Group Interaction And Development Paper

996 words - 4 pages

Groups come together for many different reasons, whether it be personal, professional, or for the greater good of the community. The formation and development of these groups vary as greatly as the reasons for the groups themselves. This paper will analyze the five stages of group development identified by Tuckman and Jensen as it applies to Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express. Team member roles and responsibilities as designated by this theory will be described. An explanation of how participation, leadership, and motivational skills should be demonstrated will be provided as well as a description of how the theory affects this author's perspective on group interaction in the workplace.According to Heerye and Noon (2008), the five stages of group development identified by Tuckman and Jensen are; forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Not every group will go through these stages in the same manner. Some groups may take longer in one stage than another group or repeat stages before the adjourning stage. "Boundaries between each stage are not as clear-cut as implied by the fine stage model" (Heerye and Noon, 2008). Forming is just as it sounds, the group gets together and the members begin to get to know each other. In the forming stage ground rules are established, goals are discussed and acceptable and expected behavior of the members are defined. In the storming stage, group control and leadership are defined. Without this stage, the group will experience difficulty as too who is in charge and can cause the members to disband or to follow their own agendas. Norming begins with the group members bonding with each other, developing relationships within the group. The emergence on shared responsibility begins in this stage. The performing stage is essentially the meat of the group, the reason the group came together in the first place. The group works on the tasks it has been brought together for. The adjourning stage is when the group is disbanded because their goals have been met, members leave or because the norms cease to be effective" (Heerye. & Noon, 2008).Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express uses these steps repeatedly. The forming and adjourning stages are repeated as member come and go, whether it is a new hire, a firing or a transfer from or to another department. The storming stage is minimized by upper management promoting members into the various management positions within the department. The norming stage is a continuous process; in part because of the high turnover in the department and in part because of the changing demands upon the department members. The performing stage is always in motion. As a service department, the Wal-Mart mission of "saving people money so they can live better" (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2009) is observed. The group must work together as a team to provide the customer with the best possible service. The Service Writer greets each customer at their vehicle, assesses the needs and wants of each customer on an individual basis, Then the Service Writer must make suggestions based on their assessment of the vehicle. The Service Technicians perform the services requested by the customer. It is important that there is clear communication between the customer and the Service Writer. The Service Writer must then convey the specific needs of the customer to the Technicians clearly. Some customers are particular about the service they want and confusion can set it if there is not clear communication between all parties involved. When tension exists between members of the group, communication can be hindered leading to poor service and loss of sales. Customers are more likely to tell their friends about poor service than good service. The Service Manager and Support Manager oversee the process in the shop, assigning specific jobs to each technician based on their skill level. It is their job to motivate other members of the team to provide the best possible service and provide others with the opportunities to learn new skills.The most successful teams have the following characteristics, as discovered by Carle E. Larson and Frank M. J. LaFasto; a clear and elevated goal, a results-driven structure, competent team members, unified commitment, a collaborative climate, standards of excellence, external support and recognition, and principled leadership (Engleberg & Wynn, 2007). The team at Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express is no exception. The goal is to provide the customer with the best possible service, so that they are better off when they leave than they were before coming in for service. The structure of the department is based on the needs of the customer. Team members are trained extensively for their positions. Everyone in the department is unified in their commitment to customer satisfaction and safety. All team members get along well together and uphold each other's standards for excellence. Upper management supports the decisions of the department and recognizes outstanding performance by individual team members.In conclusion, Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express is a very solid example of a successful team structure. The five stages of group development defined by Tuckman are repeatedly experienced, for continuous improvement. The eight characteristics of a successful team as described by Larson and LaFasto are evident in the team.ReferencesEngleberg, I. N., & Wynn, D. R. (2007). Working in Groups: Communication Principles and Strategies (4th ed.). : Allyn & Bacon.Heerye., E., & Noon, M. (2008). Stages of group development. Oxford Reference Online. Retrieved October 27, 2009 from Apollo Group. Stores, Inc.. (2009). Walmart's Mission. Retrieved from


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