Trust, Decision, Groupthink. About the Pathology of Group Decision Making

Trust, Decision, Groupthink. About the Pathology of Group Decision Making

Autors: Octavian Rujoiu

Year of appearance: 2010

ISBN: 978-606-505-380-9

14,70 lei In stock: YES
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The work is a fascinating „journey” in the field of organizational psychology and a analysis (including a critical one) of the inside of decision making process. The intercultural and interdisciplinary approach gives those interested a panoramic view of groupthink implications.

This is the first book from Romanian academic field which underlined the role and the importance of trust and emotions in a group decision making.


Excerpt from book introduction (translated):


Very often, I wondered: What if we all do not trust people? Do not rely on the suggestions, intentions and helping our neighbors. Sometimes our lack of confidence   isolates us from the rest of the world, especially when we are alone but especially when we form a group. Sometimes, excessive confidence may lead to wrong decisions. Both in the family, and society, we belong to, inevitably, in a group. We interact with friends, family, acquaintances, we exchange information. A faculty council, a corporation's board, the management of institutions, all of which consist of policy makers, are decisive factors in relation to their proper functioning. And the list goes on. The individual trial and the group are influenced at some point, the various phenomena and processes. In the case of group decision-making, one of them is groupthink.
            Analyzing the homage number from the journal Human Decision Processes Organizational Behavior (1998, 73, 2/3), I found in the introductory article carried by the two editors Marlene E. Turner and Anthony R. Pratkanis, Theoretical Perspectives on Groupthink: A Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Appraisal, there are two questions that mark the “anniversary”: “What is groupthink?” and “What is its status after 25 years?” Hard to say. However, Marlene E. Turner and Anthony R. Pratkanis (1998a, 104) they wanted “that these papers mark the beginning of the next twenty-five years of groupthink research that will remain well-grounded in the rich historical traditions of group dynamics research but firmly oriented toward the future in the effort to refine our knowledge of critical group decisions”. Suddenly, I asked myself: but after 38 (or 39) years? The consulted works, not few in number, in addition to those written by Irving L. Janis, led me to believe that we will never give an exact answer without clearly delineating the context in which groupthink manifests itself. That does not mean, as some might believe, “I don’t believe in the power of science” to explain and “solve” the various phenomena and processes occurring in society. But I believe that continued development and refinement of a theory can bring in addition to “discerning” the rigor and another degree of difficulty and complexity with regard to the contexts of interpersonal, organizational and social systems in which finds applicability. From this perspective, I consider that the phenomenon of groupthink coined by the famous American social psychologist (or psychologist by vocation) Irving Lester Janis (1918-1990), will always be a “mystery” because its tinting. However, in order to define the concept, we may consider the following two approaches: on the one hand, the traditional view of Irving L. Janis and on the other hand, modern theoretical and methodological perspective to identify and reassess of groupthink with the factors and context in which this pathological phenomenon manifests itself in decision-making groups.    
           But I do not want to remain indebted to any response. I think that this concept is key to understanding the decision making process in the small groups, and why not, to answer the first question, the “way of thinking” without many decision-making groups can not exist. It becomes a way of being. Why say this? There are few decision-making groups operating safely in the decisions they made, regardless of level, consequences and implications, especially as the organizational culture and groups that come to acknowledge the mistakes made at a time. Not for nothing is said that each of us should learn from mistakes. From another perspective, we can not fail to notice the existence of those groups which establish a history of carrying out certain considerations in terms of decision-making processes: the role of the leader (or rather, who is really the leader and the power of influence has) and everyone in the group, how to place their free expression of ideas and beliefs, process information, especially to obtain the expected results. Thus, we consider the idea that this “awareness” of the validity decision is only one way or, rather, a pre-established: one group wanted.


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