Sunday, June 12, 2016

Groupthink theory and its implications for group decision making methods

Groupthink is the name given to a theory or model that was extensively developed by Irving Janis (1972) to describe faulty decision making that can occur in groups as a result of forces that bring a group together (group cohesion).

There are a number of good references available on the topic, and I would suggest visiting for a quick and easy to read summary.

A number of problems are attributed to groupthink, making it good topic for our series on decision making errors. Some of the group decision making problems include:
Inadequately considering all alternatives in order to maintain unanimity
Poor examination of decision objectives
Failure to properly evaluate the risks of the chosen solution alternative
Information searches that are insufficient or biased

The desire for group conformity and unanimity essentially overrides the need to decide effectively.

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