What type of decision making process did your group use to arrive at a consensus decision?
After much deliberation among the members, they finally settled on a consensus through the help of Nominal Group Technique, a face-to-face group process technique for achieving consensus. The group decided to make use of the NGT for organizational planning in allocating resources and funds. Moreover, the members thought NGT was a good idea because it does not permit a sole person to dominate the discussion. It was the choice for members who have repressed ideas (Sample, 1984).
In NGT, which can be an alternative for brainstorming, the group meets and discusses and shares all issues before the evaluation, where each member has an equal participation ( Mind Tools). Its advantage is that a single person does not dominate the discussion. Each member can participate in problem solving or other activities.
First, the group was divided and grouped into four or five members. A member or a group as a whole can state questions that require the members to think critically. Each person spent a few moments thinking of ideas and writing them down. Each group then collected the ideas by asking each person to respond. All of the members are allowed to clarify some questions but criticisms were not allowed. Each person also evaluated the ideas and anonymously voted for the idea that seemed best.
Sharing and tabulating of votes was done next. The group then prepared a report summarizing all the best ideas presented and each small group was allotted a few minutes to present the report.
- In what ways is the group decision making process different from the individual decision making process?
There have been debates whether group decision making process is more appropriate than on the individual level. Many say that decision making in groups is slower and often results in less good decisions.
However, the group agreed that group decision making process is more advantageous than the individual decision making process. As the popular saying goes, two heads are better than one. Or, in the case of a group, more heads are better because more ideas are collected to choose from. More people can also think of better ways to solve a problem or offer possible alternatives.
Grigoriou comments that most organizations rely on groups to come up with good decisions. Vroom (1969) says that “groups are expected to produce decisions of higher quality with greater acceptance by their members” while looking for solutions to settle the differences among members.
Moreover, many probably believe in ‘collective wisdom’ which is the reason why many projects are handed over to groups (Blinder and Morgan).
- Did your group avoid or reduce group biases or errors? If yes, how? If no, why not or what happened?
Although it is very easy to ignore the group biases or errors, the group chose to reduce them by not making any more errors the next time. The group also discussed during every meeting about these problems and brainstormed for the possible solutions to them. And in this area, group decision was utilized. Each member suggested or proposed, anonymously, and the best choice was chosen for further consideration.
Through the Nominal Group Technique, the members became more active in every area where decision is needed. They became much bolder since NGT allows them to have anonymity during the meetings. The members also became much aware of the need to create solutions for problems that directly or even indirectly involve them. During one of the meetings, it was extensively discussed on how to reduce group biases or errors. They became more resolved to keep themselves from falling victims to group biases.
- What are the implications of social influence for individuals and organizations?
An article that discusses social influence theories discussed the implications of social influence as having an important role in making people behave unselfishly, which means they consider the welfare of other people around them.
Darley, et. al.(2001), say that social influence involves the principle of autonomy or freedom since it affects an influence relationship. When a person influences another, he wants to change the other’s attitudes and behavior or way of thinking.
A good leader, for an instance, will influence his members to act accordingly and to change their perceptions for the better of all. When we talk about the implication of social influence on organizations, we talk about collective influence. As Darley says, it involves the principle of autonomy or freedom. When this is exercised within an organization, the members are freer to participate and to voice out for the betterment of the organization.
Daley et. al added that “scholars have long been concerned about the ethical implication of the use of social influence by leaders of groups, organizations and nations.” This concern focused mainly on the influence of leaders on their followers.
Several researches were also done and showed that directive leadership was the cause of poor decisions made, poor information processing and defective group interactions. Darley, et.al, also propose that the results of directive leadership were more of process defectiveness and not outcome defectiveness.
They further suggest that leaders should exercise strong ethical influence on their members through the decision making process they use.
Blinder, Alan S. and John Morgan. Are Two Heads Better Than One?:
An Experimental Analysis of Group vs. Individual Decisionmaking.
Darley, John, et.al. 2001. Social Influences On Ethical Behavior in Organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Vroom, V. H. 1969. Industrial Social Psychology. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.)
Handbook of Social Psychology (2nd ed. Vol. 5).
Sample, John. 1984.Nominal Group Technique: An Alternative to Brainstorming. Tallahassee, Florida.