. Describe how the theory would designate the team member roles and responsibilities.
c. Explain how participation, leadership, and motivational skills would be demonstrated according to this theory.
d. Describe how the theory affects the perspective on group interaction in the workplace.

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Interesting paper! It is a lengthy paper as well. The questions can act as a tentative outline to organize your paper.
Let's look at a tentative outline and then some information that you can consider for each section. The tentative outline might look something to the effect....

I. Introduction (about ¼- ½ page; introduce the topic, including a purpose statement: The purpose of this paper is to...)
II. Theory of Group Development and Interaction
a. Theory and Application to professional work dynamics.
b. Designates the team member roles and responsibilities
c. Participation, leadership, and motivational skills demonstrated according to this theory
d. Impact on the perspective on group interaction in the workplace.

III. Conclusion (tie up main points)

One theory of group interaction and development to consider is Tuckmans' model.

For example, Bruce Tuckman has provided us with what has become the staple of group dynamics ? his Five Stages of Group Development and Interaction. Tuckman's research led him to determine four (later five) phases of group development ? forming, storming, norming, and performing (later, he added adjourning) 2. The phases are not to be perceived as sequential, because groups are messy, and cycle through the phases throughout their process

See attached article for more on each stage and the interaction, which is self-managing and emerges as part of the group process. The relationships, responsibilities and leadership also emerge as part of the group process.

Theory of Group Interaction and Development

As mentioned above, it is common to view the development of a group as having four stages a posited by Tuckman:

· Forming
· Storming
· Norming
· Performing
· Adjourning (later added by Tuckman)

According to Blair (n.d.), the group is self-maintaining and roles and responsibilities automatically emerge as part of the group process, such as:

Forming is the stage when the group first comes together. Interaction between work group members is somewhat stifled. Everybody is very polite and very dull. Conflict is seldom voiced directly, mainly personal and definitely destructive. Since the grouping is new, the individuals will be guarded in their own opinions and generally reserved. This is particularly so in terms of the more nervous and/or subordinate members who may never recover. The group tends to defer to a large extent to those who emerge as leaders (poor fools!).

Storming is the next stage, when all Hell breaks loose and the leaders are lynched. This is an automatic process that occurs in groups - the leaders emerge. Factions form, personalities clash, no-one concedes a single point without first fighting tooth and nail. Most importantly, very little communication occurs since no one is listening and some are still unwilling to talk openly. True, this battle ground may seem a little extreme for the groups to which you belong - but if you look beneath the veil of civility at the seething sarcasm, invective and innuendo, perhaps the picture come more into focus.

Then comes the Norming. At this stage the sub-groups begin to recognize the merits of working together and the in-fighting subsides. Since a new spirit of co-operation is evident, every member begins to feel secure in expressing their own viewpoints and these are discussed openly with the whole group. The most significant improvement is that people start to listen to each other. Work methods become established and recognized by the group as a whole.

And finally: Performing. This is the culmination, when the group has settled on a system, which allows free and frank exchange of views and a high degree of support by the group for each other and its own decisions. In terms of performance, the group starts at a level slightly below the sum of the individuals' levels and then drops abruptly to its nadir until it climbs during Norming to a new level of Performing, which is (hopefully) well above the start. It is this elevated level of performance which is the main justification for using the group process rather than a simple group of staff.(2)
Theory and Application to professional work dynamics

In the Workplace

According to Blair (n.d.), the dynamics of work groups are like relationships - you have to work at them. In the work place, they constitute an important unit of activity but one whose support needs are only recently becoming understood. By making the group itself responsible for its own support, the responsibility becomes an accelerator for the group process. What is vital is that these needs are recognized and explicitly dealt with by the group. Time and resources must be allocated to this by the work group and by Management, and the group process must be planned, monitored and reviewed just like any other managed process (Blaire, n.d.).

Blair (n.d.) also points out that when people work in groups, there are two quite separate issues involved. The first is the task and the problems involved in getting the job done. Frequently this is the only issue, which the group considers. The second is the process of the group work itself: the mechanisms by which the group acts as a unit and not as a loose rabble. However, without due attention to this process the value of the group can be diminished or even destroyed; yet with a little explicit management of the process, it can enhance the worth of the group to be many times the sum of the worth of its individuals. It is this synergy, which makes group work attractive in corporate organization despite the possible problems (and time spent) in group formation Thus, the key is that the work group should be viewed as an important resource whose maintenance must be managed just like any other resource and that this management should be undertaken by the group itself so that it forms a normal part of the group's activities (Blaire, n.d.).

Group process designates the team member roles and responsibilities

According to Blaire (n.d.), a group of people working in the same room, or even on a common project, does not necessarily invoke the group process. If the group is managed in a totally autocratic manner, there may be little opportunity for interaction relating to the work; if there is factioning within the group, the process may never evolve. On the other hand, the group process may be utilized by normally distant individuals working on different projects; for instance, at IEE colloquia. In simple terms, the ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a detailed description of theory of group interaction and development. Supplemented with an article expanding on the theory. Specifically, it explains how the theory applies to professional work dynamics, how the theory would designate the team member roles and responsibilities, how participation, leadership, and motivational skills would be demonstrated according to this theory and then describes how the theory affects the perspective on group interaction in the workplace.