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Management communication: the threat of groupthink

Jack Eaton (Jack Eaton is Lecturer at the School of Management and Business, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK.)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 December 2001

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Abstract

Reference is often made to the concept of groupthink in books on organizational behaviour intended primarily for students of management. Yet the few examples of its occurrence that are adduced are by now rather archaic or rely on the original case researched by Janis. This paper seeks to remedy this deficiency by considering two recent cases of possible groupthink in British corporate management at BA and Marks & Spencer. A notable feature of groupthink was that it tended to take place in conditions of concurrence‐seeking. In conditions that might induce such behaviour, senior management of both BA and Marks & Spencer announced globalization strategies in the early 1990s. Taking its cue from a previous study of groupthink by McCauley, the main body of the paper uses content analysis of press reports on management at BA and Marks & Spencer in the 1990s to suggest that groupthink was present, causing blocked management communications and leading to the fall in reputation and stock market valuation of these two companies.

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Citation

Eaton, J. (2001), "Management communication: the threat of groupthink", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 183-192. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563280110409791

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited