What is Group Decision Making? Definition, Techniques, Pros, and Cons

What is Group Decision Making?

Group decision-making is the process of coming up with an optimum decision with the collective discussion made by a group of people in a given situation. In other words, it’s a process where groups of individuals gather and discuss obstacles, and make a choice. Committees, task forces, teams, and other formal and informal groups are examples of groups.

Group decision believes that two heads are better than one head. In many organizations today, important decisions are made by groups instead of by individuals. The increased complexity of problems requires specialized knowledge in various fields usually not possessed by one person and necessitates group decision-making.

Usually, during a group decision, groups of individuals discuss a subject and are available to a choice, but sometimes they need different views from one another. In such a situation, they are available with a choice with the bulk of voters.

Group decisions would become particularly appropriate for non-programmed decisions. These decisions relate to the determination of organizational objectives and the formulation of plans, strategies, and policies. Many large organizations make these decisions through executive committees consisting of chief executives and departmental heads.

Group decision-making involves the pooling of data, abilities, skills, information, and judgment which contributes to improving the standard of the choice. Many managers spend longer in meetings of committees and other groups to form decisions. It’s said that managers spend the maximum amount of 80% of their working time in committee meetings.

It’s both positive and negative impacts on the organization and group of individuals.

Advantages of Group Decision-Making

group decision making advantages disadvantages

The benefits of group decision-making are often studied under the subsequent headings:

Provide Complete Information

There’s truth in saying that “two heads are better than one”. Group members have specialized knowledge and that they are ready to provide more information and knowledge than individuals

Generate More Alternatives

Groups have a greater amount and variety of data. They can identify more alternatives than a private. this is often possible because group members have specialized knowledge in several areas.

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For instance, a team made of individuals from the fields of engineering, accounting, production, marketing, and human resources will generate alternatives that reflect their diverse perspectives.

Increased Acceptance of A Solution

Since the members who implement the choices also participate in the decision-making process, the implementation part becomes simpler. This also increases the commitment of the members to ascertain that the implementation is successful.

Increase Legitimacy

The group decision-making process is according to democratic ideals. Decisions made by groups could also be perceived as more legitimate than decisions made by one person.

Disadvantages of Group Decision Making

The disadvantages of group decision-making are often studied under the subsequent headings:

Time-Consuming

Forming the proper group consumes tons of your time. Similarly, group members take longer to form decisions than private. Each member may have different perceptions regarding an answer to a drag. They take longer in discussion to return to mutual consent

Minority Domination

Members of a gaggle are never perfectly equal. They’ll differ in organizational rank, experience, knowledge about the matter, influence with other members, verbal skills, assertiveness, and so on.

This inequality creates a chance for one or more members to dominate others. A dominant and vocal minority frequently can have an excessive influence on the ultimate decision.

Pressures To Conform

Some members may simply accept it as true with others for the sake of agreement. this is often due to social pressure to evolve and not be the odd man out. There could also be some personality conflicts that will create interpersonal obstacles which can diminish the efficiency of the method also because of the quality of the choice.

Ambiguous Responsibility

Group members share responsibility, therefore, nobody member takes the ultimate responsibility. In group decisions, the responsibility of anyone single member is diluted.

Techniques of Group Decision Making

The followings are the three best techniques for group decision-making. These group decision-making techniques enable organizations to leverage the collective knowledge and creativity of diverse individuals, leading to more informed and satisfactory outcomes.

Brainstorming

This technique involves a group of individuals freely discussing and generating ideas without criticism or judgment. Brainstorming encourages creativity and allows participants to build upon each other’s ideas. All suggestions are recorded on a visible chart for later analysis and refinement.

Delphi Technique

In this method, experts in a specific field provide their opinions anonymously through a series of questionnaires. A central coordinator compiles and analyzes the responses, and if a consensus is not reached, additional rounds of questionnaires are sent until a final report is prepared.

Also Read: Techniques of Environmental Scanning

This technique is effective for complex and long-term issues, as it eliminates bias and allows independent expert input.

Nominal Group Technique

Similar to brainstorming, this structured technique fosters creative and innovative ideas. Participants independently generate ideas in writing, which are then presented, discussed, and clarified in sequence.

Each member votes on the ideas, and the highest-ranked alternative is chosen as the best solution. This method is widely used in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and government organizations.

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