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Forgotten Group Member

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After reading this case study I almost immediately thought about our discussion on social loafing. Mike is a loafer and needs to be held accountable. The five stages of group development are as follows:

1. Forming - During this stage group members ask questions and get to know each other by identifying with the team.

2. Storming - During this stage there is tension amongst the group members. Cliques form as individuals of the group try to compete.

3. Norming - During this stage is when the group members start coming together and building relationships.

4. Performing - During this stage group members mature and move forward with their group performance.

5. Ajourning - During this stage a group celebrates their accomplishments.

Dealing with Mike being a difficult group member has caused this group to enter the storming stage of team development. Individuals who create chaos in a group, such as Mike, by always having excuses and send his below average work through another team member offers a challenge. I believe that groups are systems composed of consistent individuals. One competitive member, such as Steve or Christine, can influence the entire group but Mike was never around to experience that. In a group setting when one group member is highly competitive, once cooperative members begin behaving in competitive ways also.

Each stage of team development has its own familiar feelings and behaviors. By Christine understanding and accepting why these things were happening in certain ways on her team can be an important part of the self-evaluation process within the group.

A more effective way to enter a group setting is to get to know everyone, also known as the Forming stage. Not just introductions but as a Team Coordinator Christine should have understood what kind of workers she was involved with. Knowledge of individual needs and characteristics is important for every member of a group. I think it is very important not to make the forming stage too informal.

Moving forward Christine needs to make a decision about Mike. She should have approached him when he could not make it to their last meeting because he had to work. Now she is running out of time and the decision might have to be a harsh one because it is at the heart of this group's success.

* Don't confront him in front of the group - Confronting a group member in front of everyone might make them feel attacked, which can possible do more harm than good.

* Have a plan and stick to it - If you are giving him 24 hours to do his part of the project, then you should stick to it. No excuses!

* Think about what will be done if Mike does not pull through - Unfortunately you have to share a grade with the rest of your group



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