Group Developmental Stages

Tuckman's (1965) four stages of group development tell us that we can expect a group to progress through a series of stages as members engage in interpersonal discourse and interaction. The initial stage of norming describes the group's overall press to establish the necessary community standards that allow for organized and predictable social interaction. Through the development of community standards, members become increasingly aware of their individual differences and are said to be storming. As group members become accustomed to their differences, opportunities emerge for new social roles, which is described as horning. When group members prepare to leave, they are said to be adjourning as they engage with others through a process of termination. The life cycle of a group involves an ongoing series of cycles through these developmental milestones. Bringing in a new member most often regresses the group back into the initial stage of norming.

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