Group Decision Making
Group decision-making has been criticized because of the myriads of disadvantages that come up in the process. A fundamental problem of group decision making is that it overrides the capability of an individual to make decisions (Griffin, 2012). In fact, group decision making paves the way for collective rationalization and self-censorship, which curtail individuals from making future decisions themselves. However, the disadvantages of group decision making can be overcome when effective techniques are used in forming groups to solve problems. A technique that has worked for me and several others in forming groups (to solve problems) is heterogeneous grouping, where there is diversity among group members in cognitive ability, gender, ethnicity, race, psychomotor ability, and social ability. With this technique, individuals are not given the opportunity to choose their group members lest bias is exhibited in the group formation process. Deception is a perfect strategy for heterogeneous grouping, and this involves having individuals in two lines facing each other, and then one person is partnered with the other on his right or left side.
Heterogeneous grouping, specifically the deception strategy often works because the group members are not close, meaning that they are likely to focus more on the group’s main agenda rather than irrelevant activities. Besides, heterogeneous grouping promotes interpersonal skills, which means that capabilities of an individual will be enhanced by being in the group rather than working as an individual. One of the mentioned disadvantages of group decision making is that it curtails individuals from making future decisions themselves, a perspective that can be addressed through heterogeneous grouping. In the real sense, heterogeneous grouping brings together individuals whose primary focus is on achieving the group’s objectives, and every individual has to take part in the decision-making process (Werner & DeSimone, 2009). As such, perspectives such as collective rationalization and self-censorship, which may prevent individuals from making future decisions themselves, are avoided.
Griffin, E. A. (2012). A first look at communication theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Werner, J. & DeSimone, R. (2009). Human resource development (5th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.