Groupthing theory - Research Paper Example

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Groupthink Theory Introduction Irving Janis developed the Groupthink Theory in the beginning of 70s. The decision-making process is rather complex and challenging and there is a need to implement various psychological theories in order to find out a personal contribution during the brainstorming process…
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Groupthing theory research paper
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, Janis’ theory is often reconsidered and complemented by the modern researchers and scientists, who are focused on pros and cons of groupthink. Theory reflections in literature In accordance with Cottam, Dietz-Uhler, Mastors, and Preston (2004) it should be noted that groupthink does not belong to critical thinking based on a detailed discussion of the given problem or relevant issues. There is no process of group argumentation analysis and there is no proper analysis and evaluation of ideas validity testing. One of the main drawbacks of group thinking is the absence of an individual contribution to critical thinking. People think together and very often their ideas are mixed, some of the group members can feel frustrated, confused or even misconceive their initial ideas. Therefore, it is relevant to fight for individuality of thinking. This kind of thinking can be considered in case of solidarity of thinking among group thinkers (Cottam, Dietz-Uhler, Mastors, and Preston, 2004). Cohesiveness is the required condition for proper functioning of group thinking in an effective and efficient manner. It should be also noted that effective groupthink is based on two other conditions, such as ideal group structure and a favorable environment for groupthink. The group structure can be endangered in case of a lack of access to information or inability to reflect various opinions. In case there is a self-concentrated leader in the group, he can hardly establish favorable conditions for a sound development of ideas among other members. Groupthink occurs, when the members of the group are sure that their common decision is right and do not listen to any other ideas or consider them wrong (Ahlfinger & Esser, 2001). In the result of such a reservation of thinking, the members of the group become close-minded and they are not focused on their risky actions. Moreover, in case a group feels external pressure in order to reach conformity, they cannot confirm the unity and soundness of their thinking as well. Therefore, it is evident that groupthink is a challenging matter and a complex stage of decision-making process. In accordance with Ahlfinger & Esser (2001) Janis identified other important facts of groupthink. The first fact is that group members do not accept any alternatives; the second fact is that there are no clearly set goals of decision-making. They are not focused on potential risks of their decisions or cannot identify their preferred choice. A lack of information or inability to process information correctly or develop future contingency plans are also intimidating factors for a proper groupthink (Park 1990, Rogelberg, 1999). In case these facts are evident, there will be a poor outcome of decision-making process. These researchers underline that there are many other factors undermining effective groupthink, which should be studied properly (Shmidt, Zapalski, and Toole, 2005). In case a biased leader is present in the group, he may lead to imbalanced groupthink, because this leader will produce the main decisions and ideas. In accordance with another suggestion, a lack of conformity among group members will cause a poor decision making process. There are two main kinds of leaders, such as nonpromotional leaders and promotional leaders (Kim, 2001). In the former case, the leader did not exert much influence on the members of the group and did not foster his ideas. In the second case, the leader ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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