The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the stages of group development are path‐dependent or whether a stage can have a direct influence beyond an adjacent stage; to test a model that distinguishes between task and process characteristics; and to examine the validity of the Group Development Assessment.
A total of 204 public servants responded to questionnaires pertaining to their respective teams. Their responses to the Group Development Assessment were analyzed through the use of confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modeling.
This study found that, in general, teams follow a predictable pattern of growth (i.e. they grow up one stage at a time), but their ability to grow is influenced by how well they addressed previous challenges. Path dependency was partly supported since the prior stage was generally the strongest predictor of the subsequent stage. The findings on path dependency are consistent with pendular models since changes in an earlier stage can have significant effects on later stages. Support was found for the separation of tasks and process behaviors. The Group Development Assessment was reasonably reliable, and its items generally classified into their corresponding stages.
The finding that, at a given moment, a variable such as dependency has a strong independent relationship with interdependence is consistent with a short time lag. However, a longitudinal study is needed to assess such lags.
As a group meets the challenges of a stage and moves forward, the assumptions or the foundations laid before need to be supported; otherwise the group may regress.
The study tests a group development model and offers recommendations for group interventions.
Ito, J.K. and Brotheridge, C.M. (2008), "Do teams grow up one stage at a time? Exploring the complexity of group development models", Team Performance Management, Vol. 14 No. 5/6, pp. 214-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527590810898491Download as .RIS
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