Discussions about group decision-making have become popular since the widespread usage of teamwork, originally developed in Japan, is a typical illustration of group decision-making. It brought about dramatic betterments in the quality and economic fight of Nipponese merchandises since the Second World War. ( Eillis & A ; Dick, 2000 ) However, a big figure of mishaps attributed to group decision-making such as the sinking of Titanic ( 1912 ) , the Bay of Pigs invasion ( 1961 ) , and the Watergate dirt ( 1974 ) besides triggered uncertainties: are two caputs truly better than one? One observer ( Buys, 1978 ) back uping single decision-making even argued that ‘humans would make better without groups ‘ .

Based on possible jobs of group decision-making, this essay will exemplify in which status organisations should trust on single decision-making. Then, by analysing causes of jobs in group context and supplying the ways to forestall those jobs, the essay will reason that group decision-making can be superior to single one through effectual direction. In add-on, organisations should non trust on one sort of decision-making whenever possible. By stressing the indispensable function of ‘leader ‘ ( the nexus between single and group ) , the writer will show her base that whether to utilize group or single decision-making is determined by the features of the decision-maker, decision-environment and the decision-problem itself.

The possible jobs of group decision-making:

Time-consumingi??due to societal interactioni?‰ :

Group decision-making includes societal interaction, which complicates and slows down the whole procedure. ( Middlemist, 2005 ) Therefore, compared with single decision-making, group determinations take longer to be finalized, which is besides the chief ground why legion organisations miss out on the optimum chance to work out the jobs and even finally suffer from unpredictable calamities. In many state of affairss, of import organisational determinations are made under terrible clip force per unit area and it is frequently impossible for more thorough decision-making procedures to happen. ( Greenberg & A ; Baron, 1993 ) In organisations such as First-Aid Room in a infirmary, an expert working and doing determination entirely may make even better than a group. This is chiefly because the experient expert is adept in covering with exigencies and single decision-making is comparatively flexible. Otherwise, the expert may be distracted by others and suffers from holding to take clip to convert them of the rightness of his solution. ( Greenberg & A ; Baron, 1993 ) As can be seen, in a changing environment, particularly when organisations face crisis state of affairss necessitating immediate determinations, single determination devising is more preferred.


Therefore, directors should take into consideration of the feature of the determination environment and be flexible with their direction manner. Under the state of affairs with clip constrains, ‘the leader is supposed to shoulder the whole burden of the determinations and bank on his ain experience and acumen ‘ . ( Middlemist, 2005 ) In fact, employees such as fire combatants, nurses, and constabularies officers need a leader to do bossy determination and take bid of the state of affairs during exigencies. However, an person or bossy decision-making does non work and demotivates employees if the determination is non pressing or is closely related to long term public presentation of organisation ( e.g. gross revenues ends, work assignments ) . In this status, based on Vroom and Yetton ‘s normative decision-making theoretical account ( 1973 ) , by taking into consideration of the single difference of the members and whether the subsidiaries will acA­cept the ends of the organisation, leaders should utilize a consultative or group decision-making. ( Steers, 1981 )

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Suppressed options ( due to groupthink ) :

Groupthink phenomenon, which ever suppresses thoughts from members and hence induces inaccurate determinations, is caused by the negative effects of individual-characteristics ( leading manner ) and group-characteristics ( coherence and norm ) . More exactly, Irving Janis defined groupthink as the “ impairment of mental efficiency, world testing, and moral judgement ensuing from in-group force per unit area ” . ( Janis, 1977 ) In the concern universe, the most ill-famed concern instance is the prostration of Enron, which indicates that ‘the most reputable of companies can endure from an ethical dislocation through groupthink and subsequent hapless judgement ‘ . ( Sims Ronald R, 2003 ) Executives in Enron showed group features found in groupthink experiences and the whole company showed clear symptoms of groupthink[ 3 ]such as certitude, blind trueness, semblance of morality and mindguards. ( Steers, 1981 )


Hence, leaders should non merely understand the features about themselves but besides make better usage of group features and happen some ways to cut down negative effects derived from these features. Based on McCauley ‘s ( 1989 ) analysis, ‘groupthink phenomenon is the consequence of top-down leading ‘ . ( Baron et al. , 1992 ) Leaderships such as Apple ‘s Steve Jobs and President Kennedy with directing leading manner, tend to “ acquire their manner ” and overtly and covertly coerce the group into understanding. ( Tropman, 1996 ) As a consequence, as Stanley Milgram ‘s experiment ( 1974 ) illustrates, enduring from the consequence of obeisance to authorization, members will fall into a groupthink booby trap and accordingly obey their powerful leaders. ( Milgram, 1974 ) As a accountant of the group, the leader should be impersonal and be cognizant of the negative parts of every determination. They may besides travel their directing leading manner to a more democratic one and supply an active communicating environment to cut down groupthink.

In footings of group-characteristics, although it is good known that norms and coherence inhibit the possible intergroup struggles and supply a stable societal universe in organisations ( Baron, et al. , 1992 ) , they may besides take to the calamities such as the Challenger infinite bird catastrophe in 1986. Harmonizing to a docudrama, by non interrupting the group consensus, advisers ignored the recommendations of single applied scientist and had tended to convert themselves that establishing the bird was right, even though many clear marks of warning of impending catastrophe were in grounds. ( Galotti, 2002 ) To avoid this sort of catastrophe, directors should promote and empower members to be disbelieving of all solution and invite outside experts to group meetings. ( Steers, 1981 )

Less originative and advanced ( due to force per unit area of conformance ) :

Most of the jobs faced by commercial, scientific, educational and artistic organisations require a great trade of originative thought. In fact, Bounchard ‘s research ( 1974 ) has shown that, groups perform worse than persons on ill structured and originative jobs. ( Greenberg & A ; Baron, 1983: p557 ) This is chiefly due to conformance force per unit areas of group members. As Asch ‘s conformance experiment ( 1956 ) indicates, despite ab initio experiencing uncomfortable and hesitating, participants followed the incorrect group answer about one-third of the clip during the ‘vision trial ‘ . ( Kreitner & A ; Kinicki,1989 ) Similarly, under thoughts part, members with originative heads are still prone to conform with other ‘s position, as they are afraid of how their thoughts will be evaluated, or that they will be made to look foolish in forepart of others. ( Mitchell & A ; Larson, 1978: p378 ) Furthermore, as people do n’t desire to be a pervert ( Leavitt,1972 ) , members who disagree with the group consensus will prefer to maintain silent and avoid themselves coming up with more originative options. Consequently, enduring from the conformance force per unit area, all members tend to compromise with others ‘ stereotyped impression. Without sufficient originative thoughts, it is difficult for an organisation to last from market competition.


To cut down the trouble to the lowest degree, it is indispensable for leaders to analyse the problem-characteristics before taking the decision-method. Except for utilizing single decision-making, to better group ‘s creativeness, leaders are besides recommended to utilize some techniques like nominal group technique and Delphi technique, which minimizes the conformance force per unit area through insulating the undue influences from others. ( Brown, 1988 )

In add-on, they should be cognizant that methods acceptable in originative undertakings may non be utile in complex undertakings. Confronted with complex jobs, groups are supposed to be better than persons. ( Douglas, 1995 ) Through the rank, a group can roll up much more information and cognition than can an single playing entirely. As a consequence, there will be a pooling of resources and positions. ( Kreitner & A ; Kinicki, 1989 ) Besides, a related benefit is that in groups, there can be a specialisation of labour which means ‘individuals can execute merely those undertakings they are best at, thereby potentially bettering the quality of the group ‘s attempts ‘ . ( Brown, 1988 ) Furthermore, Shaw ( 1932 ) shows that compared with persons, groups are better problem-solvers due to their ability of error-correction: catching one another ‘s mistakes and rejecting wrong solutions. ( Castellan, 1993, P109 ) Therefore, recognizing these unreplaceable virtues, leaders should present group decision-making when confronting a complex undertaking.

Less efficient ( due to social-loafing ) :

Harmonizing to Wilson, ‘informational resource available to the group is one of the chief factors that help the group to accomplish high quality solutions ‘ . ( Rosenfeld & A ; Wilson, 1999 ) However, big group size may hold a strong negative impact on group communicating, which will significantly keep information from persons. As Stephan and Misheler ( 1952 ) provinces, ‘the proportion of active talkers in discussion-groups declined with group size ‘ . Furthermore, Ringelmann ‘s rope-pulling experiment and Bibb Latane ‘s heartening surveies indicated that as the group got larger, persons in the group tended to draw or shout less difficult. Latane ( 1968 ) defined this relaxation of attempt in groups ‘social buming ‘ . This is because, ‘the increasing size of groups allow group members to experience more anon. and therefore they may exhibit less societal duty, which in bend will frequently take to less task engagement and lower motive ‘ . ( Brown, 1988 ) Under group treatment, social-loafing occurs when persons likely feel comparatively safe to go “ free-loaders ” as there are other memers who will supply thoughts and carry out the undertaking. ( Swap et al. , 1984 )


For leaders, alternatively of turning to trust on single decision-making, ‘social-loafing ‘ can be avoided through the effectual direction. As ‘recognition of an employee ‘s accomplishments helps to run into esteem demands ‘ , leaders could do each member ‘s parts more identifiable and give feedback to them based on parts. ( Douglas, 1995 ) For illustration, ‘SIEMENS runs strategies in which suggestions for betterments are rewarded ‘ . Feeling that one ‘s work is doing a difference, employees are more likely to give themselves into work. ( The Times 100 ) Consequently, it will be hard for members to ‘hide in the crowd ‘ and they will be more proactive as accomplishing a higher degree of Maslow ‘s hierarchy. ( Hatch, 1997 )

Should non trust on one sort of method:

As can be seen, group decision-making includes legion possible jobs. However, in fact, the truly of import determinations today are still by and large assigned to groups. For case, how to market new merchandises is decided by gross revenues squads ; guilt or artlessness of suspects is determined by juries ‘ determination. ( Eillis & A ; Dick, 2000 ) When it comes to the ground why so many of import determinations are entrusted to groups. This is chiefly because group decision-making has many unreplaceable advantages and its jobs can be prevented or overcome through flexible and effectual direction. Furthermore, disadvantages associated with single decision-making are inevitable and devastating, which should non be ignored.

In the existent universe, it is difficult for persons to do a truly rational determination because they are more likely to endure from selective perceptual experience, emotional force per unit area and restrictions on human ability. Harmonizing to Kreitner, ‘the most obvious restriction on person ‘s ability to the best possible determinations is imposed by their restricted capacity to treat information accurately and exhaustively ‘ . ( Kreitner & A ; Kinicki, 1989 ) In the procedure of placing the state of affairss and choosing the solutions in the determination theoretical account, persons are prone to cognitive prejudice which is caused by the framing effects[ 4 ]and heuristic methods[ 5 ]. ( Greenberg & A ; Baron, 1993 ) ‘They may be given to establish their judgements on information that is readily available to them or information that matches what one already believes – even though it might non be accurate ‘ . ( Kreitner & A ; Kinicki, 1989 ) Furthermore, persons may endure from “ face-saving ” force per unit area. In other words, standard compositors may do determinations that help them salvage face at work, although the ensuing determinations might non be in the best involvement of their organisations. ( Cooper & A ; Robertson, 2001 )

Decision comments:

As has been discussed above, there is no individual method that is appropriate for all state of affairss. Before urging that directors involve groups in decision-making and deconcentrate authorization, it is of import to analyze whether groups perform better or worse than persons. ( Kreitner & A ; Kinicki, 1989 ) Based on the essay inquiry, it is undeniable that group decision-making has possible jobs, while, evidently the recommendation that organisations should trust on single decision-making whenever possible can non be supported. Compared with single decision-making, group decision-making has many unreplaceable advantages. Though this essay spends many words on the jobs of group determination, it besides shows that most of those jobs can be prevented or eliminated through flexible and effectual direction.

Harmonizing to Tropman ( 1996 ) , it is critical for the leader to go an ‘orchestra music director ‘ alternatively of a ‘partisan ace ‘ , because both determination methods and organisational public presentation are under the leader ‘s control. A good determination is determined by proper analysis of the features of determination environment, decision-problem, and decision-maker. ‘In order to do better determinations, manages or leaders must analyse the state of affairs, think through the procedure, know the right timing, and be flexible ‘ . ( Middlemist, 2005 ) To sum up, as right timing is of import, single concern acumen and intuition may hold important influence on organisations in a peculiar period of clip. However, leaders should besides bear in head that ‘it ‘s clip non timing-that make concern successful ‘ . ( Wall-Street-adage, 2009 ) In other words, high-quality determinations are derived from an effectual leading manner and a harmonious communicating environment in the long term.


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