ements and DecisionsIn recent months, the management team of this organization has been working tirelessly to diminish biases among group members and to establish a proposal focusing on the elimination of in-store employee theft. This criminal activity associated with inventory shrinkage and major revenue loss has proved to be a detriment to our company, but thankfully, is now in the process of being reversed. The success of our proposal resulted from the dynamics of an open discussion format in our group setting and the determination of each member to make the necessary modifications and improvements for this company.
In the following article, I will review and discuss the systematic procedure of decision-making utilized by each member and the obstacles encountered so that others involved in management can replicate the knowledge and experiences acquired throughout this process.
The panel successfully achieved a consensus decision by unofficially appointing a permissive leader and by relying on the positive effects of conformity. The leader encouraged each subordinate to take part in decision-making, giving him or her a considerable degree of autonomy in completing routine work activities. Once key components were decided upon, group members proceeded to conform to those judgments in order to begin the experimental phase of action.
Individuals were given a deadline to present their contributions for the project, which allowed the opportunity of complete participation, as well as emphasizing the importance of discipline among management.
The required process for group decision-making noticeably and significantly differs from the format of individual decision-making. Many individuals can be relatively ineffective or incorrect when attempting to form a decision. They may become victims of common traps such as overconfidence, self-fulfilling prophecies, and behavioral traps.
They are also vulnerable to satisficing, attribution theory, and other biases experienced regularly. However, when participating with peers, many become more effective and efficient. There are greater percentages of correct answers, and most members enjoy the positive atmosphere and camaraderie experienced within the group setting.
Although group interaction allows for a more dynamic outcome, there are still many biases associated with this system of decision-making.
While avoiding many of these unnecessary biases, such as groupthink and group polarization, our management team unfortunately fell victim to others. To deter the effects of biased judgments, many members privately discussed techniques, and then presented that information, thus utilizing the benefits of subgroups. Also, each member avoided over zealousness of personal opinions, thereby eliminating group polarization and the choice shift phenomenon.
Unfortunately, inactive members of the team expressed social influence by demonstrating social loafing.
Social loafing is the tendency for people in work groups to exert less effort than if they worked individually. This behavior “arises because people in groups do not feel the link between their effort and the final outcome as directly as people working alone” (Plous, 193). Although continuously contacted and questioned, these managers ignored requests and refused to participate. The correct disciplinary action would involve the elimination of managers such as these.
The profound effects of social influence on the judgments of decision-makers, individual and organizational, indicate the excessive importance of outside evaluation. This behavior takes place “even when the prospect of being evaluated by others does not involve their physical presence” (Henchy & Glass, 1968). While possessing knowledge on this subject would certainly reduce the effects, it would be nearly impossible to eliminate them completely. “Because people are social by nature, their judgments and decisions are subject to social influences.
Consequently, any comprehensive account of judgment and decision making must include social factors” (Plous, 204).
Plous, S., (1993), The Psychology of judgment and Decision Making, New York: McGraw Hill, Inc.