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COMM 151 (65)
Chapter 11

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COMM 151
Christopher Miners

COMM 151 – Chapter 11 Notes (pg 359-374) – Group Decision Making Group Decision Making  Why Use Groups?  Decision Quality  Groups more vigilant than individuals – more people scanning the environment – which can be very advantageous at the problem ID and info search stages  Members might have unique info that proves to be useful  Generate more ideas than individuals  therefore more alternative solutions and different perspectives to the problem (different “attacking” strategies)  Evaluate ideas better than individuals – an extreme decision by one member can be offset by the other members  Decision Acceptance and Commitment  People wish to be involved in decisions that will affect them  People will better understand a decision in which they participated  People will be more committed to a decision when they invested time and energy towards the decision  more willing to carry it out  The acceptability of a decisions is especially useful in dealing with the problem of getting a decision implemented – if they’re committed, it WILL get implemented  Diffusion of Responsibility  The two prior are sensible reasons to use team decision making  The ability of a group members to share the burden of the negative consequences of a poor decision is a less admiral reason  Do groups make Higher Quality decisions than individuals?  Groups should perform better than individuals when:  Members differ in relevant skills and abilities, as long as they do not differ so much that conflict occurs  Division of labour can occur within a group  Memory for facts  Individual judgments can be combined by weighting them to reflect the expertise of the various members  equal weighting of opinions/averaging is inappropriate for some groups that have more expertise concerning a particular problem  such expertise must be recognized  Disadvantages of Group Decision Making  Time  Groups do not work as quickly/efficiently compared to individuals  When speed of solution is a prime factor, avoid groups  Conflict  Participants have their own resources to protect therefore the decision quality may a take back seat to political wrangling and infighting  Compromise will not result in the highest or most creative decisions  Groups will make decisions when they feel that they are psychologically safe  Domination  If group is dominated by a single person, the advgs of groups won’t be realized  If dominant person has bets info, his style still won’t lead the group to accept it  If dominant person is misinformed the group decision is likely to be ineffective COMM 151 – Chapter 11 Notes (pg 359-374) – Group Decision Making  Groupthink (Techniques to prevent groupthink on PowerPoint)  The capacity for group pressure to damage the mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment of decision making groups  Symptoms of Group Think  Illusion of Invulnerability  Members are overconfident and willing to assume great risks  They ignore obvious danger signals  Rationalization  Problems and counter arguments that members cannot ignore are “rationalized away”  Logical and improbable excuses are given  Illusion of Morality  Decisions that the groups adopt are not only perceived as sensible but also perceived to be morally correct  Stereotypes of Outsiders  The group constructs unfavourable stereotypes about those outside the groups who are the targets of their decisions  Pressure for conformity  Pressure each other to fall in line and conform with the group’s views  Self-censorship  Convince themselves to avoid voicing opinions contrary to the group  Illusion of unanimity  Perceive the unanimous support exists for their chosen course of action  Mindguards  Some members may “protect” the group from information that goes against the groups decisions  even if it will lead to a better decision  How Do Groups Handle Risk?
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