A more modern conceptualization of group work is where individuals help each other and also help groups so that it is capable of influencing both the individuals and groups to change or tackle personal, group, organizational and community problems (Brown, 1994). Group work may plainly be defined as the study and use of the processes and results undergone when a group comes together. Thus the function of group work can be described as one that puts importance to sharing of views, ideas, problems, and actions.
Like individuals, groups are also unique in their own experiences and expectations. However many researchers surveying group development and dynamics have acknowledged that group development, in general, is more foreseeable than individual behavior. Thus a number of theories of phases of group development have been developed, which are either linear or cyclical, and it must be emphasized that there is nothing like a perfect model for group stage development. There are a number of group work theories and models in practice. These are mainly Tuckman’s Model, Fisher’s Theory, Tubbs’s Theory, Johari Window model and Poole’s Model. The models and theories of Tuckman and Johari are discussed below listing the stages of their progress and formation.
The Tuckman’s model is a five-stage model comprising of Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. The first stage is Forming in which the group takes the initial step of coming together. This phase entails considerable testing, and trial and error. Initial problems regarding candidness and support within the group happen due to a deficiency of cohesion and a problem in sharing views, thoughts and experience with each other. An internal assessment of group value and the ways by which an individual places oneself in the group are chief characteristics of this stage. Apprehension, isolation, failure, and