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Discussion on decision making process was started in previous lecture/chapter. We tried to understand
various aspects of decision making including the process of decision making, types of decision making
etc. In this lecture we will try to apply that process of decision making and also to understand the team
decision making.
Apply decision making steps to the following situation. “You want to buy a car”
To make a better decision following step will be taken and few question might need to be answered.
o What is your situation?
o SITUATION: You want or need a car.
o CHOICES: What are your choices?
o CHOICES: Buy the car. Don’t buy the car
o CONSEQUENCES - YES You must spend your money for - Car Cost
On Insurance, on General Maintenance
and Gas/Petrol Charges
How will you pay for the car? -
You may have to work to pay for the car.
You may think about buying through Leasing etc.
How will your Study be affected?
You will have less time to study
How will your leisure and social time be affected?
You will have less leisure and social time.
a. You will be able to save more money to buy a better car.
b. You will have more money to spend on clothes, buy computer,
motor-bike and fun.
c. You will have more leisure time.
a. YES or
b. No
Which decision would you make?
It depends on situation and priority of each individual. The consequence of each decision could be
different. Remember, some decisions will be good and some decisions will be bad. But you will learn
something from every decision you make!!!
Team Decision Making:
Use Individual Decision Making When:
o You have the information to make a good decision
o The situation is urgent
o Subordinates are already committed or their commitment doesn’t matter

Use Team/Group For Decision Making When:
o No one knows the answer or the expertise is in the group
o You want to increase the commitment of subordinates
o The situation is not urgent in the sense that it requires an immediate response
o You, as manager/leader, can live with choice

Group/Team Decision Making
Advantages Disadvantages
o More information & knowledge are
o More alternatives are likely to be
o More acceptance of the final decision is
o Enhanced communication of the decision
may result better decisions
o The process takes longer, so it is more
o Compromise decisions due to
indecisiveness may emerge
o One person may dominate the group
Groupthink may occur

Methods of Group/Team Decision Making (Johnson & Johnson, 1991)
o Decision by authority without discussion
o Expert member
o Average of member’s opinions
o Decision by authority after discussion
o Majority control
o Minority control
o Consensus

Decisions made in groups can be made by one of four main methods.
o Unilaterally by an individual
o By simple majority vote
o By consensus – everyone agreeing to support the conclusion
o Subgroup of team
Which one is the best? There is no “best”. Different types fit best for different situations.
Unilateral approach has one person make the decision for the whole group.
Pros Cons
o Enables you to move fast.
o Takes care of the small stuff.
o Works well in emergencies
o Works well when one person has all
relevant information and is trusted
o Some people might not understand
rationale for decision
o Decision maker may make decision
with inadequate info
o Generates less support for the decision
Simple majority voting works when you don’t have time for consensus building.
Pros Cons
o Easy to use
o Works when everyone has the same
information and already understands others
o Implementation can be handled by majority
o Helps in managing large groups
o Breeds winners v. losers climate
o Lessens creativity and flexibility since
difficult to consider many options.
Sometimes it artificially limits choices.

Consensus means everyone supports a decision. It does not mean unanimity or that everyone gets
what they want.
Pros Cons
o Good for very important decisions
o Builds strongest buy-in
o Make for quickest implementation
o Develops a group’s problem solving skills
o Takes the longest
o Requires highest level of communication

Subgroup of a team is appropriate under the following circumstances.
Pros Cons
o Appropriate when subgroup is only entity
o Decision can be implemented w/o
involvement of majority
o Whole group is comfortable with
delegating authority
o When “pros” do not apply, this can result
in conflict and dissent regarding decision
made by group
Relationship between type of decision and quality.

Team Problem Solving Techniques:
o Consensus presenting opinions and gaining agreement to support a decision. A proposal that is
acceptable enough that all members are willing to support it. How can you reach a true consensus?
o Identify all options and views
o Build on common ideas
o Discuss the differences
o Propose alternatives or compromises to settle differences
o Test consensus when you seem to have a conclusion by “doing a check”. Go around room
and have everyone given their current opinion.
o If consensus is not reached, repeat steps 1 – 5.
o Brainstorming process to generate a quantity of ideas. In this technique the goal is. Goal - to
examine as broad a range of options as possible
o Rules - Encourage free-wheeling - No discussion - No judgment - Write visibly all ideas
o Sequence
o Review the topic (as a question)
o Minute or two of silence to think
o Call out and write down ideas
o Nominal Group Technique process to generate ideas and evaluate solutions.
o A form of structured group decision making that enables everyone to participate and have
his/her ideas heard without hostile criticism or distortions.
o A structured voting procedure is used to prioritize responses to the nominal question.
o Stepladder Technique
o A decision making approach in which members are added one by one to a team.
o Two people starts a discussion of the task.
o Another member is added and then presents their ideas to the group.
o Then another and so on until decision is made.
o Delphi Technique process to generate ideas from physically dispersed experts.
o Used in situations where group members are unable to meet face to face.
o The process.
_ A series of questions is distributed to a panel.
_ Panel members submit their responses to a decision coordinator.
_ The decision coordinator summarizes the responses, and sends the summary along
with a follow-up questionnaire to the panel.
_ Panel members send in their responses.
_ The process is repeated until a consensus is reached.
o Quality circles (QC): a small group of employees who work voluntarily on company time,
typically one hour per week, to address work-related problems
o Quality team: a team that is part of an organization’s structure & is empowered to act on
its decisions regarding product & quality service

Concept of QC
The philosophy behind the concept of QC is that responsibility of generating quality is
vested in the minds of all job related people instead of a few supervisor or inspectors. They
o Identify problems
o Collect and analyze data
o Make cause-effect relationships,
o Generate best solutions
o Computer-Aided Decision Making
o Expert Systems: a programmed decision tool set up using decision rules
o Decision Support Systems: computer and communication systems that process in coming
data and synthesize pertinent information for managers to use
o Group Decision Support Systems: systems that use computer software and
communication facilities to support group decision-making processes in either face-to-face
meetings or dispersed meetings
Computer-mediated decision making. It is done through the electronic brainstorming through the use of
special software and personal computers. The nominal group and Delphi techniques lend themselves to
computer mediation

Potential Advantages of Group/Team Decision Making:
o More knowledge and expertise is applied to solve the problem.
o A greater number of alternatives are examined.
o The final decision is better understood and accepted by all group/team members.
o More commitment among all group/team members to make the final decision work.

Potential Disadvantages of Group/ Teams Decision Making:
o Individuals may feel compelled to conform to the apparent wishes of the group/team.
o The group’s/team’s decision may be dominated by one individual or a small coalition.
o Group/team decisions usually take longer to make.

Improving Team Decision Making
o Assign the devil’s advocate role
o Be open to dissenting points of view
o Seek outside opinions
o Break up into smaller groups
o Rethink issues before making final decision
o Use brainstorming

Managing Group and Team Decision-Making Processes
o Be aware of the pros and cons of
having a group or team make a
o Set deadlines for when decisions must
be made.
o Avoid problems with dominance by
managing group membership.
o Hold a follow-up meeting to recheck
the decision.
o Have each group member individually
and critically evaluate all alternatives.
o As a manager, do not make your
position known too early.
o Appoint a group member to be a
“devil’s advocate.”

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