5 Major Weaknesses of Group Decision-Making

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Risk Pages: 3 (822 words) Published: January 14, 2012
5 Major Weaknesses of Group Decision-Making

Although groups can be effective tools for making decisions that affect a large percentage of stakeholders for a company, they are not without their weaknesses. These weaknesses can stem from poor composition of the group, lack of role definition or poor facilitation. The five major categories of weakness for decision-making groups are: • Slowness and expensiveness

• Groupthink
• Polarization
• Escalating commitment
• Divided responsibility


The first category of weakness for decision making groups, slowness and expensiveness, is probably the most common perception of committees. Employees often make jokes about all the meetings that they have to attend and how much time is wasted by attending the meetings. One definition of efficiency is the extent to which time is well used for the intended task (wiktionary). Thus, inefficiency is the lack of efficiency or effectivness. The reason most committees are inefficient is because the meetings are not well organized or facilitated. According to the text a study found that typical committees were slowed down because they spend 60% of their time with input providers and advice providers (Newstrom, 2011). Distributing needed information to committee member before the committee meets could lower some of the time spent with input provider and would allow members of the committee to be current on information and developments that affect it. While committees need to be thorough in the decision making process, they do not have to be slow. Creating an agenda is a simple tool that can facilitate the process of decision-making. The expensiveness of a committee usually refers to the salaries of the employees that make up the committee. There are other aspects of cost that may not be obvious. For example, what would be the cost if a committee rushes to a decision that could affect the...

References: Newstrom, J.W. (2011). Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. Thirteenth Ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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