Why do you think organizations have increased the use of groups for making decisions over the years? When would you recommend using a group
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I think that organizations have moved towards using groups to make decisions for a couple of reasons.
First, I think that in today's environment, organizations and their leaders are risk-averse. They do not want to make a big mistake and, if they do screw up, the leaders don't want to be singled out for making the mistake. So they use groups to spread responsibility.
Second, I think that in the US, the idea of diversity of opinions has spread. I think that organiztions have started thinking that they need to get the ideas of many different people (and types of people) so that they are sure not to overlook some important perspective.
A great wealth of research and theory has been published in recent years revolving around the benefits of shared leadership as a management strategy. One of the most often cited benefits is that it gives employees a greater sense of belonging and importance in the organization. By allowing them to feel as though they have some stake in the decision making process, you create a sense of shared ownership of the company. That pride in ownership leads people to be more dedicated and more willing to follow the actual leader, the higher level management, because they feel as though their voices have at least been heard.
Additionally, the idea of group think comes into play. The think tank environment has long been used in scientific research with the idea that the more heads you have involved in research, the more ideas and the More diversity of ideas will come out of the thought process. Business has picked up on this idea realizing that it is important to think outside of the box to get ahead these days. The group think mentality offers a wealth of different ideas and options that can then be analyzed for utility within the organization.
Personally, I think any time a difficult decision needs to be made and options need to be looked at in order to make that decision a group is advisable. When there is enough time to look at all possible outcomes, groups are good. Conversely, when the decision is time sensitive, groups can slow down the process causing unneeded and often damaging delays.
Over the years the complexity of operating and managing organizations has increased many folds because of reasons like increasing complexity of technology, mass production an and increasing average size of business organizations, increasing competition, globalization and increasing expectations of customers. With this work of different functions and of people performing these functions has become increasingly complex. To carry out these individual functions effectively for the achievement of total organizational goals it has become increasingly important that decisions in the course of performance of organizational work is taken with the inputs and consultations of various people contributing to the implementation of the decisions, or affected by its results. This is the reason for increasing use of group decision making.
Group decision making is most appropriate in all important decisions that need to be implemented with contribution of multiple persons with different technical expertise, and where many different groups of people are affected by the implementation of the decision. In such it is desirable to involve in the decision making process a group of people that can collectively provide all different types of technical inputs and also represent the interest of all the affected people. This ensures better technical decisions as well as better acceptability of decisions for implementation.
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