What are the stages of group formation?

Group Development is a dynamic process, and probably never reach a state of complete stability. There is strong evidence that groups pass through the standard sequence of the following stages:

  1. Forming: This is characterized by the great deal of uncertainty about groups purpose structure and the leadership. Members are testing waters to determine the type of action needed or behavior required. The stage is completed when the members have begun to think that they are the parts of the group.
  2. Storming: The members accept the existence of the group but they are still resisting the constraints the group poses on them. There is conflict as to who will control the group. When this stage completes there does a relatively clear hierarchy of leadership exist in the group.
  3. Norming: This is the one in which there is close relationship between the members and the group demonstrates cohesiveness. There is sense of group identify and this stage is complete when the group structure solidifies and the group has assimilated a common set of expectations defining the behavior.
  4. Performing: The structure at this point is fully functional and accepted. The group energy is has moved from getting to know and understand each other to performing a task at hand. For permanent work groups this is the last stage. But for the temporary committees, teams, task forces, and similar groups the Adjourning Stage is the last.
  5. Adjourning: The groups prepare to disband. The high task performance is no longer the required goal. The attention is towards the wrapping up of the activities and responses of the group members. The responses of group members vary in this stage. Some are upbeat, basking in the groups accomplishment. Some are depressed over the loss of colleagues and friends made during the course.

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