What are the techniques of group decision making?

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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When a decision is to be made by a group of people rather than a single individual, there can be differences in the decisions preferred or supported by individual members of the group. in such situation different approaches may be used to select a decision from the various alternative decisions supported by individual members. Some of the most common approaches include decision by majority, dominant group, and consensus.

Decision by Majority

In this approach the decision that is supported by the majority of the group members is accepted as the final decision of the entire group. In this basic method of decision by majority there can be some differences in details of how the preferences of individual members are determined and what constitutes the majority. For example, the members of the group may indicate their preference by an open or secret vote. Similarly the majority may be simple majority in which the the decision getting maximum support among the alternative decisions considered may be accepted. Alternatively there may be a requirement that the decision must be supported by at least 50 percent, or some other given proportion, of all the persons voting. Further, there may be a quorum requirement that specifies the minimum number of members that must participate in the voting.

Decision by Dominant Group

In this method of decision making a dominant person or a group pf persons are able to push through the decision. In reality this amount to decision by the dominant person or the group, rather than by the complete group. Decision by dominant group can be achieved using informal power exercised by individuals, or by some formal power such as veto power.

Decision by Consensus

In this method of decision it is required that all the members of the group discuss the matter under consideration till all the members agree to a common decision. This approach requires acceptance of group decision by individual members based on conviction rather than as a compulsion because of results of voting or domination by a group or an individual. It is assumed that this method results in better decisions as well as better acceptance and implementation of the decision. However, reaching of consensus can be a difficult and time consuming process.

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