There are three most common group development theories- Tubb’s, Tuckman’s and Fisher’s (Borchers, 1999). All of these theories are almost similar to one another. Tubb’s is about orientation, conflict, consensus and closure; Tuckman’s is about forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning; Fisher’s is about orientation, conflict, emergence and reinforcement (Borchers, 1999). The basic idea is that, at the very beginning, when the group forms, the members will experience some sort of tension as they try and get to know each other (orientation and conflict in Tubb’s and Fisher’s while forming and storming in Tuckman’s). However, eventually, the members will get past this initial conflict (consensus in Tubb’s, norming in Tuckman’s and emergence in Fisher’s), leading to them performing their respective tasks and accomplishing the mission of the group (closure in Tubb’s, performing and adjourning in Tuckman’s and reinforcement in Fisher’s.). As a whole these theories are very realistic, as in the beginning, there can be a lot of tension when people who do not know each other are thrown together to accomplish a specific task. Personality clashes may occur and the group members must overcome this in order to be successful in their task.
Almost always, throughout my university life, in every class I attended, there is some sort of group activity that I must participate in, as part of the curriculum. Sometimes, I am in class wherein I already know some of the other students and I join them upon forming a group. Sometimes, I am a complete stranger. In my experience, there is always someone who gets to be a part of the group who does not know anyone else. Of course the group must exert efforts to know more about each and every member and while the group tries to break the ice, there are some strong personalities that will surface. A leader will be apparent in this getting-to-know stage and the group will have to trust him or her to lead the group into success. When the ice has been broken, and people settle more comfortably in their respective roles, then people start accomplishing their respective tasks. The group objective may either fail or succeed by the end of the period and then the group will disband. The theories, actually, have very practical applications.
Borchers, T. (1999). Small Group Development. Allyn & Bacon. Available from: http://www.abacon.com/commstudies/groups/devgroup.html [Accessed: 3rd May 2010]
The online business dictionary defines work diversity as “similarities and differences among employees in terms of age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.” The world today is operating on a global scale; nowhere can you find a big company today that employs only white people. Aside from the natural difference, even people from the same race can have a lot of difference as each person is unique in his or her own way. Instead of focusing on the differences, to be successful in the workforce, it is best to concentrate with the similarities (Heathfield, n.d.). The management must ensure that no one is discriminated against; the law is now completely against discrimination that anyone from the diverse group can file a lawsuit against an organization should he or she feel any unfair treatment because of his natural inclination that is different from the standards. Additionally, if each member of the workforce feels equal in his or her environment, better performance can just be observed.
I cannot even walk outside of the building without encountering anyone who is from a different race. These people are usually accustomed to different cultures that are very unlike our own. Only a hundred years before and they were considered beneath the white people, but today, they can hold their own places in our society. One could only wonder at how civilized the world has become.
These people, though different, are entitled their human rights, too and this is a country that has been their home for a while. It is necessary that they be treated with respect just as any white male can give to another white male.
Upon searching for “discrimination” on google, there are a number of news articles that come up, proving still that it exists, despite the heavy fines for the people who perpetrate it. One can only hope that eventually, this will diminish in the near future.
Heathfield, S. (1999). Diversity in the Workplace: Search for Similarities. About.com. Available from: http://humanresources.about.com/od/diversity/a/diversity.htm [Accessed: 3rd May 2010]
workforce diversity. (n.d.) BusinessDictionary.com. Available from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/workforce-diversity.html [Accessed: 3rd May 2010]
Before, when working in a group, I usually do not care, my main goal is to get it done, whatever they give me, I will do. But now I realize, my opinion counts and as such, I will strive to communicate better when I find myself working in groups again. Additionally, the people who are from a different background must be given time to better fit in, it must be understood that they might interpret some things differently and as such, the group must exert more efforts in ensuring every member understand his role and the ultimate objective of the group.
The most elemental thing that I have learned is that people needs to respect each other. While working in groups, everyone must be aware that the group is judged by individual performances and that if one member of the group slips, the whole group is brought down with him. As such, it is imperative to achieve unity but this unity can be difficult to reach if people do not respect the thoughts of each other. One member may have a different idea on how to go about the project but is limited by his or her ability to communicate what he has in mind because he is not that good in English, hence the group must ensure that whatever way, this person must be heard.