Groups exist in an array of scenarios. The purposes by which groups are formed provide the theoretical framework for their continued existence. In the academic setting, for instance, students form groups to comply with course projects, share similar interests, serve as support systems, or simply perform expected educational or extra-curricular tasks. The current paper hereby aims to present and describe a typical situation for group work and the use of different group techniques to achieve identified objectives.
A common group work in the academic setting is complying with a project, or a group presentation. For instance, a course module on Human Behavior in Organizations would have a topic that discusses ‘Group and Work Group Behavior’. The instructor for this course could require students to submit a research paper on identifying factors that contribute to cohesiveness in group work. As such, according to theories of groups, there are five stages of group development: the forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning stages . During the forming stage, selected group members would have to exchange necessary information to determine knowledge on the assigned tasks, with the use of background academic information and other personal or professional details. Likewise, members could assign roles and responsibilities of each member and schedule meetings or brainstorming techniques, as required.
During storming stage, group members could either bring out any concerns, issues, conflicts in understanding the assigned tasks or in understanding other members’ performance. Likewise, during this stage, a group technique, such as brainstorming, which is a technique used “when a group searches for new courses of action or some solutions to pressing issues and problems” is commonly used. In addition, another group technique, meetings are most effective as this entails face to face scenarios scheduled to discuss details regarding the group project: performance evaluation, progress reports, integration of specific members’ tasks, among others. Thus, for a topic regarding cohesiveness in group work, the group could have collected information regarding the link between group cohesiveness and performance, such as the one conducted by Mullen and Copper (1994) entitled “The Relation Between Group Cohesiveness and Performance: An Integration” which was published in the Psychological Bulletin, among others. In addition, the characteristics of high performing teams could have been discussed .
The performing stage is the actual endeavor that is accomplished by the respective members in compliance with delegated tasks. As emphasized, at this stage, “members are both highly task oriented and highly people oriented. There is unity: group identity is complete, group morale is high, and group loyalty is intense” . In terms of the group project, is it presumed that at this stage, the project is near completion, almost ready for submission. Integration and synthesis of each member’s respective work is hereby combined. The final stage, adjourning, is defined as involving “the termination of task behaviors and disengagement from relationships” . Intermittent follow-ups could only ensue when feedback from the professor regarding the group work that was submitted needs to be revised.
The current discourse has effectively identified a traditional scenario for group work, using the stages of group development, and citing a particular group project that needs to be complied. After having identified the goal, the tasks, roles, responsibilities, and progress of each member towards the accomplishment of defined tasks, adherence to time frames, and effective use of resources, the group work would have been rendered completed and successful.
Charter Oak Consulting Group. (1989). Characteristics of High Performing Teams. Harford: Connecticut.
Martires, C., & Fule, G. (2010). Management of Human Behavior in Organizations. Quezon City: National Bookstore.
Mullen, B., & Copper, C. (1994). The Relation Between Group Cohesiveness and Performance: An Integration. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 115, No. 2, 210-227 .
5 Stages of Group Development. (n.d.). Retrieved from drexel.edu: http://www.drexel.edu/oca/l/tipsheets/Group_Development.pdf