Characteristics of Group Decision Making

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The ever changing market that exists today has brought about the idea of bringing multiple individuals with diverse backgrounds together and creating work groups. These work groups are becoming the norm in many companies. Work groups are generally but in place to tackle projects that would be better served by a group rather than an individual. One of the most important functions of a group is the ability to make effective decisions. The text describes that a group decision implies that an agreement is made among the members to determine which course of action is most effective for achieving the group’s goal. The purpose of group decision making is to decide on well-considered, well understood, realistic action toward goals every member wishes to achieve (Johnson and Johnson, 2009). Not only is it important for the group to make a decision together, they need to focus on making the most appropriate decision for the matter at hand. The text list five major characteristics of an effective group decision; the resources of group members are fully utilized, time is well used, the decision is correct or of high quality, the decision is implemented fully by all the required group members, and the problem solving ability of the group is improved, or at least not lessened (Johnson and Johnson, 2009). In this paper I will describe the group to which I belong and how the five characteristics of an effective group decision apply to the overall decision made by the group. The group that I belong to was pulled together several months back to make decisions on pricing for our products. My company decided to pull associates from different departments like; sales, operations, finance, products and marketing and bring them together to come up with the best laid plan. The company has had to take a different approach to our pricing models after an amendment was brought to the floor at the last minute by a Senator to place yet another Regulation on banking. This amendment was going to affect our customers (Banks and Credit Unions) by forcing debit card networks to place a cap on the amount of interchange that the Financial Institution could earn. As this would only apply to Regulated Banks, my group had to make a decision on how we would set prices between the Regulated and Non- Regulated Banks. Would we treat them equally or separate them just as the amendment did? Our goal was to utilize the knowledge of coming from different areas within the company and pull together an effective pricing plan; the plan was to be ready for implementation, pending the final rulings from the Government. First, I will apply the first characteristic of an effective group decision; the resources of group members are fully utilized. One component that was essential was the positive interdependence. Each individual had something different to offer the group, we each came with resources, “Resources are time, talents, money, information, and materials. The development of High Performance Teams will use considerable resources. Newly formed teams want to maximize the resources available to them” (Bodwell, 1999) that would help in the decision making process. “Positive Resource Interdependence: Each member of the group has only a part of the information, resources, or materials necessary for his or her task. In this way, the members' resources have to be combined so that the group accomplishes its goal” (INTIME, 2008). Each member came from a different area of the business; however we all support our customers in some fashion, allowing us to bring different outlooks to the customers need. For example, I am from the sales department as an account manager; I deal with our customers on a daily basis and hear their concerns about the upcoming Regulation. Operations deals with the implementation and technology aspect of putting new pricing in to place. As you can see we each brought a different resource to the table. On the flip side, each member coming...
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