Team Decision Making and Problem Solving

Topics: Decision making, Problem solving, Management Pages: 10 (3429 words) Published: June 16, 2012
As team decision making and problem solving is a broad topic, this paper researches on the given topics (I) advantages and disadvantages of team decision making and problem solving; (II)Team leadership and building consensus; (III) Organizational support to team decisions; (IV) Ethical decision making in a team; (V) Team decisions and conflict management. Introduction:

Team decision making is one of the essential skills for any successful organization. Decision making is important for management and leadership for smooth operation. Likewise, problem solving tactics should include a strong decision making process. In other words, decision making and problem solving are related to each other and it requires skills, creativity, and problem identification/definition. In some cases, effective decision making skill is natural in a person; whereas, in other cases, effective decision making skill can be achieved through various training, mixture of skills and experience. Team decision making and problem solving is a broad topic where we can link various aspects of organizational activities. For example, decision making and leadership, decision making and communication. Each and every organizational unit needs proper decision making process and problem solving techniques. First we are going to research advantages and disadvantages of team decision making. Advantages of Team Decision Making and Problem Solving

1.Greater Output
Research has shown that team decision making is always better than individual decision making because of combination of different knowledge and experience (Sheng, Tian, & Chen, 2010). A team involves many people that possess diverse background, values, ideas, points of view, and knowledge. When all these pool of talents are brought together as a team, they can lead to better performance for organizations. For example, enhancement of productivity at workplace, improvement in job quality, job satisfaction, less absence and reduced turnover rate (Sheng, Tian, & Chen, 2010) 2.Cross Fertilization

As mentioned above, a team consists of number of people with varying expertise. Working together in a team promotes exchanging ideas from which members can learn from each other. For example, members with different talent when working together can adapt to think and imagine like other member from the team, and vice versa. The exchange of ideas, thoughts and values can enhance the problem solving and decision making practices in a team which in return is beneficial to the organization as a whole (Mach, Dolan, & Tzafrir, 2010). 3.Shared Responsibility and Accountability

When making decisions, the shared responsibility of a group can encourage individuals to think outside the box. This leads to proposing and debating unrealistic ideas and challenge the status quo to improve efficiency. Shared accountability can also help overcome individual bias and prejudice by challenging and resolving conflicts as a team, forcing the individual to recognize them. Team pressure and motivation can also encourage individuals to accept that change is needed. 4.Increased Risk Taking

Since all the team members share the responsibility, they are more willing to explore and try new things. In other words, due to combination of talent, team member’s strength is greater to invent new ideas, take risk, and try new things to solve the problem. In addition, team members can present their point of view regarding risk taking to find out the pros and cons to choose the best alternative. 5.Greater Commitment

Research has shown that higher team commitment can give positive result in productivity, turnover and willingness to cooperate with each other (Bishop, & Scott, 2007). Employee commitment is one of the important factors for any organization. When teams work together to achieve a common goal, they want to contribute to get things done. Research has pointed out that when employees work in a team for a common goal, they want to...
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