How teams work
How teams work

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

How teams work

3.1 Stages in the development of teams

Many teams appear to develop in the same way and to follow a predictable pattern of formation and growth (their life cycle). As a member of a team, if you know what the pattern is and can recognise the features of the developmental process in your own team, then you are in a strong position to be able to do something about it – if indeed you need to. First, you can understand what is going on – the growing pains of your team; second, you can take appropriate action to help your team to move on to the next stage of growth; and third, you can try to avoid doing anything inappropriate to upset the development of your team!

In 1965 Tuckman published a paper in which he identified and characterised four stages of team development (Tuckman, 1965). Later on, Tuckman and other authors added a fifth stage to the end of the team development life cycle (Tuckman and Jensen, 1977). Tuckman’s model formalises the process of team development and gives names to the different developmental stages. These stages have been given other names by other authors but they are widely recognised as being ones through which many teams pass. In the remainder of this section, Tuckman’s model of the development of teams is described. Furthermore, we have included some advice for virtual teams to consider at each of the five stages.

M891_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371