Group Decision making
Decisions on all levels of organization are
frequently made by groups.
C. Group decision making has several advantages and disadvantages over
3. Some advantages
of group decision making include
e) Groups bring more diverse information and knowledge to bear on the
question under consideration.
f) An increased number of alternatives can be developed.
g) Greater understanding and acceptance of the final decision are
h) Members develop knowledge and skill for future use.
4. Group decision making has several
disadvantages when compared to individual
e) Group decision making is more time consuming.
f) Disagreements may delay decisions and cause hard feelings.
g) The discussion may be dominated by one or a few group members.
is the tendency in cohesive groups to seeks agreement
an issue at the expense of realistically appraising the situation.
D. Managers can enhance group decision-making processes by taking steps
to avoid the
pitfalls of group decision making.
4. Individuals should be involved only if they have information and
relevant to the decision.
5. The composition of the group should reflect the diversity of the
workgroup. Heterogeneous groups have been found to be more effective
time than groups with the same nationality and ethnic backgrounds.
6. Two tactics are available to avoid groupthink
(a) Devil’s advocates are individuals
who are assigned the role of making sure than the negative aspects of
any attractive decision alternatives are considered.
(b)Dialectical inequity is a procedure
in which a decision situation is
approached from two opposite points of view.
E. Several groupware
software packages are now available to enable
managers to make use of
recent advances in information technology that enables groups to utilize
computers in their
1. Teleconferencing enables groups to “meet” electronically-either by
phone hookups or through computer networks.
2. Group decision support systems are new specialized computer-based
systems which support groups working on less well defined problems.
3. Computer aids to group decision making seem to increase creativity.
face-to-face meeting still tend to show stronger consensus and
members of the group
The Creativity Factor in Decision Making
Innovation is important to organizational
success in the marketplace.
A. Creativity versus Innovation.
There is a difference between creativity and innovation.
is the ability to combine ideas in a unique way or to
make unusual associations between
is the process of taking a creative idea and turning
it into a useful product, service, or
method of operation.
Creativity is the cognitive process of
developing an idea, concept, commodity, or discovery that is viewed
as novel by its creator or a target audience.
A. Creativity requires both convergent and divergent thinking.
1. Convergent thinking
is the effort to solve problems by beginning with a
and attempting to move logically to a solution.
2. Divergent thinking
is the effort to solve problems by generating new
viewing a problem and seeking novel alternatives.
B. Creativity has three necessary ingredients.
1. Domain-relevant skills are those associated with expertise in the
2. Creativity-relevant skills include a cognitive style, or method of
thinking that is
oriented to exploring new directions, knowledge of approaches that can
for generating novel ideas, and a work style that is conducive to
3. Task motivation is interest in the task for its own sake, rather than
some external reward possibility, such as more
C. An individual’s creative process has several stages.
1. Preparation involves the individual’s immersion in every aspect of a
a. Gathering initial information
b. Generating alternatives
c. Seeking and analyzing further data relating to the problem.
2. Incubation involves a rest from consciously focusing on the problem
subconscious mental activities and divergent thinking take over.
3. Illumination is often experienced as a breakthrough as a new level of
4. Verification involves testing the ideas to determine the validity of
F. Group creativity can be enhanced by means of a number of techniques.
Two of which are
is a means of enhancing creativity that encourages
members to generate as many novel ideas as possible on a given topic
a. The ground rules used in brainstorming were described earlier in this
b. Computer assisted brainstorming have been found to give superior
2. The Nominal Group Technique
(NGT) is a means of enhancing creativity and
decision making that integrates both individual work and group
certain ground rules.
a. NGT was developed to foster creativity and to overcome the tendency
to criticize ideas when they
b. The ground rules of NGT are:
1) Individuals independently prepare a list of their ideas on a
2) Group members present their ideas one at a time in turn, and
ideas are listed for all to see.
3) Members discuss the ideas to clarify and evaluate them.
4) Individuals vote silently using a rating procedure.
c. Recent research suggests that NGT is superior to brainstorming groups
generating ideas but not so when compared to computer-assisted
Lateral Thinking Vs Vertical Thinking
Vertical thinking is logical but only in one
direction. You ignore the possibilities and alternatives around you
or various other ways of doing same thing. Vertical way of thinking is
the problem solving way the way
Rotating a problem from different angles to try and locate alternative
points of entry involves Lateral
thinking. This is a creative processing that the human mind can do, but
computers are generally unable to
It is useful when one channel of thought reaches a dead end and
another approach is needed. It can be
difficult but satisfying to solve and will encourage you to examine lots
of different clues and information
without any prejudice. Thinking laterally and avoiding the obvious is a
great tool in life of a manager. This
thinking asks you generate 3-4 alternatives to a given problem and then
try one option at a time to put into
action and see the results for best.
Other Decision Making Methods
1. Delphi Method:
The Delphi method is a structured approach to
gain the judgments of a number of experts on a specific
issue relating to the future.
a. A panel of experts is surveyed in the interest of compiling a list of
scientific breakthroughs and the predicted time of their occurrence.
b. The resultant list is resubmitted to the experts who then estimate
the predicated breakthroughs are likely to occur earlier or later than
average estimated time frame.
c. The next set of results is again submitted to the experts.
1) If a consensus is reached, dissenters are asked to explain why they
disagree with the majority.
2) If there is a wide divergence of opinion this step is repeated.
2. Scenario Analysis:
analysis, developed in France, approach
addresses a variety of possible futures by evaluating
major environmental variables, assessing the likely strategies of other
significant factors (e.g., other
organizations), devising possible counter strategies, developing ranked
hypotheses about the variables, and
formulating alternative scenarios.
are outlines of possible future conditions, including
paths the organization could take that would likely lead to these
b. One object of the method is to enable the organization to make
that do not greatly inhibit further freedom of choice
Deming’s TOOL FOR Improvement and Innovation:
PDCA or PDSA i.e. Planning, Doing,
Checking/Studying and Acting are the four activities which Dr.
Deming taught to Japanese companies to solve work related daily and
yearly problems. When the tool i1s
deployed out in a cyclic fashion will lead to improvement and innovation
in every process and work area of
the organization. This is one of the well known quality management tool.
Questions and Answers
1. Differentiate between creativity and innovation.
Creativity is the ability to combine ideas in
a unique way or to make unusual associations between ideas.
Innovation is the process of taking a creative idea and turning it into
a useful product, service, or method of
2. How can the systems model be used to help organizations become
In the systems model we use inputs like
creative people and groups and, through a creative process or
situation, transform the inputs into the desired output such as creative
products. The right environment is
3. Describe the specific structural, cultural, and human resource
variables associated with
Variables associated with innovation are
structural (organic structure, abundant resources, and high interunit
communication), cultural (acceptance of ambiguity, tolerance of the
impractical, low external controls,
tolerance of risks, tolerance of conflicts, focus on ends, and
open-system focus), and human resource (high
commitment to training and development, high job security, and creative