Is making group decisions always the best option? That depends on the objectives that an organization wishes to achieve, and even on other types of factors such as time, the search for consensus or the assignment of responsibilities.
For this reason, it is important to know when and when we should not opt ??for this route, valuing both the advantages and disadvantages, and how they compare with individual decision making.
Among the main advantages of group decision making, the following stand out:
- Access to more information and more complete knowledge. Intellectually having people with different knowledge and skills can offer greater diversity and enrichment of inputs for decision making.
- There are different points of view . The variety in terms of access to different opinions allows for a broader perspective on a problem, and consequently, for greater options for its resolution.
- Quality in terms of decision making . Generally the performance of a group exceeds the performance of a single person, even if it is highly competent.
- Accepting a decision . The fact that members of an organization participate in the decision-making process makes it easier for them to accept it, and influence others to approve it.
Regarding the disadvantages, make group decisions:
- It consumes more time caused by discussions, valuation of options and reaching a consensus that allows finding a solution.
- It generates pressure for compliance . Some members may stop expressing their opinions in order to be accepted and valued by the group.
- It allows a person or subgroup to dominate the discussion. . And consequently, decision making.
- It does not clearly define responsibilities . In this case, the responsibility is general and shared, so it is difficult to attribute it to a single person.
- The social pressure that is generated.
- The predominance of informal group leaders over others.
- Hidden purposes, which often influence opinions: personal, political interests, etc.
- The manipulation of the commitment, in order to reach a decision more quickly
- It tends to decide according to common premises or known situations
- The opinion of the leader is usually followed
- There are decisions that require technical preparation that employees do not have
- More time is spent informing everyone and making a decision
- Sometimes there is social pressure in the work environment
- A decision is not always reached unanimously
- There may be hidden purposes motivated by personal interests
Finally, there are tools that allow reducing the problems inherent in group decision making, among which are brainstorming (proposals are issued without criticism or restrictions), the nominal group technique (each member exposes their idea and final is valued) and the electronic board (virtual board in which the answers are published anonymously).
Thanks to which making decisions and finding different solutions to a problem becomes easier, thanks to everyone’s participation.
“Organizational Behavior. The dynamics of success in organizations ”. Idalberto Chiavenato, pp 283.