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Groupthink and Its Impact on Decision-Making in Organizations

  • 04 Pages
  • Published On: 04-12-2023
Disadvantages of Janis’ theory of “group think”

In the Group think theory, the ways of solving issues and problems within the society is approached in terms of a consensus amongst a group rather than independent thought and action.

As such group think occurs when a group is pressured to make an ineffective or incorrect decision for the sake of achieving consensus and acting in collective agreement (Cherry, 2020).

Incorrect and ineffective decisions always lead to extended problems within an organization which ultimately impacts the organization negatively creating a significant disadvantage to the organization or company adopting it.

The negative impact to the organization is not the only disadvantage, according to CFI (2020), group think yields other negative impacts within the organization such as

Continuous and extended bad decision making

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Lack of creativity and innovation on account of no conflicting ideas or opinions

Overlooking or over thinking optimal problem solutions due to social pressures to maintain consensus

Limited or lack of feedback and analysis of decision making given its unanimity among the individuals within the group

Also overconfidence in group think ultimately impacts the profitability of an organization as optimal and more profitable processes and decisions are overlooked.

All this impacts not only the performance and success of the organization, company or group, but it also reinforces a negative reputation of the group to the outside environment.

Group think as a strategy for problem solution within an organization may have significant positive benefits including

Amassing diverse views, opinions and alternatives to choose from

Enhancing greater acceptability of the ideas agreed upon by the group compared to individual proposals and ideas

Encourages the participation of the group members towards a common solution to issues and

Creates a feel of a significant degree of involvement among the group members

However the strategy still bares significant disadvantages in comparison to other problem solving strategies. Some of these disadvantages include:

Time consuming- the process of “group think” is significantly time consuming and in the face of time sensitive issues may be a significant disadvantage.

Individual domination – regardless of the “Group think” idea, discussions and decisions are often dominated by few individuals who have to convince others that their way s better than the available alternatives. As such, it is often dominated by distinct individuals within the group.

Compromise decision making – given the need to reach a consensus in each and every decision made by the group, individuals who are inferior in number with conflicting ideas and opinions often have to fall in line leading to a compromise decision.

Group think is also quite expensive in terms of money, time and other resources. Chand (2020) highlights that the larger a group gets the more resources required and the less effective the decision making

Groupism. Groupism refers to the development of small groups within a social set up based on individual shared characteristics. Some members of the group, especially ones that are often quite active may harbor feelings of being different from others leading to the development of smaller groups that ultimately limit the effectiveness of the group.

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Lack of accountability. Solving a problem often starts with accepting responsibility for it and identifying what went wrong. Given that in the group think scenario decisions are made out of group consensus, identifying the responsibility of the problem becomes difficult and subsequently makes the solution identification even more difficult (Chand, 2020).

References

CFI, 2020. Groupthink - Learn About the Negative Impact of Groupthink. [online] Corporate Finance Institute. Available at: [Accessed 21 February 2021].

Chand, S., 2020. Group Decision-Making : it’s Advantages and Disadvantages. [online] Your Article Library. Available at: [Accessed 21 February 2021].

Cherry, K., 2020. The Psychology Behind Why We Strive for Consensus. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: [Accessed 21 February 2021].


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