Management

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CHAPTER 9: THE VERDICT ON GROUPTHINK
1. In my experience, I found that decision-making groups do not tend toward groupthink. Groupthink is a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action. Groups displaying most of the symptoms of groupthink are more likely to display symptoms ofdefective decision making, resulting in poor policy outcomes. There are seven ways to prevent this: * Leaders should assign the role “critical evaluator” to each group member to allow each member to freely voice objective and doubts. * Leaders should not express an opinion when assigning a task to a group. * The organization should set up several independent groups, working on the same problem. * All effective alternatives should be examined.

* Each member should discuss the groups’ with trusted people outside of the group. * The group should invite outside experts to their meetings. Group members should be allowed to discuss the problem with and question the outside experts. * At least one group member (a different person for each meeting) should be assigned the role of devil’s advocate to intentionally challenge the groups’ assumptions and conclusions.

2. Review the steps in the rational decision-making model (especially 1-4). This model, of course, applies to individuals and might be difficult to apply to group decision making situation. If, however, you were juror, how might you apply these steps to your own deliberations? In what ways might they give you some useful guidance? In what ways would you have to make adjustments because of the contents (a trial) and situation (a group process)? i. Cohesiveness. A number of factors combine to ensure that the jury is a cohesive group. ii. Insulation. Once it’s empanelled, the jury is isolated from other individuals and groups. Jurors...
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