Assessment 4 Instructions
This assessment has two deliverables. Develop “Groupthink-No-More” guidelines for teams AND complete either Option 1 OR Option 2 for the second deliverable.
Many organizations aspire to be “innovative environments,” but are plagued with less-than-successful outcomes. The executive team may decide to hire a social psychologist to identify the root causes of poor decisions and provide coaching on creative and independent thinking.
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.
- Describe the process of group formation, including why and how groups are formed.
- How does cohesion influence groupthink?
- Can conflict within a group ever be productive?
Read the Assessment 4 Context document for information about the subject of this assessment.
Many organizations and institutions launch initiatives to promote independent, creative, and innovative thinking within management and teams. The reality, however, may fall far short of the ideal. “Groupthink,” occurs when group members pressure each other to avoid conflict because the culture values and rewards consensus and penalizes in some way those who dare to disagree or challenge assumptions. Disagreement does not have to be an unpleasant or intimidating experience. Conflict directed towards producing a positive outcome can improve decision-making throughout the workplace.
Use the Capella Library and the Internet to research social psychology theory related to: group process, group formation, group cohesion, group belonging, conflict and individual behaviors within groups, and Groupthink and intervention activities that promote effective teams.
Assume the consultant role in the scenario below.
The executive director of a large hospital-based mental health center with three private practice-model outpatient offices in three neighboring communities has hired you as an outside consultant to help increase client referrals to these three private practice offices. These private practice outpatient offices are managed by a medical director and staffed with support staff, counseling and clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychometrists, social workers, Licensed Master’s Level therapists, and specialists in substance abuse treatment. Historically, the referral base has been the hospital staff physicians.
Despite the fact that the private practice offices are all losing money due to low rates of referral and changes in insurance reimbursement, the staff continues to follow the directions of the medical director to make referrals. This medical director insists that the physicians on the hospital’s medical staff need to “step up to the plate” and increase referrals to the outpatient clinics. Referral development meetings continue to focus on this medical-based referral system largely because none of the non-physician staff will present a different perspective to the well-loved medical director.
Groupthink is alive and well in this group.
There are five hospitals within easy driving distance, and another dozen within an hour’s drive, most with their own counseling/therapy offices and experiencing the same decline in referrals. In addition, the neighboring communities have all the normal and expected social services, community and family services, institutions, schools, and religious organizations we expect to see in established communities with a comfortable mix of low, medium, and high socio-economic classes.