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(11) Decision Making.docx

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York University
PSYC 3430
Peter Papadogiannis

Chapter 11: Decision Making Groups & Decisions - Interdependent individuals make decisions and groups - In most cases, groups are better at choosing, judging, estimating, and problem solving than individuals - Even very powerful individuals rarely make decisions without consulting others – to prevent being overwhelmed - Groups have standards for deciding (ex: “majority rules”) - Includes several processes, however decisions can be faulty Myers (2002): “None of us alone, is as smart as us together” - More people = more information, more support - More people do more work - More people means people can do what they are best at - Groups can discuss and process information (check for errors) - Groups have also been shown to diagnose problems better, find information quicker, and have better grades Shaw (1932): Examined the sagacity of groups by putting 21 individuals and 5-four person groups to work on several intellective tasks – the “missionary-cannibal task” - When the groups and individuals finished the first set of problems, Shaw reorganized them, so that those who worked alone initially solved several new problems in groups and those who initially worked in groups solved several new problems individually - Compared to individuals, groups generated more correct solutions, and they were also better at checking for errors in calculations and faulty inferences about the problems - However, groups took longer to make decisions Type of Decisions: - Group effectiveness depends on a demonstrated correct solution o Intellective Tasks: right or wrong answer – group members are superior in these types o Judgmental Tasks: no correct answer, “jury’s verdict” Functional Theory of Group Decision-Making: - Suggests that skilled decision-making groups are more likely to make use of group procedures that enhance the way they gather, analyze, and weigh information - Groups that follow these four stages are more likely to make better decisions than those who sidestep or mishandle information at any particular stage 1. Orientation: the group defines the problem, sets goals, and develops a strategy - Who is the group? - Group rules are set, and the problem is defined – does everyone understand? - Sets strategy, goals, and resources - The more time spent in this stage, the greater the performance Brainstorming: - Alex Osborn (1941): found that business meetings were inhibiting the creating of new ideas, therefore was looking for rules that would open up people’s minds – decide to amass all the ideas spontaneously - Rules: o Be expressive o Postpone evaluation o Seek quantity o Piggyback ideas o Every person and every idea has equal worth Defining the Problem: - Shared Mental Model: a cognitive schema that organizes declarative and procedural information pertaining to the problem and the group that is held in common by the group members – facilitates the group’s functioning - Due to differences in prior experiences, knowledge, expectations, and so on, each individual may have a differing view of the history of the issue, the current situation, and even the methods that will be used to reach a decision (may lead to misunderstandings/inefficiencies) - When group members adopt the same general conceptualization of their tasks, goals, and procedures, their final choices reflect the group’s preferences rather than their personal biases Planning Process: - Planning may be one of the only things that differentiates successful groups from unsuccessful ones - Groups have been found to be more productive when they were encouraged to discuss their performance strategies before working on a task requiring inter-member coordination - Planning deadlines and time constraints enhances performance – realizing time is limited = better planning * strong norms about time - Many groups show little interest in planning processes, and when a group member suggests planning it is often negatively regarded o Most groups start their task right away without planning 2. Discussion: the group gathers information about the situation and, if a decision must be made, identifies and considers options * heart of the decision making process Collective Information Processing Approach: a general theoretical explanation of group decision-making, assuming that groups use communication and discussion among members to gather and process the information needed to formulate decisions, choices, and judgments - People seek out and process relevant information during the group discussion = improved memory for information, increased information exchange, and more thorough processing of information - 30% of all comments made by group members are expressions of opinions and analysis of issues, 10% are suggestions, and 10% are regarding orientation Collective Memory: the shared reservoir of information held in the memories of two or more members of the group – including the group’s shared mental models, and transactive memory systems - Collaborative groups outperformed both the average single individual, and the best single individual, however they did not outperform nominal groups - Weakness in group memory = loafing/free-riding Information Exchange: groups tend to exchange information among members of the group, thereby further strengthening their access to information as well as their recall of that information - Cross-cueing: the enhancement of recall that occurs during group discussion when the statements made by group members serve as cues for the retrieval of information from the memories of other group members - Transactive memory: a process by which information to be remembered is distributed to various members of the group who can then be relied upon to provide that information when it is needed – members often specialize in different areas Processing Information: groups not only recall and exchange information more effectively than individuals, they also process that information more thoroughly through discussion - Dialogue: enables more facts to be shared, a greater understanding of the facts, and people feel more involved in the discussion/decision - Debate: some group members seek to convince others that their position is better 3. Decision: the group chooses its solution by reaching consensus, voting, or using some other social decision process Social Decision Schemes: a strategy or rule used to select a single alternative from among various alternatives proposed and discussed during the group’s deliberations – includes explicitly acknowledged decision rules (majority) and implicit decisional procedures (accepts decision favoured by most powerful) - Examples: delegation, averaging, voting, consensus, random choice… Types of Decisions: - Delegating Decisions: an individual, subgroup, or external party makes the decision for the group - Averaging Decisions: each group member makes his/her decision individually, and these private recommendations are averaged together to yield a nominal group decision - Plurality Decisions: members express their individual preferences by voting, either publicly or by secret ballot – most cases 50% rule applies, may require a more substantial % - Unanimous Decisions: “Consensus” the group discusses the issue until it reaches unanimous agreement without voting - Random Decisions: the group leaves the final decision to change (flipping a coin) 4. Implementation: the decision must be put into action and the impact of the decision assessed Procedural Justice: perception of the fairness and legitimacy of the methods used to make decisions, resolve disputes, and allocate resources – group’s evaluation of the fairness in the processes that the group used to make its decisions - Members sense of control in the process, involvement in it, and evaluation of the outcome itself - If they feel it was fair, more likely to be supportive Participation and Voice: when people believe they have had a voice in the matter – that they could have expressed any concerns they had and others would have listened and responded – then people tend to be more engaged in the implementation of the final decision… “Voice-Effect” Who Decides – Individuals or Groups? - Groups, with their greater informational resources and capacity to process that information, may be able to identify better solutions and to detect errors in reasoning - Group decisions can however take more time than people wish to give them – sacrifice quality for timeliness Vroom’s Normative Model of Decision-Making: a theory of decision-making and leadership that predicts the effectiveness of group-centered, consultative, and autocratic decisional procedures across a number of group settings  Decide (Autocratic I & II): the leader solves the problem or makes the decision and announces it to the group – may rely on information available at that time, or may obtain information from group members  Consult (Individual): the leader shares the problem with the group members individually, getting their ideas and suggestions one-on-one without meeting as a full group – leader then makes the decision, which may or may not reflect the group members’ influence  Consult (Group): the leader discusses the problem with the members as a group, collectively obtaining their input – then makes the decision  Facilitate: the leader coordinates a collaborative analysis of the problem, helping the group reach consensus on the issue – leader is active in the process, and accepts the will of the group and implements any decision that is supported by the entire group  Delegate: the leader turns the problem over to the group, who then reaches a decision without the leader’s direct involvement – leader provides support, direction, clarification, and resources - Procedure must fit the problem to be solved, and the decision to be made - Does not consider one method superior, believes the situation must be considered – importance of the decision - This model synthesizes studies of leadership, group decision-making, and procedural fairness to predict when a choice should be made by an authority and when it should be handled by the group Adhering to the Decision… (Coch & French, 1948) – Clothing Mill Study - The management of a clothing mill ask Coch and French to identify a way to improve employees’ commitment to new production methods - Devised three different training programs o No-Participation: participants were given an explanation for the innovations o Participation-Though-Representation: participants attended group meetings where the need for change was discussed openly and an informal decision was reached – a subgroup was then chosen to be the “special” operators o Total Participation: same as the second condition, but ALL employees took part in the training system - Confirming the voice effect, hostility, turnover, and inefficiency was highest in the no-partici
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