TEAM DECISION MAKING
TEAM DECISION MAKING
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
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
o CHOICES: What are your
o CHOICES: Buy the car. Don’t buy
o CONSEQUENCES - YES You
must spend your money for - Car Cost
On Insurance, on General Maintenance
and Gas/Petrol Charges
o CONSEQUENCES - if YES
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.
o CONSEQUENCES - if YES
How will your Study be affected?
You will have less time to study
o CONSEQUENCES – if YES
How will your leisure and social time be affected?
You will have less leisure and social time.
o CONSEQUENCES - NO
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
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
o The situation is not urgent in
the sense that it requires an immediate response
o You, as manager/leader, can live with
Group/Team Decision Making
o More information & knowledge are
o More alternatives are likely to be
o More acceptance of the final decision
o Enhanced communication of the
may result better decisions
o The process takes longer, so it is
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
o Expert member
o Average of member’s opinions
o Decision by authority after
o Majority control
o Minority control
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
Unilateral approach has one person make the decision for the whole group.
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
Simple majority voting works when you don’t have time for consensus building.
o Easy to use
o Works when everyone has the same
information and already understands others
o Implementation can be handled by
o Helps in managing large groups
o Breeds winners v. losers climate
o Lessens creativity and flexibility
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.
o Good for very important decisions
o Builds strongest buy-in
o Make for quickest implementation
o Develops a group’s problem solving
o Takes the longest
o Requires highest level of
Subgroup of a team is appropriate under the following circumstances.
o Appropriate when subgroup is only
o Decision can be implemented w/o
involvement of majority
o Whole group is comfortable with
o When “pros” do not apply, this can
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 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
o Another member is added and then
presents their ideas to the group.
o Then another and so on until decision
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
_ 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
vested in the minds of all job related people instead of a few supervisor or
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
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
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
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
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
o Avoid problems with dominance by
managing group membership.
o Hold a follow-up meeting to recheck
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