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Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2021

Randy Y. Hirokawa and Ashley Laybon

Among the many influences on group decision making efficacy that have been identified by group researchers, the process that a group follows in arriving at a decision is…

Abstract

Among the many influences on group decision making efficacy that have been identified by group researchers, the process that a group follows in arriving at a decision is widely regarded as one of the most important. This chapter reviews the research on group decision making processes for the purpose of explicating (a) the nature of group process, (b) the factors that influence group process, (c) the role that communication plays in group process, and (d) the influence of group process on decision making efficacy. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research.

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The Emerald Handbook of Group and Team Communication Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-501-8

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2021

Crecencia Godfrey Tarmo and Faisal H. Issa

Groupthink happens in-group decision-making processes whereby members of a group prematurely arrive at a decision that may indicate consensus but for the aim of protecting…

Abstract

Purpose

Groupthink happens in-group decision-making processes whereby members of a group prematurely arrive at a decision that may indicate consensus but for the aim of protecting group harmony. This limits the contributions of the individuals' talents, ideas, competences and experiences to more effective decisions. Although there are a number of studies on predictors (forecasters) of groupthink, they do not consider the influence of the African cultural aspects of collectivism, high power distance and tolerance on groupthink that may characterise the decision-making context in African settings. It is in that context that this case study analyses groupthink in a public sector organization in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper unveils the presence of groupthink predictors that can affect the quality of decisions made in groups within the Tanzania context. The study was conducted in one of the public institutions in Tanzania that is under the Ministry of Home affairs. The study population included Directors, Managers, Heads of units, District registration officers and other officials as shown in Table 1. These are the people who participate in decision-making processes in the organization and were drawn from different offices of the organization including the headquarter office, Kibaha Data centre, District Registration offices from different regions including Dares Salaam, Coast region, Arusha, Mtwara, Mwanza, Manyara, Mbeya, Singida, Dodoma, Geita, Lindi and Njombe – these 12 administrative regions are among the 27 regions that make up the Tanzania mainland. Through simple random and purposive sampling methods, a total of 97 participants participated effectively. The criterion for participation being participants must have been involved with at least one decision-making group experience. The choice of the organization was done on the basis that it is a relatively a new institution of importance; it was also possible to get from it the needed data.

Findings

The results of the study show that there is the presence of groupthink predictors of high trust, conformity and promotional leadership in decision-making groups in the organization. Furthermore, the diversity of group members alone indicates to be insufficient reason to avoid Groupthink. It is suggested that other important factors might be at play in group decision making including the influence of African cultural characteristics.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to only one institution. For a study of this nature to be undertaken access to data could be a very significant problem. Limiting it to one organization we are familiar with made it a bit easy to achieve access.

Practical implications

Group decision making and groupthink are rarely in discourse in Africa. Tanzania is not isolated from the world, and being a country that unity is a cultural tenet that is promoted at every level from the family to national level (Rwegelera, 2003; Tripp, 1999) effects of groupthink is reasonably conspicuous because of the inbuilt national culture that has shaped people to be tolerant and accepting of different perspectives, ethnic groups, religious and races (Tripp, 1999). The same tolerance and acceptance may be transferred to decision-making groups and easily cause the occurrence of groupthink that can affect the quality of decisions made.

Social implications

The Tanzania government has dedicated itself to putting strict measures to prohibit unethical and erroneous decisions that cost the nation including reducing employees' misconduct. The findings of this study indicate that there are hidden aspects like groupthink that are not reached by those measures yet ironically impacts the decisions made in organizations and in turn costs organizations and the country at large and calls for the government and its institutions together with the private sector to be awakened and alerted if they are dedicated and concerned about the quality of decisions they make.

Originality/value

This is an original research work building on previous research. Some findings on groupthink and implications have Western origins. In Africa, we need to figure out what is making the continent not to make significant steps to change the social-economic environment. This study highlights to both African academics and leaders with no management background to make them understand groupthink as a phenomena that has implications to quality decisions. It will also prompt similar studies and therefore widen understanding on decisions making.

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International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2012

Gregory B. Northcraft and Kevin W. Rockmann

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore the implications of viewing group decision-making through the lens of a social dilemma.Design/methodology/approach …

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore the implications of viewing group decision-making through the lens of a social dilemma.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter reviews the literature on why group decision-making often fails to live up to its potential, and then applies the social dilemma perspective to develop new insights about how the limitations of group decision-making might be overcome.

Findings – Applying the social dilemma perspective to group decision-making provides several prescriptions for group decision-making improvement by highlighting a critical distinction between participation and engagement.

Limitations – An important limitation of applying the social dilemma perspective to group decision-making is that improving group engagement by redefining member duty carries the risk of energizing dissent that only questions the group's answer and not the group's question.

Practical implications – The chapter refocuses the dialogue about group decision-making effectiveness away from “just” participation to include group member engagement.

Social implications – A key social implication of this chapter is that all social behavior represents a social dilemma, and that viewing everyday social activities (such as group decision-making) as social dilemmas can help identify new ways to understand cooperation failures and thereby improve future cooperation in groups.

Originality/value – The chapter extends and re-energizes research on group decision-making by providing a fresh lens – the social dilemma perspective – through which to understand and improve group decision-making failures.

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Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Review of Group and Team-Based Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-030-7

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Book part
Publication date: 12 October 2016

Rouxelle de Villiers, Robin Hankin and Arch G. Woodside

This chapter presents a new model for developing and assessing the decision competencies of executive decision-makers. Prior models consider individual and group decision

Abstract

This chapter presents a new model for developing and assessing the decision competencies of executive decision-makers. Prior models consider individual and group decision-making but neglect to consider the impact of group-interactive decision-making on real-world problem-solving and sense-making activities. In the present study experimental protocols represent an approximation of a realistic business decision-making process, where decision-makers consult with groups of stakeholders and then make decisions on their own. The model juxtaposes decision competence with the level of decision confidence with which decisions are made. The study furnishes an objective test for this phenomenon, resulting in quantitative empirical evidence of either follow-the-herd (FTH) behavior, or group-forged individual decisions (GFID), or follow-my-own-mind (FMOM) individual decision behavior. The study investigates the impact of group-interactive decision processes on hubristic behavior – decision-makers who make poor/wrong decisions, but remain confident in their choices, judgments, and decisions. The resulting management decision competency model provides an inter-disciplinary matrix, of benefit to human resource development specialists, and provides scholars in organizational behavior and leadership development with guidance for current and future research into group dynamics and decision competencies.

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Making Tough Decisions Well and Badly: Framing, Deciding, Implementing, Assessing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-120-3

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Tessa Coffeng, Elianne F. Van Steenbergen, Femke De Vries and Naomi Ellemers

Reaching decisions in a deliberative manner is of utmost importance for boards, as their decision-making impacts entire organisations. The current study aims to…

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1361

Abstract

Purpose

Reaching decisions in a deliberative manner is of utmost importance for boards, as their decision-making impacts entire organisations. The current study aims to investigate (1) the quality of group decisions made by board members, (2) their confidence in, satisfaction with, and reflection on the decision-making, and (3) the effect of two discussion procedures on objective decision quality and subjective evaluations of the decision-making.

Design/methodology/approach

Board members of various Dutch non-profit organisations (N = 141) participated in a group decision-making task and a brief questionnaire. According to the hidden-profile paradigm, information was asymmetrically distributed among group members and should have been pooled to reach the objectively best decision. Half of the groups received one of two discussion procedures (i.e. advocacy decision or decisional balance sheet), while the other half received none.

Findings

Only a fifth of the groups successfully chose the best decision alternative. The initial majority preference strongly influenced the decision, which indicates that discussion was irrelevant to the outcome. Nevertheless, board members were satisfied with their decision-making. Using a discussion procedure enhanced participants' perception that they adequately weighed the pros and cons, but did not improve objective decision quality or other aspects of the subjective evaluation. These findings suggest that board members are unaware of their biased decision-making, which might hinder improvement.

Originality/value

Rather than using student samples, this study was the first to have board members participating in a hidden-profile task.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 59 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2020

Shuang Yao, Yan Song, Yanna Yu and Benhai Guo

Green technology adoption (GTA) in small and micro enterprises (SMEs) is a complex multi-attribute group decision-making issue. Conflicts of opinions can hamper the…

Abstract

Purpose

Green technology adoption (GTA) in small and micro enterprises (SMEs) is a complex multi-attribute group decision-making issue. Conflicts of opinions can hamper the achievement of group coherence. The purpose of this paper is to solve the conflict decision-making problem in SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reconstructs the GTA evaluation index system for SMEs and proposes an intragroup coordination relationship model to mitigate group decision-making conflicts based on the cloud model and social networks (GCS). The numerical characteristics of these GTA indicators are determined using fuzzy theory and cloud model.

Findings

It was found that establishing a trust relationship network and a conflict coordination relationship could improve the consistency of group decision-making. The degree of coordination has subtle differences with the trust relationship. Particularly, the coordination relationship has obvious influences on the decision-making results among small groups in SMEs.

Originality/value

The conflict coordination model can significantly improve the consistency of group decision-making in SMEs. At the same time, it discusses the differences between the level of conflict coordination and the trust propagation in the process of group decision-making.

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Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2019

Alexandru Preda and Gulnur Muradoglu

This paper aims to investigate a double puzzle, empirical and theoretical. Empirically, can the authors document the influence of groups on financial decisions in…

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1079

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate a double puzzle, empirical and theoretical. Empirically, can the authors document the influence of groups on financial decisions in investments and trading? Theoretically, if decisions in a group context can be documented, how can we account for them, against the background of the normative models, according to which financial decisions are individualized and atomized? Based on interviews and ethnographic observations with fund managers, analysts and traders, the authors document here decision-making in finance. Theoretically, the authors argue that financial decisions can be explained if, in addition to cognitive processes, the authors take into account the impact of social interactions on the decision-making process. Social interactions are not restricted to imitation processes, and can be seen here as the efforts deployed by decision-makers at maintaining and managing the context of their decisions. The authors present and discuss empirical evidence and argue that the study of social interactions can productively contribute to understanding how decisions are made in finance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data analyzed here have been gathered between 2001 and 2011, and include: interviews with investment professionals (fund managers and analysts) from the UK and Turkey; interviews with individual investors from the UK and the USA; and observations with individual investors from the UK and the USA. This captures decision activities conducted in different regulatory frameworks of those countries. The authors focussed in the interviews on general decision-making practices.

Findings

Conclusion the authors have sought to answer a double puzzle, empirical and theoretical. Empirically, the puzzle is how investors and traders resort to groups in their decision-making. Theoretically, the puzzle consists not only in providing an explanation for such processes but also in taking into account that they do not fit the normative models of decisions in mainstream finance. The argument has been that in addition to the cognitive processes identified and discussed in behavioural finance, the authors need to take into account the impact of social processes as well. Social processes include the efforts deployed by financial decision-makers at maintaining and managing the contexts within which decisions are made. The work of context maintenance is intrinsic to the logic of decision-making. The authors have identified, documented and discussed here the social dynamics in financial decisions with respect to performance, managing group relationships and possible conflicts.

Originality/value

Managing relationships within groups is not without consequences with regard to trading decisions. Oftentimes, avoiding group conflicts – or being confronted with them – leads to decisional adjustments, which have less to do with returns on trades than with the necessity of accommodating social relationships. As several of the interviewees emphasized, making decisions implies consensus and reaching consensus requires accommodating relationships.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

A.G. Sheard and A.P. Kakabadse

This monograph seeks to summarise the key influences of a role‐based perspective on leadership when making decisions as to how organisational resources can best be deployed.

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Abstract

Purpose

This monograph seeks to summarise the key influences of a role‐based perspective on leadership when making decisions as to how organisational resources can best be deployed.

Design/methodology/approach

Application of new frameworks provides insight into the leadership roles executives can adopt when part of formal, informal and temporary groups within the organisation's senior management team and those parts of the organisation for which they are responsible. The methodology adopted is qualitative, focusing on application of previously developed frameworks.

Findings

Adoption of an appropriate leadership role, and the timely switch from one role to another as circumstances change, are found to facilitate improvement in the ability of executives to mobilise organisational resources, and in so doing effectively address those challenges with which the organisation is faced.

Research limitations/implications

A one‐organisation intensive case study of a multinational engineering company engaged in the design, development and manufacture of rotating turbomachinery provides the platform for the research. The research intent is to validate two frameworks in a different organisation of a similar demographic profile to those in which the frameworks were developed. The frameworks will require validating in organisations of different demographic profiles.

Practical implications

The concepts advanced, and implications discussed, provide an insight into the role‐based nature of leadership. The practical steps individual executives can take to develop their ability to adopt different leadership roles are highlighted.

Originality/value

This monograph is an investigation into, and study of the contribution of theory that provides insight into, the process by which executives effectively mobilise organisational resources. This differs from the original contributions to theory, which focused on methodology, data gathering and validation in contrast with the current study that is focused on practical application.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

Michael Halinski and Linda Duxbury

– The purpose of this paper is to examine how the group decision-making process unfolds over time in a transorganizational system (TS) planning change.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the group decision-making process unfolds over time in a transorganizational system (TS) planning change.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal qualitative case study was designed to enable researchers to identify different stages in the group decision-making process.

Findings

The findings from this case study indicated that the group decision-making process in a TS planning change could be conceptualized to include five distinct steps: working in solitude; starting a dialogue; finding a common goal; suggesting decision alternatives; and deciding among alternatives. The group proceeded through these steps sequentially over time.

Practical implications

The paper offers TS practitioners a framework to follow when making group decisions within TSs.

Originality/value

The study develops a conceptual framework that describes how the group decision-making process unfolds over time in a TS planning change. This framework can be tested in other contexts and advance theory in both the TS and group decision-making areas.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2016

Boris Eisenbart, Massimo Garbuio, Daniele Mascia and Federica Morandi

Managers spend a great deal of time in meetings making decisions critical to organisational success, yet the design aspects of meetings remain largely understudied. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Managers spend a great deal of time in meetings making decisions critical to organisational success, yet the design aspects of meetings remain largely understudied. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the potential impact of one critical design aspect of meetings – namely, whether a decision to be taken (or the meeting in general) was scheduled or not – on the use of distributed information, information elaboration, conflict, speed of decision making, and, ultimately, decision-making effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

The research presented in this paper combines a literature review with empirical data obtained from questionnaires and direct observation of decision making meetings on organisational issues in a hospital. One meeting was scheduled, the other two were unscheduled. A second questionnaire was administered 12 months after the respective decision making meetings to explore and evaluate the efficiency of the decisions made and their implementation.

Findings

This paper suggests that a scheduled meeting with a shared agenda of all decisions to be taken may induce decision makers to form opinions upfront at the meeting, with these opinions eventually serving as sources of conflict during group discussion. Because of the nature of the conflict generated, these meetings are more likely to run long and to not deliver the expected outcomes.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the debate on group decision-making processes by examining the effect of meeting scheduling on information elaboration and conflict in real-world decision-making settings. Although robust evidence has supported the existence of relationships between information elaboration, conflict, and decision-making effectiveness, previous studies have mainly focused on the effects of these processes during scheduled meetings and experimental settings. The findings of the present study show the effect of meeting scheduling on decision-making effectiveness in real-world settings.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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