Managers in today's business environment are faced with numerous often-unplanned events that require decision-making. In the past it was more common for a manager to decide the course of action individually or within formal groups.
Important decisions in the business circle are now deemed too risky or important to be made entirely by one person. A manager must seek the right advice from several different sources.
Today it is often common for many managers to seek involvement from lower level employees in the decision making process whenever it can be done.
However it is not always possible just to ask a colleague what they should do. Most decisions will require a process of a greater degree of subordinate participation; these decisions can be made through a variety of different ways such as committees, task groups, departmental participation and so forth.
It is said that making decisions in a group allows for every angle to be looked at and every possible idea to be created with every decision from a group offering the best solution this method of decision making.
However like many techniques it has its positives and negatives.It can be time consuming and may not offer an answer to the problem that satisfies everyone.
This essay hopes to discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of group decision-making using several theories and some real life case studies.
We will see how participation in decision-making affects companies decisions; we will look at several helpful models i.e. vroom-jago model and all referencing it to real life situations and quotes from famous persons in the field
Circumstances Of Group decision.
Managers as part of their job are faced with many decisions in which they have to undertake, it is up to the managers themselves to decide in what kind of way they want to make the decision and solve the problem. However groups can offer an essential feature in decision making for an organisation. As Coghlan points out:
"Membership of teams and groups shape perception and participation in organisational change.. Groups and teams play a key role in the process of planned organisational change. The change process typically involves teams in the organisational's hierarchy responding to the change agenda and adapting to it in terms of its tasks and processes" (Coghlan)
Coghlan statement clearly leads us to believe that groups are critical in making important direction changing decisions for the company.
Evidence supports this statement and we will look at this a little later as we discuss the advantage and disadvantages.
First we will look at how managers come about making the decision to use group participation.
A manager may decide to use group decisions in several circumstances and the contingency model by Vroom and Yetton as well as the Vroom and Jago decision model can prove useful in helping management decide when to encourage group participation.
In he contingency model by Vroom and Yetton there are five key management styles as described by Vroom that a manager can undertake to make decisions. This is shown in appendix 1.
We can see from this that the amount of participation that a manager involves in a decision varies greatly. It would not be logical for managers to always involve group decision-making on smaller problems such as whether to refund a customer (if it was something worth 10) this would be a waste of time and resources for the company and could easy be dealt with on the stop with a programmed decision by the staff.
Group decisions as described by Coghlan can be very useful for important or company changing problems or opportunities. It would not be wise to let one person decide whether to invest 4 billions pounds to merge with another company. This is a case when it would be wise for the company to go for the style as vroom described as decision style "GII" i.e. where you share a problem with your subordinates as a group...
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