Groupthink is a concept that was identified by Irving Janis that refers to faulty decision-making in a group. Groups experiencing groupthink do not consider all alternatives and they desire unanimity at the expense of quality decisions. Groupthink is a mode of thinking people engage in when cohesiveness is high. Groupthink leads to poor decision making and results in a lack of creativity. Groupthink has been studied widely; many people are unaware of its dynamics and the consequences that they might bring.
Irving L. Janis (1918 - 1990) was a research psychologist at Yale University and a professor at the University of California. He retired in 1986 (Wikipedia, 2008). In 1981 he was awarded Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association. His works included "Crucial Decisions: Leadership in Policy Making and Crisis Management", "Groupthink", and with Leon Mann, "Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice and Commitment" (The New York Times, 1990). Critique
Goal oriented groups consist of people with matching skills who are committed to a common purpose, have specific performance goals, share a common working approach, and hold mutual accountability. These types of groups are used when there are complex problems to be solved, important situations to work through, or uncertain conditions. Groups function best when there are no immediate time pressures. Groups are successful because the group members bring different ideas, the collective knowledge of everyone is significant, and groups tend to be focused. There are certain situations which call for the use of groups. Groups can be beneficial when communication between departments is necessary in a business setting or when the consent of many people is required. Individuals can also benefit from group participation. Many people who work in groups are able to learn new skills, take risks, get feedback, and discover personal strengths and weaknesses. Fullan...
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