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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.

Details

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

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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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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: 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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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Sebastian Hetzler

This paper aims to address the issue of modeling and model‐based management from a psycho‐ and sociological perspective, showing that the requisite decision‐making models…

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1266

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the issue of modeling and model‐based management from a psycho‐ and sociological perspective, showing that the requisite decision‐making models are a necessary but not sufficient condition for taking the right decisions. To overcome this lack of a physical space, a “brain‐supporting environment” is proposed to support group decision making in complex situations.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the interdisciplinary character of management problems, findings from different fields are used to derive requirements for complex problem solving.

Findings

Procedural, structural and technological measures are proposed to debias individual and group decision making. Finally, a “brain‐supporting environment” is sketched in which humans, as well as humans and machines, interact in order to arrive at better decisions.

Practical implications

The paper points out ways that today's technologies can be used to enhance the ability to manage complexity and to prepare the management of organizations for the challenges of the twenty‐first century.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the management of complex systems by integrating findings from different scientific disciplines in a comprehensive approach to support decision making.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Mamta Tripathi and Bharatendu Nath Srivastava

The purpose of the paper is to develop a theoretical framework with testable propositions discussing the role of counterfactual thinking in fostering accurate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to develop a theoretical framework with testable propositions discussing the role of counterfactual thinking in fostering accurate decision-making in groups and preventing catastrophes, being mediated by information searching, sharing, task conflict and conflict management mechanisms, moderated by task complexity, cognitive complexity, cognitive closure and tolerance of ambiguity.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical framework is formulated and propositions are postulated involving independent, mediating, moderating and dependent variables.

Findings

This paper recommends a helpful framework for understanding of how counterfactual thinking affects information searching, sharing and decision-making accuracy in groups, thereby preventing catastrophes.

Practical/implications

The proposed framework might be of assistance in managing complex group decision-making and information sharing in organizations. Decision-makers may become aware that activating counterfactual mind-set enables them to search for critical information facilitating accurate decision-making in groups leading to catastrophe prevention.

Originality/value

This paper adds value to the field of counterfactual thinking theory applied to group decision-making. Moreover, the paper provides a novel framework for group decision-making which sheds light on pertinent variables, which can either ameliorate or exacerbate the accuracy of decision-making by information searching and sharing in groups under varying context of high/low task complexity. The ramifications of task conflict, conflict management mechanisms, team diversity and size are explored alongside the moderating role of cognitive complexity, cognitive closure and tolerance for ambiguity.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Arpan Kumar Kar and Ashis Kumar Pani

The application of theories on group decision support is yet to be explored extensively in supplier selection literature, although the literature in both domains is…

Abstract

Purpose

The application of theories on group decision support is yet to be explored extensively in supplier selection literature, although the literature in both domains is extremely rich, in isolation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of group decision support theories for supplier selection.

Design/methodology/approach

The row geometric mean method (RGMM) of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) has been used in this study for the prioritization of group preferences under consensus. A case study was conducted to test the theories of consensual group decision making and compare it with other approaches based on AHP.

Findings

The study establishes that the application of decision support theories for group decision making can improve the supplier selection process. Findings further imply that RGMM is more effective than eigen value method, for group decision making under consensus.

Research limitations/implications

Methodologically, the study highlights the greater regularity in outcome of group decision making, vis-à-vis individual decision making, for the same decision-making context. Also, it highlights how RGMM is more effective since it preserves reciprocal properties and diversity in preferences better.

Practical implications

The study establishes that firms can improve supplier selection processes by leveraging on the collective expertise of a group rather than depending on individual decision-making expertise.

Originality/value

This study explores the application of different theories based on AHP for consensual group decision making. It compares different approaches based on AHP and establishes that RGMM is a superior approach for supplier selection.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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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.

Details

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

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