Review the assets and liabilities of group decision making. Which methods of improving decision making in organizations


Review the assets and liabilities of group decision making. Which methods of improving decision making in organizations help offset the liabilities? How? Why?


Group decision-making processes have both assets and liabilities. Recognizing these assets and liabilities can help you understand what group decision making can and cannot do.


Groups of people can bring more knowledge, information, skills, and abilities to a problem than individuals working alone. The heterogeneity of a decision-making group can stimulate discussion and debate about how to solve the problem. Each person contributes a piece of information or knowledge to the decision process. Some research shows that groups with goals of cooperation manage their discussions more effectively than groups with goals of competition.

When groups make decisions, everyone in the group understands more about the decision. Participants in the process know which alternatives were reviewed and why one was selected and others rejected.

Participation in a decision-making group can lead to increased acceptance of the decision. If they perceive their participation as legitimate, participants can develop a sense of ownership of decisions, reducing resistance while carrying out the decision.

Group decision making also helps the personal development of participants, letting them work on more complex problems in the future. Group decision making can improve collaborative problem-solving skills, develop trust among those who participate, enhance interpersonal skills, and increase job satisfaction.


Group decision making also has liabilities. Individuals who participate in group decision making might feel strong social pressures to conform to an emerging norm. Pressure is placed on those who disagree to get them to accept the favored alternatives.

Often one person dominates a group, especially if the group had no appointed leader from the start. Such people become dominant by participating more, being particularly persuasive, or persisting in their position.

As the group uncovers alternatives, individuals can develop strong preferences for a particular alternative. Although that alternative might not be the best solution to the problem, attention may shift to converting those who do not agree with the favored alternative.

Group decision making takes time and is ill suited for problems that require quick decisions. The time liability of group decision making includes not only the time of the principal decision maker, but also the time of everyone involved in the process.

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