One process by which groups may make bad or irrational decisions is known as groupthink. Individual members of a group attempt to conform their opinions to what they believe to be the group consensus even though the result may be negative. There are many reasons why groupthink happens. These include the desire to be liked, fear of losing a job, or even not wanting to be the one employee delaying a decision that seems inevitable. These kinds of implicit pressures to conform lead group members to ultimately make decisions that each, by himself or herself, might normally not make.
Now listen to part of a lecture on this topic in a business management class.
So, let me tell you about my own experiences when I was working for a computer company a couple of years ago.
So, one day a co-worker and I suggested we should give our computers a design make-over: make them look more up-to-date. Market research was showing that new customers said they would be more interested in buying our computers if they looked cooler. Our technology was advanced but the outside design looked really old-fashioned.
At first, more than half the group supported us. There were a few senior managers there who didn’t support the design change. One of the senior manager said, “Our focus has always been on technology, changing the look is an unnecessary cost. ” Almost immediately, some of our supporters changed their minds! Even my co-worker changed his mind! When I asked him why after the meeting, he told me he didn’t want to make a bad impression on the senior managers. He thought that disagreeing with them might jeopardize his chances of getting a promotion by not looking like a team-player.
What about me? I hate to admit it, but, after a few hours of discussion, I started wondering if it was worth everyone’s time to argue about this? As more people sided with the senior management, I started to feel that I was the only one holding up the vote. Everyone else seemed to think change wasn’t necessary. I voted against my own idea in the end.
So we unanimously decided to stay with the current old-looking design. But this decision ended up costing us a lot of money. That same year, our competitor came out with a new design that attracted some of our customers and prevented us from profiting from new customers.
Explain groupthink and its effects. Using the example of the computer company.
Group think is a process by which groups may make bad or irrational decisions as its members try to conform to the assumed group consensus. And the professor takes his own experience in a computer company a couple of years ago. One day he and his co-worker proposed to change the design of their computer to attract more customers. This suggestion was first supported by most of the group while rejected by a few senior managers who thought the move was unnecessary. But then many of the group, including his co-worker, began to change their mind because they didn't want to ruin their chances of promotion by disagreeing with the senior managers. So finally there was only the professor who held up the vote, and he began to doubt whether his insistence was worthwhile. As all people sided with the senior managers, he gave up this idea and the whole group decided to stay with the current design. However, this decision cost them a lot of money as their competitors adopted a new design on the same year which won over their customers. (182 words)