Group development research proposes various models of group development. Most of these models fall into one of two categories. These are successive models such as Tuckman’s model or cyclical models such as Bales’ equilibrium model. The two models help in understanding how to form effective groups. Tuckman’s model assumes that group formation progresses linearly through a five-stage process (Hurt & Trombley, 2007). Bale’s model, on the other hand, suggests that group formation occurs through phases in a cyclical rather than a progressive manner (Karriker, 2005). These two models can individually help the virtual team form an effective team. However, an integration of the two methods can be more effective (Forsyth, 2019). This is because groups have the potential to evolve progressively over time and cycle back and forth within phases of development.
The integration of the two models would create a more robust model for describing group development (Hurt & Trombley, 2007). Tuckman’s model provides a good framework to conceptualize stages of group development (Seek & Helton, 2014). However, there is no clarification as to what happens with socioemotional and task needs in the different stages of group formation. In contrast, Bale’s equilibrium model looks at the socio-emotional and task needs in group formation.
Therefore, a combination of the two models will provide a more robust model that will help understand the formation and development of the virtual team. This will provide guidelines on how to make the team more successful by addressing power struggles, missed deadlines, communication breakdowns, and other possible challenges. Still, a combination of the two models of group development poses a challenge. A closer examination of the components of the integrated model and characteristics of team members and the group environment is required to effectively guide the virtual team to emerge successful (Karriker, 2005).
Forsyth, D. (2019). Group Dynamics (7th ed). Boston, MA: Cengage.
Hurt, A. & Trombley, S. (2007). The Punctuated-Tuckman: Towards a New Group Development Model. Texas A&M University, 1-7.
Karriker, J. (2005). Cyclical Group Development and Interaction-based Leadership Emergence in Autonomous Teams: An Integrated Model. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11(4), 54-64.
Seek, M. & Helton, L. (2014). Faculty Development of a Joint MSW Program Utilizing Tuckman’s Model of Group Development. Social Work with Groups, 37(2), 158-168.