12 Angry Men

Topics: Risk, Jury, Decision making Pages: 6 (2179 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Organisational Behavior
BA (Hons) Business Administration

This paper is designed to study the behavior of “12 ANGRY MEN” and how they react to their responsibilities as individuals and as a group. The 12 men depicted in this movie are members constituted from different classes of a society, from an architect to a broker to a man brought up in the slums. Their one and only goal is to decide unanimously whether or not the accused 18 year old boy did or did not stab his father and result in death. Since the defense lawyer was appointed by the city, he goes lenient on the prosecution and does not thoroughly go through the case in hand to defend the boy, making all evidences put forward going against the boy which seems to make the jury’s verdict obvious – guilty. In spite of all the evidence shown against the defendant, there is one juror who is not sure that all the evidences presented in the case has enough weight to put the boy to a death sentence, juror number 8, played by Henry Fonda who we later come to know as Davis. This case appears to be simple and the 11 other jurors in the room have already decided to vote guilty but Davis feels he has not seen adequate proof to send the boy to die. He wants undeniable and irrefutable proof that the boy is guilty instead of what the witnesses to the case have so ‘plainly’ seen or heard. Some jurors talk about baseball games, some about their jobs and lives, but juror number 8, Davis, is keen to talk and discuss with his fellow peers and point out contradicting factors in the evidence in favor of the defendant. He either wants to actuate himself into believing the boy is guilty or convince the other members that he’s innocent. 2. INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS AND BEHAVIORS

Every individual is different in their own way and some factors to determine this difference is their personalities and their intelligence. People can be distinguished by physical characteristic, but they can also be different by their way of thinking which can be unique in every individual. One theory of personality is ‘those relatively stable and enduring aspents of an individual that distinguish him/her from other people and at the same time form a basis for our predictions concerning his/her future behavior.’ -- (Wright et al. 1970) There are many factors that assimilate the personality of an individual. Here is a summary of some of them: i. Nature vs. Nurture debate: this debate discusses how an individual is affected by his upbringing or by the environment around him/her. It questions what affects the individual more; hereditary traits or the factors that affect him/her in their surroundings. ii. Genetic Factors: this factor explains that there are some mental characteristics that individuals inherit from their parents. For example, if a parent is aggressive in nature, the child is also likely to be aggressive. iii. Social Factors: this factor explains that an individual is also shaped by the interaction with the people surrounding him/her. Early socialization, which involves parents, siblings and peers, has a direct effect on the individual’s behavior in later life. iv. Cultural Factors: every social circle embraces a culture of their own. Therefore, the belief, norms and value certainly affects the individual as they grow up learning the same culture. v. Situational Factors: different situations can also affect the personality of an individual. For example, if a child has gone through a horrific vehicle accident that child will always be a bit scared of vehicles. All these factors affect the decision of the individuals in the jury. We can relate all of these factors to the jury members. In this movie, the individuals in the jury reflect their childhood or their past to make a verdict. The most aggressive juror, juror number 3 played by Lee J. Cobb, associates the defendant with his runaway son and...

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffusion_of_responsibility
Organisational Behaviour And Analysis (An Integrated Approach), 3rd Edition, Derek Rollinson
Wright et al 1970
Victims of Groupthink, Irving Janis
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