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Towards an Integrative Model of Group Development

Alan R. Dennis
Indiana University, USA
Monica Garfield
Bentley College, USA
Bryan Reinicke
Indiana University, USA

Group development research has proposed various models to explain how new groups form, work together, and disband. Most of these models fall into one of two categories: stage models, often exemplified by Tuckman, (1965); and the punctuated equilibrium model of Gersick (1988). In this paper we develop an integrated model of group development that combines these two types of models into one model. We studied six newly-formed medical groups that worked on similar projects over a seven week period. Three groups worked "normally", while three used a Group Support System (GSS) that was new to them. The behavior of the three “normal” groups followed the punctuated equilibrium model while the group behavior for the groups that used a GSS more closely resembled the stage model. We use scripts (behavioral templates that guide a person in thinking about how to behave in commonly encountered situations) as the foundation of our integrated model of group development. We argue that when group members enact similar scripts, ones that fit with each other, they can quickly begin work on the task with little discussion (similar to the punctuated equilibrium model). When group members do not share common scripts and enact scripts that are not compatible, group members must first work to integrate their scripts and negotiate how they will work together before work on the task can begin (similar to the stage model).

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Reference:Dennis, A.R., Garfield, M., Reinicke, B. (2008). "Towards an Integrative Model of Group Development," Indiana University, USA . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 8(3). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/8-3
Keywords:group development
Item Type:Article - Volume 8 Article 3 (2008)
Email: Alan R. Dennis (ardennis@indiana.edu)
Monica Garfield (mgarfield@bentley.edu)
Bryan Reinicke (breinick@indiana.edu)

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