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Case Study 7: The Forgotten Group Member

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Group Development

At this point, Christine's group is considered to be stuck at the storming stage. This is the

stage where high tension and emotionality amongst the group members have occurred. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) Mike is causing a lot of the tension because he can't commit to the group meetings; and therefore, it is hard for them to stay motivated and complete their assignment. (Ramsoomair, Franklin 2010) Each group was assigned a specific task and a different section to complete, but Mike is putting a strain on the group by continuing to miss the group meetings and not contributing like he should. (Ramsoomair, Franklin 2010)

Christine needed to know the series of life cycle stages that a team passes through because it would have prepared her for the different challenges. Knowing the stages would have helped her to handle the situations differently and also helped the team to remain effective. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) Going through the forming stage would have pinpointed who were the hard workers and who were the slackers as they became more acquainted. As she noticed Mike's behavior in the beginning, she could have found it unacceptable and corrected it. It was expected for everyone to be at the group meetings, but Mike started being absent and became the obstacle standing in the way of the group's goals which began the storming stage. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) The other group members began to integrate with each other as they frequently met and unofficially met in the cafeteria on one occasion. They built interpersonal relationships with each other as they tried to maintain a positive balance and hold the group together, which began the norming stage. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) There are several different criteria for measuring the maturity of the group that could have been applied in the beginning. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010, p. 167) If her team would have scored high on the criteria of team maturity, then they would have achieved the level of total integration. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010, p.167) This stage of group development, which is the performing stage, marks the emergence of a mature, organized and well-functioning group. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010, p. 167)

Problem Identification

The primary problem that they are facing is their lack of roles and role dynamics. It didn't seem like they had clear expectations regarding their tasks and responsibilities. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) There was no direction or lead in place for them to follow. Therefore, they performed how they usually perform when assigned a task. Everybody was their own leader, and they only followed directions when told to show up for meetings. Effective leadership would have established rules for behavior, created a sense of urgency and kept goals and expectations clear. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) Christine was more concerned about her grades than being an effective leader to the group. (Ramsoomair, Franklin 2010)

The secondary problem was lack of team norms, in which there were no rules or standards for the behavior of group members. (Schermerhorn, et al., 2010) When Mike violated the team norm, the other members should have responded by making subtle hints or direct criticisms. He could have been threatened to be removed from the group if he continued to not work hard and miss the group meetings. The goals and norms should have been discussed and confronted in the early stages of group development.

Christine should have understood that every member of the team has their own special talent or expertise. They could have been instructed to help one another so each member could go above and beyond their potential. Group members should have also spent more time working on tasks than discussing and laughing about personal issues. (Ramsoomair, Franklin 2010) Some members slack off, lose motivation and end up contributing



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