- Slides: 23
Group Problem Solving & Decision Making
Group Decision Making Two effectiveness dimensions: – Attaining organizational and/or group goals – Satisfying needs of group members Decision-making groups are only one of many types of groups Spectrum of roles for decision-making groups
Spectrum of Roles Boss decides & announces Boss “sells” decision Boss presents ideas & invites questions Boss presents tentative decision, subject to change, & invites comments Boss presents problem, gets inputs, makes decision Boss defines limits, asks group to join in making decision Boss allows subordinates to make decision within limits
Group Decision Approaches Leader-Centered Democratic Consensus Fastest decisions-------------Slowest decisions Lowest decision quality----------Highest quality Lowest member commitment------Highest commitment
Group Decision Making Advantages: – Greater pool of knowledge – Different perspectives – Greater comprehension – Increased acceptance – Training ground Disadvantages: – Social pressure – Domination by a vocal few – Logrolling – Goal displacement – “Groupthink”
Groupthink Illusion of invulnerability Dismiss opposing ideas Moralize Stereotype the opposition Pressure members to conform Self-censor deviations Share illusion of unanimity, without testing Self-appointed mind-guards
Group Effectiveness Commitment via involvement Conflict & how it’s handled Creativity Consensus—producing willingness to support the group decision
Effective Groups Participative leadership, sharing of responsibility Flexible, effective patterns of communication Surface and deal with important issues Collaborative rather than competitive No hidden agendas Trust
Assignment Identify as many ways as you can think of in 5 minutes to get the ball out of the pipe without damaging the ball, the tube, or the floor.
Watergate Affair 1. Critique the decision to break into the Democratic Party headquarters. 2. Critique the Nixon administration decisions to cover-up and deny any involvement during the period before Mc. Cord wrote to Judge Sirica charging a massive cover-up. 3. Critique the subsequent attempts to cover-up and stonewall. What are some alternatives that might have been more successful? 4. What indications of “groupthink” can you find or infer? 5. Critique President Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon.
Bay of Pigs Debacle 1. Why did the advisory group fail so miserably? 2. Identify indications of Groupthink in the assumptions. 3. What were some alternative ways to reduce Castro’s power, the growth of communism in Cuba, and possible extension of communism to other countries in the region?
Cuban Missile Crisis 1. Critique the group decision process: a. What was effective and why, in your opinion? b. What flaws, if any, do you see? 2. How could essentially the same group that had performed so abysmally 18 months earlier successfully resolve one of the most difficult crises in American history?
Next Time Read & prepare to discuss Cuban Crises (B), link to be posted tonight on New & Misc Notes Earthquake exercise (no preparation needed)
Group Decision Making (cont. )
Bay of Pigs (B) Discuss items in the analysis with which you agree What would you modify or add to the analysis?
Cuban Missile Crisis (B) Critique the analysis What were major differences in the group process that made this one more effective than the Bay of Pigs disaster?
Some Consensus Guidelines Goal is for group to make a high quality decision Prepare Balance advocacy and inquiry Avoid majority voting, horse-trading, compromising, etc. Manage differences productively
Varying Degrees of Consensus Can you live with this? Is this OK with you? Can you support this? Does this please you (even excite you)?
Earthquake Exercise Follow handout: – Things most important to do during & immediately after a major earthquake – First, individually – Then, consensus in groups Process the way your group worked – What was helpful – What could be improved next time
Next Week Monday: – Web ethics piece – Insufficiency of Honesty article – Case 9 (Tragic Choice) Wed: – Case 10 (Assembly Line Held Hostage) – Ivan dilemmas