Tuckman's Theory of Group Dynamics

This model, first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, remains a mainstay in management and group dynamic theory. Here is a re-cap of the theory:

  • Forming: The group forms, meets, learns about opportunities and challenges, and agrees to a common set of goals to tackle together;
  • Storming: Different ideas and interests begin to compete. The group debates what problems they really need to solve. In this phase, the intermediary must take some initiative to identify commonalities, to re-direct the group, and to acknowledge varying needs without undermining common goals and effort;
  • Norming: The group becomes more open, fluid and takes on more responsibility for decisions. The group may enter this phase by agreeing on roles, rules, shared values and core principles of their end-goals and strategies. In this phase, the intermediary must keep this new “stability” while still encouraging creativity and healthy disagreement.
  • Performing: The team has become “interdependent” and functions as a unit. There is clear understanding of what each member brings to the table, and where the group is going together. Products are developed and outcomes achieved.
  • Transforming: This phase may occur when the group has a taste for success, works better together than alone, and naturally builds more and more momentum for change. If success has been achieved for original goals, this phase may lead to total re-design and re-invention of a new initiative.

For more information on Tuckman’s Theory, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forming-storming-norming-performing