Positively Interdependent Groups vs Negatively Interdependent Groups
Many heads can only be better than one when there is cooperation or positive interdependence. When dealing with complex tasks, cooperative or positively interdependent groups tend to make better decisions than competitive or negatively interdependent groups. This is due to several.
Firstly, the interaction between group members leads to the new idea that would have otherwise not met. This can only be achieved with the cooperation of the group members.
Secondly, when the group members cooperate, they are more likely to notice and fix an error by contributing solutions. These solutions come from the contribution of more relevant facts that are vital due to superior memory from chiming relevant facts. Individuals perceive things differently.
Therefore their memories about the facts involved in a given situation are also diverse; hence if all these diverse details are contributed, there is sufficient information needed to reach an informed decision. If a group is well managed, and the members do not have conflicting interests, it can reach better decisions than individuals (Stangor, 2020).
Information Sharing in a Group Decision Making Factors
Group members have to share information to reach an informed collective decision. Multiple factors determine how this information is shared. The main factor is the nature of interdependence in the group. When the group members’ interests align, they tend to cooperate better and contribute any facts they think could be relevant to the decision-making process. They are also open to their colleagues’ ideas.
The size of the groups also determines how much information sharing can take place in a group dynamic. Smaller groups tend to have a higher degree of communication and interaction among their members, building trust. Therefore more truthful information is shared, leading to more informed and, consequently, better decisions. Another factor is the similarities in interest and values among the members.
When the attitude, values, and interests of members of any group align, more cohesion facilitates better information sharing. Finally, the status and difficulty of entry into a group also determine the quality of information shared. High-status groups that are hard to join tend to have more trust inculcated, leading to better decisions (Stangor, 2020).
Production blocking occurs in face-to-face groups where only one member can present their ideas at a time. The rest have to wait for their turn and risk forgetting their ideas. They may also miss the member’s point because they are busy generating their idea, which heavily impairs creativity in a group (Stangor, 2020). A few methods have proven instrumental in lessening and, at times, altogether avoiding production blocking.
Note Taking Method
The most effective method is writing down notes when other group members are presenting. They can highlight the speaking members’ points and ideas that come in mine regarding the problem being solved.
Formation of Nominal Groups
Another method is the formation of nominal groups, which restructured groups where the members get a chance to brainstorm individually. They write down all their ideas regarding a particular topic and then select their best ideas before the group. This method has proven to be more efficient than group brainstorming.
Lastly, is brainstorming online where the members contribute any point they might have online instead of a face to face discussion. The effectiveness of this method is because no one has to wait for their chance to present.
Jury Group Decision Making in USA
Like the United States, many nations in the world rely on juries to reach verdicts in a criminal and civil trial. This is under the assumption that a group of peers can make a better verdict than an individual. A jury’s ability to perform is based on the juror’s characteristics and those of the person on trial. If the juror can relate with the plaintiff or defendant, they are likely to make a better decision.
Juries that compose more high-status and highly educated individuals tend to make better decisions. Some studies have shown that a jury with more males performs better than that with more females. In addition to these, the size of the jury matters. The United States judicial system has 12 as the optimal number of jurors in a case. At this size, the members can all contribute efficiently. Also, the foreman in any jury, being the leader, impacts its performance.
Different Types of Leaders
Expressive Leaders & Group Decision Making
The group leader has a significant influence on the performance of the group. There are two kinds of leaders in the group dynamic, expressive leaders and instrumental leaders. Expressive leaders mainly focus on the maintenance and improvement of the quality of relationships within the group. Their goal is usually to ensure harmony in the group. Instrumental leaders, on the other hand, focus more on achieving the group’s objectives. They work towards achieving this goal at all costs, including alienating some members of the group.
Instrumental Leaders & Group Decision Making
Instrumental leaders are more effective when dealing with complex tasks that need serious deliberation to reach the decision. Expressive leaders are useful when a unanimous decision is obligatory (Stangor, 2020).
Different Leadership Styles
Authoritarian Leadership & Group Decision Making
There are three main leadership styles in the group dynamic. Firstly, there is authoritarian leadership, whose primary focus is achieving the group’s goals. In this type of leadership, the leader demands complete compliance with the group rules and non-compliance consequences. These leaders tend to make decisions on their own and instruct their group members to implement the decisions.
Democratic Leadership & Group Decision Making
Secondly, democratic leadership requires lengthy discussions and consultation and less weight on the compliance with the group rules. This type of leadership makes the final decision, considering that members agree at least the majority, if not all—lastly, there laissez-faire leadership in which there is no leader required to steer the group interaction (Stangor, 2020).
Read Also: Legit Paper Writing Services
Consensus Model of Group Decision Making
Also known as consensus politics, the consensus decision-making model demands unanimity in the group decision making process. This consensus means that a decision is only reached after all members have accepted it. This decision-making makes the members do away with the leadership roles and choose to work in consensus.
If any member does not agree with the rest, then a decision has not been reached. This can count as a downside where a member has an interest in prolonging the decision-making process. This method is there less efficient and leads to time wastage. On the flip side, if well applied, the consensus model leaves the members with a voice and own to the decision (Stangor, 2020).
Solomon Asch’s Experiment on Group Decision Making
Solomon Asch’s experiment concluded that there are two reasons why groups force the individual to conform. Members feel obliged to conform or risk being alienated by the rest. In addition to this, the members assume that they are wrong if their perception differs from their counterparts (Barkan, 2020). This makes the decisions of a group worse than that of the individual. Milgram’s experiment concluded that individuals tend to obey authority even if it is at someone else’s expense.
This is the reason why the Germans allowed the Holocaust to happen. The Third Wave unravelled the fact that people value their social life so much and would rather conform to society’s standards than risk these societal expectations, the reason why the ‘good Germans’ would have allowed the Holocaust to happen at their watch. Lastly, the Stanford Prison Experiment concluded that a reasonable person could make bad decisions if the circumstances allow. All these studies went too far and were unethical.
Judge vs Jury Group Decision Making
If I were either prosecutor or a defence attorney, I would prefer judge to a jury. This is because the group dynamic has shown more complexities other than having power in numbers. Individual compromise what they think or believe to please their leaders or those around them.
My case stands a better chance if a judge, looking at the facts of the case objectively, is preceding the case and making the verdict. This is regardless of which side of the case I am on. This is evident in the Solomon Asch experiment, where students would instead give the long answer about the line lengths than be unique (Barkan, 2020).
Group Polarization in Jury Group Decision Making
Group polarization occurs when the group members’ end up being more extreme after a discussion than before. This is due to the group’s tendency to conform to the majority vote. In a Jury setting, the opinion of individual jurors who support a guilty verdict will find themselves more convincing about their decision after deliberation that they were before if the majority of the jury agree to it. In case the defendant is innocent, the group polarization will lead to a false conviction.
Groupthink & Group Decision Making in Jury
Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when the individual members desire to conform to and be in harmony with each other, leads a poor decision-making outcome. This is because the members do not want to stand out. This phenomenon affects the jury process because some jury members may conform to a verdict they disagree with because the verdict has to be reached on time.
If they raised their doubt with the verdict, then it would derail the process. Just like in The Third Wave experiment, that concluded that social ties impact group decision making. The confirmation bias on a juror decision makes them more extreme with the Third Wave experiment when Ron Jones incited high school students (Barkan, 2020).
Juries Practices in Group Decision Making
Juries have proven not to be effective in speedy group decision making. They apply to practices that need lengthy and meticulous decision making. In these environments, each juror should explain their decision to avoid conformity. In legal practice, a Jury applies to a severe case such as treason or when discussing the constitution. The use of juries on less severe civil cases derails the judicial process.
In the medical practice, a jury can apply when deliberating on whether to approve a given drug after considering its benefits and side effects. However, a jury would not be applicable when a surgeon decides in the operation room (Barkan, 2020).
Ad Campaign Creators Group Decision Making
A laissez-faire leadership style is best suited for the creative team developing an ad campaign. This is because the creative process thrives on constant brainstorming. Here the leaser has little guidance to provide. They can, however, critique the work of any of the group members constructively. The leader only has to take control where necessary.
People Stranded on a Deserted Island
Being an urgent task, it would require an authoritarian kind of leadership. Here, the leader’s primary focus is to achieve the intended goal. The members have an option to comply or risk being left behind. In addition to this, the leader is not concerned about unanimity.
Resident Assistant Group Decision Making in a College Dorm
Democratic leadership is necessary here. The resident assistance has to lead with transparency. They have to show fairness and engage all dorm residents in the group decision making process. A decision is only reached if the majority supports it; therefore, the resident assistant aims to ensure residents’ harmony (Stangor, 2020).
A Parent of Two Young Children Group Decision Making
When dealing with young children, my role as a leader would be more authoritarian than democratic and laissez-faire. I would explain to them that I have to ensure that they comply with the rules. I would, however, not alienate them in case of disobedience. I would also inform them that even though they cannot participate in the decision-making process, their opinions and suggestions are welcome (Stangor, 2020).
- Barkan. (2020). 4.3: Group Dynamics and Behavior. Social Sci LibreTexts. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
- Stangor, D. (2020). Group Decision Making. Opentextbc.ca. Retrieved 10 October 2020.