Reaction Paper How Do People Go with Group? (College/University) How Do People Go with Group? Introduction The term ‘groupthink’ refers to the exceeding level of unanimity and organizational cohesiveness which normally contribute to faulty decision making…
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Studies have proved that despite group’s decision on certain matters, individuals of the same group may have different opinions of their own. However, the group exerts certain amount of force on members to preserve unanimity, for which they might sacrifice personal opinions. Internal and external reasons force members to go with the group regardless of personal perspectives. Symptoms of groupthink In order to understand the factors causing groupthink, one should identify the symptoms of this threat. According to Freeman (1999), a group that is vulnerable to groupthink is less likely to seek alternatives in its decision making processes; moreover, it will heed little attention to distinctive ideas or external assistance (p. 249). This attitude is termed as the ‘illusion of infallibility’ due to which the group rebuffs the advice of experts and tends to flaw. Another reason that determines the intensity of groupthink is the size of the organization. According to experts, large groups are more likely to promote groupthink. To illustrate, in a comparatively bigger group, individuals are normally reluctant to take up initiatives; instead, they would join the common decision of the group. Fear is the root cause of this unanimity; and to avert flaws, members hide their personal views while they are in big groups. In contrast, a group’s unusually small size also can become a reason for groupthink. Minority groups often tend to maintain socially unfavorable levels of cohesiveness. In order to vie with the majority segments, many minority groups choose subversive activities. We can see such stereotypical ideologies that intensify domestic as well as international tensions across the globe. Political parties, ethnic groups, and even governmental bodies also can be affected by groupthink. As discussed earlier, the exceeding emphasis on unanimity compels individuals to sacrifice their personal opinions often regardless of their relevance to the context. The paucity of multiple responses normally leads to immediate decisions presumably in favor of the group leadership. This really reminds us the significance of invoking personal perspectives during the process of decision making in groups. Furthermore, members’ overdependence is another notable symptom of groupthink. Most of the groups are basically vulnerable to this threat as members maintain higher degree of expectation on leadership. They rely on leader’s quality and skills and anticipate higher level of achievement from him. Once they come to realize the inability or limitation of the leadership, they would attribute group failure to the leadership. Strategic approach to groupthink Although modern organizations pay higher emphasis on teamwork and organizational cohesion as their competitive advantage, they are required to heed genuine effort to the formulation of strategies to meet the challenges of groupthink. The following part will discuss some of the popular strategies that HR managers often apply in their groups to address groupthink. As Thompson (2006), purports, managers can invite varying perspectives into the decision making process because according to the author, the paucity of varying opinion was the cause of many governmental and organizational failures (p.177). Hence, as the group environment becomes more viable, members will get more opportunity to interact with experts which in turn will positively influence the decision making. The logic is that; the more a group is exposed to external
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(Group Dynamics, n.d.)
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