Group Communication Case Study
1. Steven, Kelly and Eric are not a team. A team is defined as a "group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal" (Thompson, 2011, p. 4). The current performance evaluation system is done manually and the HR director asked Steven, Kelly and Eric to do perform an analysis of electronic systems that would allow them to complete performance evaluations in a timely manner and so that the records would be stored in one central database. In addition, the evaluations would be used adjust employees' compensation as appropriate. Steven, Kelly and Eric were asked to prepare a presentation for the president and other executives in order to convince them to provide funding for the electronic evaluation system. From the beginning, there were signs that they were not functioning as a team. According to Jensen (2010), there are five phases based on Tuckman's model that groups go through in order to achieve optimal performance. They are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. Each stage is described below:
• Forming: During this phase, the members of the team get familiar with each other and with the assigned tasks. Members agree on common goals and are dependent on each other and try to develop trust.
• Storming: This stage could be considered the most interesting stage of team development. During this phase teams identify power and control issues, gain skills in communication, identify resources and express differences of ideas, feelings and opinions. Open communication should be emphasized during this stage.
• Norming: The team has reached an understanding about how to resolve conflict, reach decisions, measure work completion, handle communication and manage meetings. During this stage, team members realize that accountability is crucial and need the support of management to achieve their to do list.