WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

Groups: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing

The Four Stages of Group Growth:

1. FORMING behaviors.

    a. Identifying the task and how to accomplish it.
    b. Deciding what is acceptable group behavior and how to handle group conflict.
    c. Deciding what information needs to be gathered to tackle the task.
    d. Abstract conceptual discussions or some members' impatience with these discussions.
    e. No clear focus on task or problem as evidenced by irrelevant discussions.
    f. Complaining about organizational problems and barriers to accomplishing the task instead of focusing on the task.

2. STORMING behaviors.

    a. Arguing among group members, even if they agree on the issues.
    b. Choosing sides within the group, bids for power, drawing divisional lines.
    c. Tension, jealousy, lack of unity, and a perceived hierarchy.
    d. Establishing unobtainable goals, increased concerns about too much work to be done.

3. NORMING behaviors.

    a. Conflict avoidance in an attempt to promote harmony.
    b. Friendlier discussions on a more personal level, more discussions about the dynamics of the group, begin to confide in one another.
    c. More of a sense of group cohesion and esprit, more commonality of goals.
    d. Establishing and maintaining realistic group parameters for behavior and performance.

4. PERFORMING behaviors.

    a. Constructively changing one's self--actually changing for the betterment of the group.
    b. Ability to avoid group conflict and, should conflict arise, being able to work through it.
    c. Much closer identity with the group, understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses.

[taken from Air Force material, edited]


[WPI] [CS]

dcb@cs.wpi.edu / Mon Oct 28 15:53:06 EST 2002