Whether there are predictable patterns of development in small groups has been of interest to group scholars and practitioners for some time. Theories of group development differ in what and how many levels of analysis they focus on. Some mostly stick to the group level, treating the group as a whole unit and its members and their experiences as relatively homogeneous. Others focus on the development of individual members into, through, and out of groups. Still other theories focus on how groups develop in the context of their embedding environments. Recent theories attempt to incorporate all three levels of analysis by considering the interplay among the group, its members, and its context over time.

Group-Level Theories

Theories that focus on the group as a unit consider the ...

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