Groups do not always proceed clearly from one stage

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Unformatted text preview: ersity 134 Group Behavior Unit 10 5. Adjourning: A well­integrated group is able to disband, if required, when its work is accomplished, though in itself it may be a painful process for group members, emotionally. The adjourning stage of group development is especially important for the many temporary groups that are rampant in today’s workplaces. Members of these groups must be able to convene quickly, do their jobs on a tight schedule, and then adjourn—often to reconvene later, whenever required. Groups do not always proceed clearly from one stage to the next. Sometimes several stages go on simultaneously, as when groups are storming and performing. Groups may at times regress to earlier stages. Another problem is that it ignores organizational context. For instance, a study of a cockpit crew in an airliner found that, within ten minutes, three strangers assigned to fly together for the first time had become a high­performing group. The rigid organizational context provides the rules, task definitions, information, and resources required for the group to perform, effectively. b. Punctuated equilibrium model Temporary groups with deadlines do not seem to follow the model explained above. Their pattern is called the punctuated­equilibrium model. Phase I—The f irst meeting sets the group’s direction. This stage is the f irst inertia phase. A structure of behavioral patterns and assumptions emerges. Transition ­ Then a transition takes place when the group has used up almost half its allotted time. The group’s direction becomes fixed and is unlikely to be reexamined throughout the first half of the group’s life. The group tends to stand still or become locked into a fixed course of action. The group is incapable of acting on new insights in Phase 1. The midpoint seems to set an alarm clock going increasing members’ awareness that their time is limited and that they need to move on fast. A transition triggers off major changes. This ends Phase 1 and is characterized by a concentrated burst of changes, replacement old patterns, and adoption of new perspectives. The transition sets a revised direction for Phase 2. Phase 2 ­ It is a new equilibrium and is also a period of inertia. In this phase, the group executes plans created during the transition period. The group’s last meeting is characterized by a flurry of activities. The punctuated­equilibrium model characterizes groups as demonstrating long periods of Sikkim Manipal University 135 Group Behavior Unit 10 inertia interspersed with brief and rapid changes triggered mainly by their members’ awareness of time and targets . Self­ assessment questions 2 1. In the ___________ stage the members are entering the group 2. The __________________ stage of group development is especially important for the many temporary groups that are rampant in today’s workplaces. 10.4 External Conditions Imposed on the Group All work groups are part of larger systems and organizations and therefore cannot exist or wo...
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