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Team Decision-Making Pitfalls


CHAPTER 7 Team Decision-Making Pitfalls Groupthink Escalation of commitment Abilene paradox Group polarization Unethical decision making Exhibit 7-2. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Team Decision-Making Pitfalls

Team Decision-Making Pitfalls
  • Groupthink
  • Escalation of commitment
  • Abilene paradox
  • Group polarization
  • Unethical decision making

Exhibit 7-1. Team Process and Outcomes
Exhibit 7-2. A Rational Model of Group Decision
Forsyth, D. (1990). Group dynamics (2nd ed., p.
286). Pacific Grove, CA Brooks/Cole.
Symptoms of Groupthink
  • Incomplete survey of alternatives
  • Incomplete survey of objectives
  • Failure to reexamine alternatives
  • Failure to examine preferred choices
  • Selection bias
  • Poor information search
  • Failure to create contingency plans

Avoiding Groupthink
  • Monitor team size
  • Provide face-saving mechanism for teams
  • Risk technique
  • Invite different perspectives
  • Appoint a devils advocate
  • Structure discussion principles
  • Establish procedures for protecting alternative
  • Second solution
  • Beware of time pressure

Exhibit 7-8. Escalation of Commitment
Source Adapted from Ross, J., Staw, B. M.
(1993). Organizational escalation and exit
Lessons from the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant.
Academy of Management Journal, 70173
Escalation of Commitment
  • Project determinants
  • Psychological determinants
  • Social determinants
  • Structural determinants
  • Avoiding the escalation of commitment problem
  • Set limits
  • Avoid the bystander effect
  • Avoid tunnel vision
  • Recognize sunk costs
  • Avoid bad mood
  • External review

Key Causes of Self-Limiting Behavior in Teams
  • Presence of someone with expertise
  • Presentation of a compelling argument
  • Lack of confidence in ones ability to contribute
  • Unimportant or meaningless decision
  • Pressure from others to conform to teams
  • Dysfunctional decision-making climate

Avoiding the Abilene Paradox
  • Confront the issue in a team setting
  • Conduct a private vote
  • Minimize status differences
  • Frame task as a decision to be made
  • Provide formal forum for controversial views
  • Take responsibility for failure

Group Polarization
  • Risky shift
  • Cautious shift
  • Explanations
  • The need to be right
  • The need to be liked
  • Conformity pressures

Exhibit 7-12. Group Polarization
Group polarization processes. Imagine that Group
1 includes Person A (who chose 1), Person B (who
chose 3), and Persons C and D (who both chose 5)
the average of pregroup choices would be (1 3
5 5)/4, or 3.5. Because this mean is less than
5, a risky shift would probably occur in Group 1.
If, in contrast, Group 2 contained Persons C, D,
E and F, their pregroup average would be (5 5
7 9)/4 or 6.5. Because this mean is closer to
the caution pole, a conservative shift would
probably occur in the group.
Source Adapted from Janis, I. L. (1982). Victims
of groupthink (2nc ed.). Boston Houghton
Unethical Decision Making
  • Situational triggers
  • Rational man model
  • Pluralistic ignorance
  • Desensitization

How to Remedy or Prevent Unethical
Decision Making
  • Accountability for behavior
  • Reward model
  • Appropriate role models
  • Eliminate conflicts of interest
  • Create cultures of integrity