How to Avoid Groupthink

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Decision making software / Pages: 2 (355 words) / Published: Jun 21st, 2006
Avoiding the Groupthink Trap

• Remain impartial. The leader should not take a directive role but should remain impartial.
• Seek outside opinions. The leader should invite outside opinions from people who are not members of the group and who are less concerned with maintaining group cohesiveness.
• Create subgroups. The leader should divide the groups into subgroups that first meet separately and then meet together to discuss their different recommendations.
• Seek anonymous opinions. The leader might also take a secret ballot or ask a group member to write down their opinions anonymously; doing so would ensure that people give their true opinions, uncensored by a fear of recrimination from the group.

There are many methods or procedures that can be used by groups. Each is designed to improve the decision-making process in some way. Some of the more common group decision-making methods are brainstorming, dialetical inquiry, nominal group technique, delphi technique, benchmarking and empowerment.
 Brainstorming involves group members verbally suggesting ideas or alternative courses of action. The "brainstorming session" is usually relatively unstructured.
 Dialetical inquiry is a group decision-making technique that focuses on ensuring full consideration of alternatives. Essentially, it involves dividing the group into opposing sides, which debate the advantages and disadvantages of proposed solutions or decisions.
 The nominal group technique is a structured decision making process in which group members are required to compose a comprehensive list of their ideas or proposed alternatives in writing.
 The Delphi technique is a group decision-making process that can be used by decision-making groups when the individual members are in different physical locations.
 Benchmarking involves selecting a high-performing group or organization that is currently providing high-quality goods or services to its

References: Aronson, E. Wilson, T.D., & Akert, R. M. (2005). Social Psychology. Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, N J. George, J. & Jones, G. (2005). Understanding and Managing: Organizational Behavior. Pearson Custom Publishing. Upper Saddle River, N J.

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