|Type of paper:||Course work|
|Categories:||Human resources Organizational behavior Business management Business communication|
There are advantages and disadvantages to a group. The first advantage of a group is that the decisions that are made are of high quality (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). In most cases, individual solutions are ineffective. Working in groups ensures that there are different solutions for dealing with a problem. It also ensures that the solution that is reached is backed up by evidence. Working in groups will encourage the sharing of ideas, creativity, and the wide availability of information. The second advantage of a group is that once a decision is made, all the group members will stick to it (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). By working in groups, the possibility of resisting a decision or a change that results from it is eliminated. It is because the decision made is based on a mutual agreement of the group members. Working in groups encourages responsibility and improves outcomes. The third advantage of groups is that they eliminate communication problems (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Clarifications and feedback can be easily given during group meetings. Questions can also be asked by group members before a mutual decision is reached. Working in groups will also improve understanding of what is being discussed.
The concept of working in groups can be overused by organizations. It can lead to a situation in which organizations conduct meetings for all issues, even small issues that can be sorted out by individuals (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). This strategy is referred to as a meeting style of management. Examples of decisions that do not require group meetings are programmed and repetitive decisions. Such decisions can be made by managers of an organization or through a procedure that has been put in place. Overuse of group meetings can cause boredom and absenteeism when there are important meetings. Another disadvantage of groups is that it can lead to time wastage (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). This is especially true if group members are not allowed to take part in the meeting by asking questions or giving opinions.
There are different circumstances in which it would be a good idea to use a group and one in which individuals would be effective. Groups are a good idea when different solutions for a problem are required (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). It allows the group members to give their opinions and feedback about the right solution. Groups are effective when the solutions reached cannot be verified (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Through creativity and information sharing, group members can help in supporting the solution. Groups are not a good idea when it is used to discuss small issues (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Such issues can be solved through programmed strategies. Groups are also not effective when the members are not allowed to contribute their ideas and opinions.
Symptoms of Groupthink
There are different symptoms of groupthink. Groupthink is based on the idea that individuals hold the same viewpoint (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Having the same viewpoint is the basis upon which a team is created. Groupthink assumes that there are no mistakes made. It is based on the idea that group members will reach the right solution to a problem. Disagreements, assumptions, and doubts are discouraged in groupthink (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Issues that can lead to disagreements are avoided, all assumptions are backed up by evidence, and doubts are cleared by the collaboration of group members. In groupthink, individuals comfort each other concerning the decision that has been made (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Individuals get comfort from the fact that an agreed-upon solution may not work as intended. Comfort is also given to individuals whose ideas may not work for the whole group or towards solving the problem in question. The pressure is given to group members who do not conform to the agreed decision in groupthink (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). The overall opinion of the group represents the opinions of all members. Groupthink encourages optimism (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Members take risks to ensure that the right solution is reached. They also believe that the decision of the group is effective.
Different methods can be applied to ensure that groupthink is not a problem in a meeting. Decisions should not be made early (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Each group member should ensure that they do not commit to or support a decision before an effective problem analysis is conducted. One way in which a group member can determine if he or she has been locked in the direction that is given by the managers. For example, managers who request group members to follow their opinions or ideas are locking them to a decision. Managers can set a decision before the beginning of a meeting and lock group members into it. The problem of groupthink can be avoided by allowing criticisms (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). While group members can be allowed to defend their ideas and opinions, they must also be open to feedback, whether positive or negative. If group members do not support criticism, an external individual can be included for that purpose. Groupthink problems can also be prevented by having advocates (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Advocating will ensure that bad ideas are eliminated and good ideas are encouraged. Through this strategy, group members choose to support an idea or solution against many others that are questionable. The advantages and disadvantages of each idea are weighed before a final solution is reached by the whole team.
Size of a Group
There are limitations to both small and large groups. In small groups, one person can be as effective as the rest of the group members (Peters, 2008). It is also possible for one person to be more effective than the rest of the group members combined. This is especially true when group meetings required specialized knowledge or skills. In such a situation, there is time wastage and the decision-making process is slow (Peters, 2008). It hinders the effectiveness of a decision and its impact on an organization or the overall group. It is effective for one person to be depended on to give opinions, ideas, and even make final decisions when time constraints are a consideration in an organization. Small groups can face interpersonal challenges (Peters, 2008). Group meetings by a small number of people can be difficult to organize. The assumption that a small number of people is important can create conflicts as a result of busy schedules. For example, a meeting for managers can create conflicts due to their busy schedules. It might also be impossible for members of a small group to make sacrifices to ensure that the objectives of a group meeting are achieved.
Working in large groups can cause conflicts just like in small groups. Conflicts mainly arise from the unequal participation of members of the group (Cohen, Rogelberg, Allen, & Luong, 2011). The large size of a group can lead to other members working hard to achieve the desired results while others do not contribute at all. The fact that all group members claim ownership of a decision creates conflict. It can be difficult to schedule meetings when working in groups (Cohen et al., 2011). It is especially difficult for large organizations where meetings are organized from time to time. The need to communicate to all the members about organized meetings can lead to time wastage and absenteeism. Absenteeism can also decrease the efficiency of the group and lead to wrong decisions. Large groups can delay the decision-making process (Cohen et al., 2011). In large groups, the opinions and ideas of all group members must be considered. The process of analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each solution to a problem can prolong the decision-making process. There can be communication problems in large groups (Cohen et al., 2011). Leaders of such groups might be unable to communicate with all the members due to inadequate participation, failure to address any issues by the group members, and also the size of the location in which the meetings are held. An example of a group that may be too large is one that has more than thirteen members.
Strategies for reaching Decisions in a Meeting
There are different strategies for reaching decisions in a meeting. The first strategy for reaching a decision is to determine whether a meeting is necessary (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). The main reason for which a meeting should be organized is to get the opinions and ideas of individuals. However, meetings should not be organized to show the powers of individuals (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Managers can organize meetings for this purpose. Meetings should not be organized for social reasons (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Any meeting that does not involve the achievement of the objectives of an organization should be disregarded or treated as an informal meeting.
The second strategy for reaching decisions in a meeting is deciding who should attend. Different factors can be considered in determining the individuals that should attend a meeting. Such factors include the number of people to invite, the representations, functions of members, and the abilities of members (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). A manageable group size should be chosen for a meeting. If a group is large, problems of communication can be experienced. However, small groups may also fail to focus on the objective of a meeting (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). The smallest group in a meeting should be composed of about 5 people while the largest group should be composed of about 13 people.
The third strategy for reaching decisions in a meeting is having the right agenda and materials. The purpose of an agenda is to guide the direction of a meeting (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). An effective agenda will also motivate group members to prepare for and take part in a meeting. The agenda answers the questions of what, why, where, and when. For example, the agenda will communicate the time frame of the meeting and the outcomes that are expected (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). This will ensure that group members have the right direction and take as much time as possible to achieve the intended outcomes. The agenda will state the topics that are to be discussed in the meeting. It gives the participants time to understand what they are required to discuss or research. The most important factor to consider when deciding the agenda of the meeting and the time frame is proper planning (Hynes & Veltsos, 2018). Through proper planning, the meeting can be rescheduled with no conflict, the time frame for the meeting can be extended to ensure that intended objectives are achieved, and the right members can also attend to ensure that the meeting goes on as scheduled.
Cohen, M. A., Rogelberg, S. G., Allen, J. A., & Luong, A. (2011). Meeting design characteristics and attendee perceptions of staff/ team meeting quality. Psychology Faculty Publications 96.
Hynes, G. E., & Veltsos, J. R. (2018). Managerial communication: Strategies and applications. California, United States: Sage Publications.
Peters, B. (2008). Managing diversity in intergovernmental organizations. Berlin, Germany: Springer Science and Business Media.
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