How a Group becomes a Team?

"Group is not necessarily a team, but a team is a group"

Definition for Team:

"A collection of two or more individuals who possess a common identity, have common goals and objectives, share a common fate. Exhibit structured patterns of interaction and modes of communication, hold common perceptions about group structure, are personally and instrumentally interdependent, reciprocate interpersonal attraction, and consider themselves to be a group" (Carron, 1981)


Specific Characteristis**:

(Carron & Hausenblas, 1998)

  1. Common fate of members
  2. Mutual benefit
  3. Social Structure - members behave in manner that demonstrates presence of roles, norms, satus and positional differences
  4. Group Processes - communication, cooperation, task and social interaction
  5. Self-categorization - members consider themselves to be part of a group

** Note that many groups may define themselves a little or a lot differently depending on specific characteristis


 There are several research in group/team development. Tuckman's (1965) group dynamics theory is well known in the area (Figure 1)



Developmental Process:

In accordance with Tuckman and Jenkins (1977), there are 5 man stages of development within a sports group (Figure 2).



In Forming stage, there is no true group yet formed, however, members are concerned with inclusion and dependency issues. Although this is the start of interpersonal relationships, there are not yet any uniform goals, modes of action, values or norms.

During the second stage, known as Storming, group members often deal with chaos, conflict and fight. In some instances some members of the group may rebel against the task, instructor or leader and the group as a whole. At this difficult period, the instructor, coach leader, etc. has to struggle for an atmosphere of safety and frankness.

When the group begins to cooperate and develop mutual support, the group has moved into the third stage. This is recognised as the Norming phase. In addition to the development of solidarity and cooperation, the roles of individual group members are clarified as members begin to establish group norms

The fourth stage of Tuckman’s development process is called the Performing stage. This is the period in which the group is focused on the completion of goals and members are concerned with effectively working together. This is an important time for the group as they are now beginning to accomplish things together. This is a crucial time for building team cohesion.

The fifth stage, Adjouring, was later added by Tuckman and is seen as an important stage given that at some point members will eventually leave the group. Team members may be leaving for a number of reasons such as injury, moving on the next level, retirement etc. The Adjouring phase was added once researchers noticed that when this occurs, the future development of the group depended on how the members of the group handled this situation. 

Note this particular time of change can have both negative and positive effects of the group as a whole, therefore in order to continue and develop as a group, it is crucial that the group makes the best possible transition when they lose a  member, or in the future gain a new one.