Twelve Angry Men: An Analysis of Group Effectiveness Sample Essay

Twelve work forces with diverse backgrounds are sequestered in a room and are unable to go forth until a determination. a weighty 1 that will either reprobate a immature adult male to decease or put him free. is made. The 12 aliens are bound to each other. trapped within the confines of four immoveable walls. until the end is achieved. They melt in the humidness of in-between summer. which is exacerbated by the room’s stuffiness and by the emphasis of their undertaking. We. the audience. perspiration as they grapple with each other and with the duty that is theirs to carry through. One could pass a great trade of clip debating if the jurymans who comprised the dramatis personae of “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) were a group or a squad. One could. and we will. mention definitions and descriptions from the literature to warrant one decision or the other. The inquiries that are more interesting to us. and that constitute the thesis of this paper. are these: Were the jurymans an effectual group ( or squad ) ? And what factors contributed to group effectivity? Schwarz ( 2002 ) has proposed a Group Effectiveness

Model that provides facilitators who work with dysfunctional groups a route map. a manner to place where groups have gone incorrect. Schwarz identifies three standards for judging group success: public presentation. personal and procedure. If what the group produces meets or exceeds outlooks ( public presentation ) ; if group members grow and develop through the group experience ( personal ) and if the group learns to work together ( procedure ) . so the group has experienced some success. In add-on. Schwarz identifies elements that are indispensable to the group work itself. These are group context. construction and procedure. In this paper. we will analyze the 12 jurors’ effectivity as a group by comparing them against Schwarz’s Group Effectiveness Model. Most notably. we will place the elements of group effectivity most clearly demonstrated in “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) and mensurate the group’s success against Schwarz’s standards. In some instances. we will analyze Schwarz’s elements of group effectivity from a somewhat different angle. a different position that references the thoughts of noteworthy experts in the field of group kineticss.

In peculiar. we will integrate the plants of Levi ( 2007 ) and Smith and Berg ( 1987 ) . Group Context Group context is defined as the scene in which the group operates and the elements that support its work. In Schwarz’s ( 2002 ) position. it is of import that effectual groups have a clearly stated mission ; a supportive. broader organisational civilization ; appropriate wagess ; information and feedback ; a physical environment conducive to the group work ; and other supports such as preparation. engineering and necessary resources. For the intents of this paper. group context is the class on which we will concentrate the least. nevertheless we do offer the undermentioned remarks on the context in which the 12 angry jurymans operated. Groups operate best when their mission is clear and the members portion a vision with the broader organisation ( Schwarz. 2002 ) . In the instance of “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) . the broader organisation could be considered the U. S. justness system. While there were several cases of involved parties reminding the jury of their end ( the justice reminder before the jury retired for deliberation ; the chief repeated their intent during deliberation ) . the jury members clearly struggled to encompass their mission ( why do we be? ) and portion the vision ( how do we look? ) .

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As articulately described by the international juryman who had late become a U. S. citizen. the vision of the American justness system is built upon a law dogma that all people deserve a just test and are guiltless until proved guilty. Most of the jury members were motivated for many grounds to move in a mode inconsistent with the inexplicit mission and vision. and it was merely through group procedure and development over clip that they to the full accepted their duty associated with that mission. Possibly by the terminal of the film. a shared mission and vision could be articulated. Surely at the beginning. it could and was non. We would reason that there was small external support provided to the jurymans beyond basic direction on their assignment. Training was non provided prior to the test and audience during deliberation goes against the purpose of piecing an nonsubjective and stainless equal jury. An effectual group needs entree to valid information in order to execute a undertaking ( Schwarz. Davidson. Carlson. and McKinney. 2006 ) .

Not merely was the jury provided with testimony and grounds with which to consider. but the group itself generated a great trade of cognition based upon pragmatism and experience. This finally helped them measure the veracity of testimonies. An illustration of grounds that generated cognition was the knife: The designer successfully demonstrated the possibility that the slaying arm was non alone. and that another individual could hold possessed the exact same knife. One of the most powerful scenes was that in which the intellectual had a alteration of bosom once he related his personal experience have oning spectacless to the informant who was short-sighted. He realized that it would hold been impossible for the informant to verify beyond a shadow of uncertainty that the suspect had committed slaying. The impact of the physical environment is discussed subsequently in the paper. Suffice it to state that the room in which they worked met the demands of the group in many ways. On the other manus. the hot and humid conditions had a negative impact on the degree of comfort experienced by the group and sometimes served as a accelerator for the already high tensenesss to detonate. at times. into arrant ugliness

Group Structure In Schwarz’s ( 2002 ) theoretical account. group construction consists of clear mission and ends. shared vision. actuating undertakings. appropriate rank. clearly defined functions. group norms. sufficient clip. and effectual group civilization. In “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) the end of the group was clear. but as we have noted. the group struggled to clear up their mission and failed to joint a vision for themselves until the movie’s terminal. For most of the jury. the motive at the beginning was to finish the undertaking so that they could travel place. Over clip. as the cogency of the grounds became questionable. the motive of the group changed from this short term and selfish position to a longer term position of supplying the suspect a just test. Although the members of the jury group were all white work forces. their backgrounds were rather diverse and this helped to convey different positions to the group. While the diverseness and different background seemed to lend toward conflicting positions. it besides enriched the group with a broader worldview.

To this extent. the diverseness of the group rank helped do the group more effectual in accomplishing its end. The jury had been given about limitless clip to get at their determination. At one point when the ballot was split. the group gave itself a clip bound to make their end before they would declare themselves a hung jury. The copiousness of clip seemed to assist concentrate the group and supply the infinite necessary to see things more profoundly. The functions in the jury were non clearly defined and many functions developed informally. The merely declared function was that of the chief. who could be said to be a nominal leader in that he suggested how the group would sit and that there should be a ballot from clip to clip. However. he did little to take the group explore whether the male child was guilty beyond sensible uncertainty. The chief besides became a note taker and sometimes a go-between. At one point he became uncomfortable with this function and tried to go through the duty elsewhere but the group rejected it.

When the jurymans began discoursing the instance. 11 of them considered the immature adult male to be guilty and one dissented. It was this adult male. the designer. who foremost stepped into a leading function and this happened in an informal mode. In an scrutiny of the group’s duologue. the designer could be considered a facilitative leader of the Skilled Facilitator Approach ( Schwarz. 2002 ) . The nucleus values of the Skilled Facilitator Approach are: valid information. free and informed pick. internal committedness. and compassion. The designer sought out valid information for the group to see. advocated his point of position and inquired as to differing positions and add-ons to the argument. As the narrative unfolded. more valid information was uncovered by assorted members of the group and members of the group changed their ballots to non guilty.

They became rather committed to the architect’s attack and many of them began to portion the function of the Skilled Facilitator. Levi ( 2007 ) notes that group members can keep assorted functions within the group. which may make struggle within the person and the group. Jury members moved between functions of information givers and information searchers. Other illustrations of multiple functions include: the baseball fan was a critic but became a follower ; the small cat with spectacless ( John Fielder ) was speculative and a compromiser through most of the movie ; the immigrant was an information receiving system and besides reminded the group of the earnestness and significance of their responsibility as American citizens ; the ad adult male was compromising. the painter was a harmoniser and the bigot remained a critic. The internal struggle experienced by the persons as they moved from function to function was acted skilfully. and sometimes resulted in utmost shows of emotion and even katharsis when the function alteration was precipitated by internal battle.

The group norms of the jury evolved every bit good. In the beginning it was acceptable for group members to hassle and minimize the designer for his ballot and oppugning. The choler and abrasiveness of the angry adult male and bigot were tolerated. As the group spent more clip together and learned more about each other. they no longer recognized negative or opprobrious behaviour. An illustration is when the painter told the angry adult male to esteem the old adult male and threatened to “lay out” ( Lumet. 1957 ) the angry adult male if he spoke negatively once more. Another powerful illustration of group norms was near the terminal of the film when the bigot one time once more exploded in a damaging harangue about how “those people” ( Lumet ) were ever negative. At this point. the bulk of the group left the tabular array and turned off from the bigot. mutely showing contempt for his behaviour. What was one time accepted was now shunned. We would wish to do one last point about group construction in relationship to the argument over group versus squad. Levi ( 2007 ) and Schwarz ( 2002 ) both use the footings interchangeably.

Teams are frequently classified as specific sorts of groups with particular features. For illustration. Levi cites Forsyth’s ( 1999 ) definition of squads as groups with common ends. coordinated attempts and common answerability. At times. squads are thought of as groups with members that have specific maps. as in athleticss squads. Levi farther citations Hayes’ ( 1997 ) accent on a team’s power to run. Given these definitions. we conclude that the 12 jurymans possibly began as a group but ended as a squad. It is clear that the group was empowered to do a determination from the beginning–one that the justice. a representative of the judicial system. would accept without inquiry. However. the persons did non show a sense of common answerability to each other except over clip and through duologue. Common answerability for a just determination and to make right by the suspect was bit by bit embraced as persons listened to oppugning. contributed to the treatment. and re-evaluated the grounds. Attempts at the beginning of the deliberations were coordinated towards the way of least opposition: an easy guilty finding of fact. By the terminal of the session. attempts were coordinated towards a shared group mission and vision. Last. each of the persons contributed a position that was alone to his experiences.

Once the juryman was able to associate his experience to that of the testimony and grounds. he was besides able to admit uncertainty. In this manner. the persons complemented each other such that the squad was enriched. Group Process The paradox position. Schwarz ( 2002 ) proposes that the elements of group procedure include job resolution. determination devising. conflict direction. communicating and boundary direction. Boundary direction. determination devising and conflict direction can be viewed through a lens of a different sort. one that elucidates the paradoxes associated with each. Smith and Berg ( 1987 ) depict four paradoxes of belonging. Of these. boundary and individuality are closely associated and two that were clearly demonstrated in “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) .

An apprehension of these paradoxes within the context of the film provides insight into the group’s behaviours around boundary direction and determination devising. and helps us to place the beginning of some of their struggle. The construct of boundary can be articulated in both physical and non-physical footings. Smith and Berg ( 1987 ) wrote that one of the maps of boundaries is to supply a manner to incorporate group anxiousness associated with group rank. The container consequence is heightened when the boundaries are stiff and impermeable. In the film. the physical container was the room in which the 12 jurymans deliberated and finally decided the destiny of the suspect. The unseeable container was the work assigned to the group: to accomplish a consentaneous determination of guilt or artlessness. The clearly defined group mission represents a instead dogged container for the anxiousness of the 12 work forces: in order to accomplish the group end successfully. each person had to weigh a great trade of information ( grounds ) and come to a determination of guilt or artlessness ; the group had to accommodate the differences between persons and come to a consentaneous decision of guilt or artlessness.

Achieving the group determination was the lone manner out for the group both physically ( of the room ) and metaphorically ( of the group and its undertaking ) . unless a hung jury was declared. Because the physical and non-physical boundaries of the group were so impermeable. with few safety valves to let go of the anxiousnesss associated with the undertaking of the jurymans. we observed utmost emotions of work forces under a batch of force per unit area. symbolized in one manner by the really angry and baleful character played by Lee J. Cobb. When boundaries are excessively stiff. the group is at hazard of detonating because there are few valves or blowholes to let go of single anxiousnesss associated with group rank ( Smith and Berg. 1987 ) . Throughout the film. we observed persons looking for a manner to get away both their physical and non physical containers rapidly. The group could hold negotiated such an flight through a speedy decision of guilt.

Therefore. we observed the baseball aficionado forcing the group to a consentaneous guilty ballot so that he wouldn’t lose his baseball game. the rational utilizing factual grounds to apologize why the suspect deserved a decision of guilt. and the bigot utilizing his bias to warrant that the young person has a guilty finding of fact coming to him. Herein lies the paradox of boundaries and the experience of the 12 angry work forces: the physical and intangible boundaries of both the group location and the group mission were about smothering in the deficiency of flexibleness and permeableness. and elicited a great many flight efforts by its members ; but those boundaries were finally necessary in order for the group to larn to work together and to carry through its most hard undertaking.

The jurymans may good hold exploded or imploded under the weight of their ain anxiousness if non for some alleviation. which chiefly occurred in two ways: retreat to the bathroom or travel off from the tabular array. which was the focal point of argument. The bathroom symbolized a quiet safety from the anxiousnesss of the group and this was observed at the beginning of the film. when the old adult male delayed the group deliberation. In another scene. the bathroom became the topographic point that some persons attempted to act upon the determination of Henry Fonda. the pervert and most immune to the group norms and way. Jurors moved off from the tabular array and looked out the Windowss. which were besides symbolic Windowss to freedom. Henry Fonda’s character pensively looked out the Windowss as the film opened ; Lee J. Cobb’s angry character spoke to the group while looking out the window at the terminal of the film before he eventually acquiesced and declared the defendant’s artlessness.

Ironically. the really anxieties that group boundaries contain are manifestations of the individual’s battle within him or herself every bit much as they are the consequence of struggles between group members. This battle speaks to the paradox of individuality. An individual’s individuality within a group is frequently experienced as what he or she will necessitate to give up in order to belong ; conversely. the group speculates if it can carry through its undertaking with the current rank ( Smith and Berg. 1987 ) . Therefore. persons seek groups that will non coerce them to excessively compromise their individualities and groups seek persons that will conform and lend maximally to the group. Group norms are one manner that groups set up individualities and maintain persons working towards the good of the group. We have already discussed some of the group norms that kept the jurymans in cheque. One illustration of the battle between group and single individuality occurred within the first 10 proceedingss of the film. a scene in which Henry Fonda’s character offered to give his uncertainness ( which is an look of individualism ) if the remainder of the group jointly voted guilty in a 2nd. secret ballot.

The old adult male voted non guilty and the battle between the group and the non-conforming persons began in earnest. During the class of the film. and one by one. the jurymans exposed to themselves and the others their prejudices. strivings. calamities and concealed dockets that drove each of them to ab initio reprobate the suspect. In the procedure of uncovering their true. complex individualities. the persons committed themselves to the existent work of the group: to make up one’s mind guilt or artlessness based upon a given of artlessness unless proven guilty beyond a inquiry of uncertainty. As persons allowed themselves to be more reliable. the group became more echt as good. Herein lies the paradox of individuality: while persons perceive that they must give something up to belong to a group. and groups behave as though persons must conform in order for them to be good group members. the truth is that the complex procedure of uncovering to the group one’s true individuality with all its contradictions. and the hard procedure for a group to accept behaviours and believing exterior of its norms. causes each to be stronger and to derive insight ( Smith and Berg. 1987 ) .

At the terminal of “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) . each juryman gained cognition about himself. the others and the nature of groups as a consequence of wrestling with the contradictions and complexnesss of the determination they had to do The group development position. Group procedure can besides be viewed from the position of group development theory. The Tuckman theoretical account ( as cited in Levi. 2007 ) is a phase development theoretical account and is one manner in which to see the ripening procedure that the jurymans experienced. Tuckman proposed that groups go through four phases and since his original proposal. a 5th 1 has been added. These phases are organizing. ramping. norming. executing and now recessing.

The first phase. organizing. began when most of the members of the group tried to acquire to cognize each other by briefly chew the fating about the instance. the position of the edifice. and the surprise of the locked door. The work forces were polite with one another ; for case. the baseball fan offered masticating gum to two of the members and offered to assist open a window. Furthermore. there was a sense of being uncomfortable and constrained. demonstrated by the designer who separated himself from the others every bit good as the jurymans who sat silent and did non prosecute in little talk. The socialisation of the group began during the forming phase. Socialization is an of import constituent of groups. assisting to crystallise the group norms and to develop connexions. Socialization is the procedure by which persons begin to understand their relationship to the group and the group’s relationship to others. Levi ( 2007 ) defines societal designation as the group individuality as a whole bing on their ain. an “us versus them” outlook.

Social representation is the shared beliefs within the group on how they see the universe around them. Most in the group ab initio felt bound together against the suspect. superior to the person on test. Via raising the inquiry of uncertainty and rejecting what appeared to be incontrovertible grounds. persons in the group accepted the ambiguity of the instance and at least some of them became more empathic to the suspect. Levi ( 2007 ) writes that socialisation is a procedure get downing with an single inquiring. evaluating and so make up one’s minding whether or non to fall in the group. Each of the jurymans did merely that. based upon his differing point of position and life experiences. For illustration. the Jack Klugman character had grown up in a slum ; he was able to place with the suspect and shared penetration on the usage of the switch blade. As communicating and duologue amongst members continued. they began to determine each other’s sentiments. The group finally developed a new position of the instance that was cultivated through the socialisation procedure.

The storming phase. which is depicted by strife and division among members of a group. was observed in the film when each juryman took a bend to explicate why he thought the immature Puerto Rican adult male was guilty. This exercising created a division in the group. opposing two jurymans against the remainder. Hostility between jury members ensued: The designer defended the possibility of the boy’s artlessness and the bigot said. “Oh male child. there’s ever one” ( Lumet. 1957 ) . Another illustration came after the secret ballot revealed a 2nd non guilty ballot and the angry adult male said. “Why don’t you drop a coin in this aggregation box” ( Lumet ) in mention to the adult male born in a slum. He had erroneously assumed that Jack Klugman’s character had voted non guilty. More dissensions over processs were noticed when the bigot wanted the designer to speak out of bend in direct contradiction to a group understanding. There was confusion of functions. as demonstrated when the designer took on the function of hatchet man by catching a piece of paper that was used to play tic-tac-toe by two people.

As the treatment evolved. the group realized that an understanding on the finding of fact of the instance has become more hard than anticipated. The norming phase is characterized by organisation to work together. and was reached when some of the jurymans developed regulations of order. got the treatment fluxing and stated what behaviour was acceptable or unacceptable. At the acting phase. in which members are concentrating on the undertaking and do corporate determinations. the jurymans ruled out every piece of grounds presented and entertained that the 18 twelvemonth old adult male could be guiltless. The adjourning or disintegration phase occurred hurriedly for the 12 jurymans. We can surmise that their societal relationships were non strong plenty to transport outside of the deliberation room.

We’d like to offer two different group development perspectives as options to the Tuckman theoretical account ( as cited in Levi. 2007 ) : the one-sided control theoretical account ( Schwarz. 2006 ) and the punctuated equilibrium theoretical account ( Gersick. 1988 ) . As a portion of group procedure. the theory-in-use of the group ab initio followed the theoretical account of one-sided control. Behaviors of the one-sided control theoretical account are to ever win and command ; to recommend our positions ; to non ask about others positions ; to do negative illations about others ; to disregard that there is a job and to expose defensive behaviour ( Schwarz ) . As the group became more cohesive and group norms began to organize that supported a more unfastened and funny stance. the jury began to show common acquisition behaviours. Common acquisition is characterized by behaviour that provides information to back up thoughts. ask foring enquiry. being unfastened to strict testing of theories. the possibility of struggle. and low defensive behaviour ( Schwarz ) . Evidence of the one-sided control theoretical account can be found in the behaviour of the angry adult male and the bigot.

The angry adult male frequently acted as if it was a competition and he wanted to win instead than lose. He was non truly unfastened or funny about different point of views and frequently made negative illations about others when they expressed a position reverse to his ain. An illustration was when the old adult male on the jury began to oppugn the motivations of the old adult male who testified. The angry adult male yelled at him and put him down. The bigot besides frequently made negative illations about others and tried to command others and recommend his ain position. He besides often demonstrated defensive behaviour. Early in the jury’s deliberation. the designer exhibited behaviours of the common acquisition theoretical account. At the really beginning he said that he wasn’t certain the male child was guilty and wanted to hear what the others thought. Often when he presented information. he said he wasn’t certain about the result. but that the points he presented led to his uncertainty about the guilt of the male child. He had low defensive behaviour and frequently inquired into the other jurymans concluding and purpose. He focused on his involvement of non being convinced beyond a sensible uncertainty and was non truly fixed on any place.

He merely wanted to speak about the grounds presented and review it. He besides advocated his thoughts and inquired about what others thought about them and invited them to portion their thought. The common acquisition behaviour of the designer provided a theoretical account for others in the group to follow and bit by bit the group began to show common acquisition behaviours and work more efficaciously. A 2nd alternate theory of group development exhibited in the film is the punctuated equilibrium theoretical account proposed by Gersick in 1988. This theoretical account explores how groups work over clip and suggests that groups work in stages. The punctuated equilibrium paradigm suggests that “systems advancement through an alternation of stasis and sudden visual aspect — long periods of inactiveness. punctuated by concentrated. radical periods of quantum change” ( Gersick. 1988. p. 16 ) .

Gersick’s survey found that groups demonstrate a distinguishing attack at its first meeting and so stays with this attack through a period of inactiveness ( be givening to remain in the same status ) for about half of the clip of the given deadline. There is so a major passage period where groups discontinue old forms. connect once more with outside directors. develop new positions on their work. and do singular advancement. The behaviours of the jury in “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) supports the theory of punctuated equilibrium. The jury’s deliberation which found the male child guilty eleven votes to one set the tone for the first half of the film. The non guilty ballot by the designer and the resulting defeat and choler of the group set the tone for a long period of stasis. During this clip. the bulk were still rather fixed in their guilty finding of fact and non really unfastened or willing to see other points of position. The merely other non guilty ballot during the first half of the movie was the old adult male and he did this to back up the architect’s resoluteness to speak it out before doing such a serious determination. A important passage took topographic point when the old adult male supported the architect’s inquiring of the cogency of the testimony. At this point the treatment the adult male from the slum. played by Jack Klugman. changed his ballot.

This was right at the center of the film and shortly after this the tone of the conversation of the group began to alter markedly. The involuntariness to see other point of views and choler towards the designer that characterized the first half of the deliberation shifted bit by bit to a procedure predominated by a more funny attack that sought valid information. Following the center passage. the 2nd stage was marked by more adept duologue and echt wonder.

The group moved towards a firmer strong belief that the male child was non guilty beyond a sensible uncertainty. Ultimately. even the most fractious of the jurymans changed their positions when either the cogency of the grounds was shown to be questionable ( the intellectual ) or their strong personal prejudices were so exposed that they were no longer valid grounds to keep a guilty ballot. Conclusion In analyzing the group kineticss of the jury in “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) . there are many features of groups and squads that become apparent. Based on the Group Effectiveness Model ( Schwarz. 2002 ) . we judge the jury to be an effectual group. The three standards of an effectual group are public presentation. procedure and personal. In sing public presentation. the jury met or exceeded the outlooks of the justice and the U. S. judicial system: They arrived at a consentaneous determination and helped supply the suspect with a just test. Sing procedure. the jury learned to work together over clip. developing group norms and finally prosecuting in skilled duologue and behaviours of the common acquisition theoretical account.

We further asseverate that the jury members began as a group. with no common answerability to each other and for carry throughing their mission ; and finished as a squad with a shared and baronial mission and group individuality. Finally. when sing personal growing. the persons in the group learned about prejudices. hurting and experiences that stood in the manner of carry oning the work they were tasked to make. Ultimately each was able to set aside his selfish motive and damaging positions and engage in aim and just deliberations as a member of the group. Other factors of the Group Effectiveness Model were besides demonstrated through group construction and group procedure. Of these a clear end. information. the development of group norms. group development. the facilitative leading of the designer. the method of determination devising. communicating. job resolution and boundary direction were most outstanding as grounds of an effectual group.

When sing the development of the group. there is grounds of both Tuckman’s theoretical account ( as cited in Levi. 2007 ) every bit good as Gersick’s ( 1988 ) theoretical account of punctuated equilibrium. Their societal relationship evolved which led to a more cohesive group at least for the clip they were carry oning their work. At the same clip. their job work outing attack evolved into a method by which the group discovered valid information. freely made their picks and were internally committed to the decision. While the jury of “Twelve Angry Men” ( Lumet. 1957 ) finally developed into an effectual group. this occurred about despite themselves. These work forces would hold benefited from an apprehension of Schwarz’s ( 2002 ) Group Development Model. Tuckman’s phase theoretical account ( as cited in Levi. 2007 ) . and Gersick’s ( 1988 ) punctuated equilibrium theoretical account. The 12 angry work forces may hold been merely a tad spot happy with such cognition at their disposal.


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