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Principles of Management

2.6 Group Decision-Making

Principles of Management2.6 Group Decision-Making
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Managing and Performing
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 What Do Managers Do?
    3. 1.2 The Roles Managers Play
    4. 1.3 Major Characteristics of the Manager's Job
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    7. Chapter Review Questions
    8. Management Skills Application Exercises
    9. Managerial Decision Exercises
    10. Critical Thinking Case
  3. 2 Managerial Decision-Making
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Overview of Managerial Decision-Making
    3. 2.2 How the Brain Processes Information to Make Decisions: Reflective and Reactive Systems
    4. 2.3 Programmed and Nonprogrammed Decisions
    5. 2.4 Barriers to Effective Decision-Making
    6. 2.5 Improving the Quality of Decision-Making
    7. 2.6 Group Decision-Making
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  4. 3 The History of Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 The Early Origins of Management
    3. 3.2 The Italian Renaissance
    4. 3.3 The Industrial Revolution
    5. 3.4 Taylor-Made Management
    6. 3.5 Administrative and Bureaucratic Management
    7. 3.6 Human Relations Movement
    8. 3.7 Contingency and System Management
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
  5. 4 External and Internal Organizational Environments and Corporate Culture
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 The Organization's External Environment
    3. 4.2 External Environments and Industries
    4. 4.3 Organizational Designs and Structures
    5. 4.4 The Internal Organization and External Environments
    6. 4.5 Corporate Cultures
    7. 4.6 Organizing for Change in the 21st Century
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  6. 5 Ethics, Corporate Responsibility, and Sustainability
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Ethics and Business Ethics Defined
    3. 5.2 Dimensions of Ethics: The Individual Level
    4. 5.3 Ethical Principles and Responsible Decision-Making
    5. 5.4 Leadership: Ethics at the Organizational Level
    6. 5.5 Ethics, Corporate Culture, and Compliance
    7. 5.6 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    8. 5.7 Ethics around the Globe
    9. 5.8 Emerging Trends in Ethics, CSR, and Compliance
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Chapter Review Questions
    13. Management Skills Application Exercises
    14. Managerial Decision Exercises
    15. Critical Thinking Case
  7. 6 International Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Importance of International Management
    3. 6.2 Hofstede's Cultural Framework
    4. 6.3 The GLOBE Framework
    5. 6.4 Cultural Stereotyping and Social Institutions
    6. 6.5 Cross-Cultural Assignments
    7. 6.6 Strategies for Expanding Globally
    8. 6.7 The Necessity of Global Markets
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  8. 7 Entrepreneurship
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Entrepreneurship
    3. 7.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 7.3 Small Business
    5. 7.4 Start Your Own Business
    6. 7.5 Managing a Small Business
    7. 7.6 The Large Impact of Small Business
    8. 7.7 The Small Business Administration
    9. 7.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Chapter Review Questions
    13. Management Skills Application Exercises
    14. Managerial Decision Exercises
    15. Critical Thinking Case
  9. 8 Strategic Analysis: Understanding a Firm’s Competitive Environment
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Gaining Advantages by Understanding the Competitive Environment
    3. 8.2 Using SWOT for Strategic Analysis
    4. 8.3 A Firm's External Macro Environment: PESTEL
    5. 8.4 A Firm's Micro Environment: Porter's Five Forces
    6. 8.5 The Internal Environment
    7. 8.6 Competition, Strategy, and Competitive Advantage
    8. 8.7 Strategic Positioning
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  10. 9 The Strategic Management Process: Achieving and Sustaining Competitive Advantage
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Strategic Management
    3. 9.2 Firm Vision and Mission
    4. 9.3 The Role of Strategic Analysis in Formulating a Strategy
    5. 9.4 Strategic Objectives and Levels of Strategy
    6. 9.5 Planning Firm Actions to Implement Strategies
    7. 9.6 Measuring and Evaluating Strategic Performance
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  11. 10 Organizational Structure and Change
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Organizational Structures and Design
    3. 10.2 Organizational Change
    4. 10.3 Managing Change
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    7. Chapter Review Questions
    8. Management Skills Application Exercises
    9. Managerial Decision Exercises
    10. Critical Thinking Case
  12. 11 Human Resource Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 An Introduction to Human Resource Management
    3. 11.2 Human Resource Management and Compliance
    4. 11.3 Performance Management
    5. 11.4 Influencing Employee Performance and Motivation
    6. 11.5 Building an Organization for the Future
    7. 11.6 Talent Development and Succession Planning
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  13. 12 Diversity in Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 An Introduction to Workplace Diversity
    3. 12.2 Diversity and the Workforce
    4. 12.3 Diversity and Its Impact on Companies
    5. 12.4 Challenges of Diversity
    6. 12.5 Key Diversity Theories
    7. 12.6 Benefits and Challenges of Workplace Diversity
    8. 12.7 Recommendations for Managing Diversity
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  14. 13 Leadership
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 The Nature of Leadership
    3. 13.2 The Leadership Process
    4. 13.3 Leader Emergence
    5. 13.4 The Trait Approach to Leadership
    6. 13.5 Behavioral Approaches to Leadership
    7. 13.6 Situational (Contingency) Approaches to Leadership
    8. 13.7 Substitutes for and Neutralizers of Leadership
    9. 13.8 Transformational, Visionary, and Charismatic Leadership
    10. 13.9 Leadership Needs in the 21st Century
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Chapter Review Questions
    14. Management Skills Application Exercises
    15. Managerial Decision Exercises
    16. Critical Thinking Case
  15. 14 Work Motivation for Performance
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Motivation: Direction and Intensity
    3. 14.2 Content Theories of Motivation
    4. 14.3 Process Theories of Motivation
    5. 14.4 Recent Research on Motivation Theories
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    8. Chapter Review Questions
    9. Management Skills Application Exercises
    10. Managerial Decision Exercises
    11. Critical Thinking Case
  16. 15 Managing Teams
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Teamwork in the Workplace
    3. 15.2 Team Development Over Time
    4. 15.3 Things to Consider When Managing Teams
    5. 15.4 Opportunities and Challenges to Team Building
    6. 15.5 Team Diversity
    7. 15.6 Multicultural Teams
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Chapter Review Questions
    11. Management Skills Application Exercises
    12. Managerial Decision Exercises
    13. Critical Thinking Case
  17. 16 Managerial Communication
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 The Process of Managerial Communication
    3. 16.2 Types of Communications in Organizations
    4. 16.3 Factors Affecting Communications and the Roles of Managers
    5. 16.4 Managerial Communication and Corporate Reputation
    6. 16.5 The Major Channels of Management Communication Are Talking, Listening, Reading, and Writing
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Chapter Review Questions
    10. Management Skills Application Exercises
    11. Managerial Decision Exercises
    12. Critical Thinking Case
  18. 17 Organizational Planning and Controlling
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Is Planning Important
    3. 17.2 The Planning Process
    4. 17.3 Types of Plans
    5. 17.4 Goals or Outcome Statements
    6. 17.5 Formal Organizational Planning in Practice
    7. 17.6 Employees' Responses to Planning
    8. 17.7 Management by Objectives: A Planning and Control Technique
    9. 17.8 The Control- and Involvement-Oriented Approaches to Planning and Controlling
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Chapter Review Questions
    13. Management Skills Application Exercises
    14. Managerial Decision Exercises
    15. Critical Thinking Case
  19. 18 Management of Technology and Innovation
    1. Introduction
    2. 18.1 MTI—Its Importance Now and In the Future
    3. 18.2 Developing Technology and Innovation
    4. 18.3 External Sources of Technology and Innovation
    5. 18.4 Internal Sources of Technology and Innovation
    6. 18.5 Management Entrepreneurship Skills for Technology and Innovation
    7. 18.6 Skills Needed for MTI
    8. 18.7 Managing Now for Future Technology and Innovation
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Chapter Review Questions
    12. Management Skills Application Exercises
    13. Managerial Decision Exercises
    14. Critical Thinking Case
  20. References
  21. Index
  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of group decision-making, and how can a manager improve the quality of group decision-making?

Involving more people in the decision-making process can greatly improve the quality of a manager's decisions and outcomes. However, involving more people can also increase conflict and generate other challenges. We turn now to the advantages and disadvantages of group decision-making.

Advantages of Group Decisions

An advantage to involving groups in decision-making is that you can incorporate different perspectives and ideas. For this advantage to be realized, however, you need a diverse group. In a diverse group, the different group members will each tend to have different preferences, opinions, biases, and stereotypes. Because a variety of viewpoints must be negotiated and worked through, group decision-making creates additional work for a manager, but (provided the group members reflect different perspectives) it also tends to reduce the effects of bias on the outcome. For example, a hiring committee made up of all men might end up hiring a larger proportion of male applicants (simply because they tend to prefer people who are more similar to themselves). But with a hiring committee made up of an equal number of men and women, the bias should be cancelled out, resulting in more applicants being hired based on their qualifications rather than their physical attributes.

Having more people involved in decision-making is also beneficial because each individual brings unique information or knowledge to the group, as well as different perspectives on the problem. Additionally, having the participation of multiple people will often lead to more options being generated and to greater intellectual stimulation as group members discuss the available options. Brainstorming is a process of generating as many solutions or options as possible and is a popular technique associated with group decision-making.

All of these factors can lead to superior outcomes when groups are involved in decision-making. Furthermore, involving people who will be affected by a decision in the decision-making process will allow those individuals to have a greater understanding of the issues or problems and a greater commitment to the solutions.

Disadvantages of Group Decisions

Group decision-making is not without challenges. Some groups get bogged down by conflict, while others go to the opposite extreme and push for agreement at the expense of quality discussions. Groupthink occurs when group members choose not to voice their concerns or objections because they would rather keep the peace and not annoy or antagonize others. Sometimes groupthink occurs because the group has a positive team spirit and camaraderie, and individual group members don’t want that to change by introducing conflict. It can also occur because past successes have made the team complacent.

Often, one individual in the group has more power or exerts more influence than others and discourages those with differing opinions from speaking up (suppression of dissent) to ensure that only their own ideas are implemented. If members of the group are not really contributing their ideas and perspectives, however, then the group is not getting the benefits of group decision-making.

How to Form a Quality Group

Effective managers will try to ensure quality group decision-making by forming groups with diverse members so that a variety of perspectives will contribute to the process. They will also encourage everyone to speak up and voice their opinions and thoughts prior to the group reaching a decision. Sometimes groups will also assign a member to play the devil’s advocate in order to reduce groupthink. The devil’s advocate intentionally takes on the role of critic. Their job is to point out flawed logic, to challenge the group’s evaluations of various alternatives, and to identify weaknesses in proposed solutions. This pushes the other group members to think more deeply about the advantages and disadvantages of proposed solutions before reaching a decision and implementing it.

A photo shows Brian Schnell raising his hand vehemently while speaking to other franchisee attorneys during a meeting.
Exhibit 2.7 The Devils Advocate At a meeting of McDonald’s franchise owners, attorney Brian Schnell was placed in the audience as a devil’s advocate and often would strongly disagree with franchisee attorney Bob Zarco that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s joint-employer ruling on McDonald’s is a boon for franchisees. He would raise his hand often and vehemently, which Zarco had asked him to do before the meeting. In that way, the franchisors’ articulate arguments could be heard by all franchisee leaders in attendance, and rebutted. Credit (Mr. Blue MauMau/ flickr/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

The methods we’ve just described can all help ensure that groups reach good decisions, but what can a manager do when there is too much conflict within a group? In this situation, managers need to help group members reduce conflict by finding some common ground—areas in which they can agree, such as common interests, values, beliefs, experiences, or goals. Keeping a group focused on a common goal can be a very worthwhile tactic to keep group members working with rather than against one another. Table 2.3 summarizes the techniques to improve group decision-making.

Summary of Techniques That May Improve Group Decision-Making

Type of Decision

Technique

Benefit

Group decisions

Have diverse members in the group.

Improves quality: generates more options, reduces bias

Assign a devil’s advocate.

Improves quality: reduces groupthink

Encourage everyone to speak up and contribute.

Improves quality: generates more options, prevents suppression of dissent

Help group members find common ground.

Improves quality: reduces personality conflict

Table 2.3 (Attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC-BY 4.0 license)

Conclusion

Decision-making is a crucial daily activity for managers. Decisions range from small and simple, with straightforward answers, to big and complex, with little clarity about what the best choice will be. Being an effective manager requires learning how to successfully navigate all kinds of decisions. Expertise, which develops gradually through learning and experience, generally improves managerial decision-making, but managers rarely rely solely on their own expertise. They also conduct research and collect information from others; they pay attention to their own biases and to ethical implications; and they think critically about the information that they have received to make decisions that will benefit the organization and its stakeholders.

Concept Check

  1. Explain why group decision-making can be more effective than individual decision-making.
  2. What are some things that can prevent groups from making good decisions?
  3. As a manager, what can you do to enhance the quality of group decision-making?
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