Group Decision Making - ADVANTAGES
- Divide the workload
- correct each others mistakes
- evaluate possible decisions
- have more information on a problem
- more ideas generated
- broader range of experience and skills
- complementary knowledge
Group Decision Making - DISADVANTAGES
- Group members too different for effective communication
- too many members = less participation
- group discussions = time consuming
- conjecture = irrelevancies
- Individual members dominate the group = conformity.
" A detereoration of mental efficiency, reality testing and moral judgements that result from in - group pressure."
Janis et al, (1977) Model of GroupThink
- Members - similar backgrounds and experience
- decision process is one sided
- Cohesive group
- group has illusion of invulnerability "if we work together we cannot go wrong"
- extreme optimism
- Group over estimates its own morality "we are doing this for the greater good"
- Insulation of group from outsiders
- no impartial leadership
Janis et al (1972) Model of Group Think
- ethical issues are ignored
- blind spots are rationalised
- out groups are stereotyped
- conformity leads to suppression of doubts
- emphasis on any answer rather than the correct one
- belief the group must be right - ignore info contradicting the group
poor decision making procedures with LOW chance of success / favourable outcomes.
Group Think Example - Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs (1961)
- President Kennedy and his exec, sent a small number of cuban exiles with the intention to over throw Fidel Castro but invaders were either captured/killed and it nearly sparked a nuclear war.
- Janis (1972) argues this was caused by GROUPTHINK and the president and his exec made impractical and unrealistic decisions, i.e. could the exiles out wit an entire army.
- Kennedy and his advisors later admitted it was a mistake and changed the decision making technique adopted. With more input from out side and someone who's role was to play devils advocate.
Evaluation of Groupthink
- desriptive studies of groupthink support the idea that increased cohesiveness causes it CALLAWAY et al but experimental research shows little or no support LEANA.
- Group Cohesiveness may need to be more clearly defined - at present focueses on group based liking and friendship
- Hogg and Harris (1998) symptoms of group think associated with cohesivness only in group based liking not friendship
- Is group think RISKY SHIFT - where a group then tends towards more risky decisions polarises through discussion and makes a more risky decision - MYERS et al
- Is group think just an aggregation of individuals coping responses to stress - CALLAWAY, the coping reponses are mutually reinforced by other members.