13.2 Small Group Development


  1. Explain the process of group development.
  2. Discuss the characteristics of each stage of group development.

Small groups have to start somewhere. Even established groups go through changes as members come and go, as tasks are started and completed, and as relationships change. In this section, we will learn about the stages of group development, which are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.Bruce W. Tuckman and Mary Ann C. Jensen, “Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited,” Group and Organizational Studies 2, no. 4 (1977): 419–27. As with most models of communication phenomena, although we order the stages and discuss them separately, they are not always experienced in a linear fashion. Additionally, some groups don’t experience all five stages, may experience stages multiple times, or may experience more than one stage at a time.

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