Groupthink Case Study

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Groupthink Case Study

Working in groups is something we all encounter in our life, in and outside of work. A group - or team - consists of people working together because they have a common purpose or goal. Decisions are made by teams every day and it is imperative that the decision-making process be effective. Shortcomings in the decision-making process should be avoided (Thompson, 2004). A situation that can occur within a group is called Groupthink. Groupthink leads to the making of bad decisions because of poor judgment and lack of creativity from the team members. The power to agree becomes stronger than the power to stand up or speak out about your views or opinions. A group often ends up failing if they are stuck in groupthink for an extended period of time. Groupthink usually leads to unethical decisions and immoral judgments. Thompson (2004) defines groupthink as what “occurs when team members place consensus above all other priorities – including using good judgment when the consensus reflects poor judgment, improper or immoral actions, and so on.” This case study will focus on the threat of groupthink and how a team and a Project Manager can avoid it. Threat of Groupthink

The threat of groupthink occurs when members of the group start believing they can’t be wrong. Thompson (2004) wrote “There is a strong intolerance in a groupthink situation for diversity of opinion.” Team members will ignore obvious risks and believe that they are right, even though the decision may be immoral or based on stereotypes (Janis & Mann, 1977). The group’s primary function is to accomplish the task at hand and groupthink threatens the effectiveness of the members’ commitment. How to Avoid Groupthink

The Project Manager needs to give a clear goal to the team members to avoid groupthink from occurring. Every team member also needs to know that the Project Manager is holding them accountable. According to Janis & Mann (1977) “the...
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