July 14, The Bush Administration: As I started to read this article by Irving Janis no, I am not an avid reader of psychological diatribes… this was a reading for my MBA!
Groupthink prevents these benefits due to structural faults and provocative situational context Groupthink prevention methods will produce better decisions An illusion of well-being is presumed to be inherently dysfunctional. Group pressures towards consensus lead to concurrence-seeking tendencies.
It has been thought that groups with the strong ability to work together will be able to solve dilemmas in a quicker and more efficient fashion than an individual.
Groups have a greater amount of resources which lead them to be able to store and retrieve information more readily and come up with more alternative solutions to a problem. There was a recognized downside to group problem solving in that it takes groups more time to come to a decision and requires that people make compromises with each other.
It is, therefore, considered by many to be important to combat the effects of groupthink. He devised ways of preventing groupthink: This allows each member to freely air objections and doubts.
Leaders should not express an opinion when assigning a task to a group. Leaders should absent themselves from many of the group meetings to avoid excessively influencing the outcome. The organization should set up several independent groups, working on the same problem.
All effective alternatives should be examined. The group should invite outside experts into meetings. Group members should be allowed to discuss with and question the outside experts.
This should be a different person for each meeting. By following these guidelines, groupthink can be avoided. Kennedy sought to avoid groupthink during the Cuban Missile Crisis using "vigilant appraisal. He also encouraged group members to discuss possible solutions with trusted members within their separate departments, and he even divided the group up into various sub-groups, to partially break the group cohesion.
Kennedy was deliberately absent from the meetings, so as to avoid pressing his own opinion. Empirical findings and meta-analysis[ edit ] Testing groupthink in a laboratory is difficult because synthetic settings remove groups from real social situations, which ultimately changes the variables conducive or inhibitive to groupthink.
These factors range from causal to effectual and focus on group and situational aspects.
According to Park, a study by Huseman and Drive indicates groupthink occurs in both small and large decision-making groups within businesses. Manz and Sims conducted a study showing that autonomous work groups are susceptible to groupthink symptoms in the same manner as decisions making groups within businesses.
The same study indicates that level of group cohesiveness is insignificant in predicting groupthink occurrence. If highly dominant members are considered equivalent to leaders with high power motivation, the results of Callaway, Marriott, and Esser contradict the results of Fodor and Smith.
A study by Leana indicates the interaction between level of group cohesion and leadership style is completely insignificant in predicting groupthink. Park summarizes a study by McCauley in which structural conditions of the group were found to predict groupthink while situational conditions did not.
The situational conditions included group cohesion.
Overall, studies on groupthink have largely focused on the factors antecedents that predict groupthink. Some studies indicate group cohesion and leadership style to be powerfully predictive of groupthink, while other studies indicate the insignificance of these factors.
Group homogeneity and group insulation are generally supported as factors predictive of groupthink. Case studies[ edit ] Politics and military[ edit ] Groupthink can have a strong hold on political decisions and military operations, which may result in enormous wastage of human and material resources.
Highly qualified and experienced politicians and military commanders sometimes make very poor decisions when in a suboptimal group setting. Scholars such as Janis and Raven attribute political and military fiascoes, such as the Bay of Pigs Invasionthe Vietnam Warand the Watergate scandalto the effect of groupthink.
William Fulbrightattempted to present their objections to the plan, the Kennedy team as a whole ignored these objections and kept believing in the morality of their plan. In the latter crisis, essentially the same political leaders were involved in decision-making, but this time they learned from their previous mistake of seriously under-rating their opponents.Groupthink is as fresh and relevant a concept today as it was back in ’ And that's a good and bad thing.
And that's a good and bad thing. Obviously, in terms of intellectual vitality and the robustness of insights into human nature, it's quite wonderful that it was captured and coined. Some groups are quick to make decisions to maintain cohesion, but this can be a critical mistake to make.
This lesson explains the concept of groupthink using the Challenger explosion as an example. In , Yale psychologist Irving Janis began exploring the concept of Groupthink by researching the chain of events involved in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of , where U.S.-trained and equipped soldiers attempted to .
Recent literature of groupthink attempts to study the application of this concept beyond the framework of business and politics. One particularly relevant and popular arena in . Groupthink is a concept that was identified by Irving Janis that refers to faulty decision-making in a group.
Groups experiencing groupthink do not consider all alternatives and they desire unanimity at the expense of quality decisions. Groupthink can severely undermine the value of a group's work and, at its worst, it can cost people their lives.
On a lesser scale, it can stifle teamwork, and leave all but the most vocal team members disillusioned and dissatisfied.