Management Questions and Answers

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Question 1 There are critics of the five‐stage group development model. Their main point is that this presentation of a group’s development is too static. Do you agree with this criticism? Why? Numerous critics of the five-stage model of group development contend the model is too static to accurately describe the progression of groups. In their review of the literature, Hurt and Trombley (2007) point out several deficiencies in the model. The model assumes that all groups progress linearly through five stages (forming, storming, norming, performing, adjourning). Critics suggest the model fails to describe groups that do not follow a linear progression. The model also assumes that groups must complete one stage before entering into the next stage, implying that tasks may not be completed. In addition, critical reviews of the model suggest that it ignores a more circular systems perspective. This systems perspective would allow the group to learn from mistakes and be more successful as a whole through the use of “inputs, outputs, throughputs, and a feedback loop” (Hurt & Trombley, 2007, p. 3). The five-stage group development model does provide some understanding of the group process, but it seems too rigid to fully explain how groups with diverse individuals form and work together. In that respect, I would have to agree with some of the criticisms of this model. Human beings are by their nature dynamic, not static. Therefore, I question if it is realistic to portray group development in a completely linear, static manner. An individual’s behavior may vary depending on the group’s particular goals and the behavior of the other individuals in the group. Groups have unique personalities depending upon how the all the members interact with each other. For example, it may be possible that some groups skip the storming stage characterized by arguing, conflict, debate, and experimenting with roles (Gibson, Ivancevich, Donnelly & Konopaske, 2012) when some strong-willed individuals unilaterally take over the leadership roles. The model’s assumption that groups do not focus on goals until the performing stage may also be unrealistic. Individuals who are already highly motivated and highly focused on a particular goal from the start may come together and form a group. Group development may also vary based on how important the goal is perceived to be by individual members of the group. It is hard to predict exactly how each group of unique individuals will interact with each other and progress through group development stages.
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