Individual Versus Group Decision Making

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Consensus decision-making Pages: 2 (345 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Individual Decision Making
Decision making without a group's input or a decision made regardless of the group's opinion is, naturally, an individual decision. This is the more traditional decision making approach and can work effectively for a manager when the group's input is not required or in certain cases, desired.

Group Decision Making
There are several models of group decision making that you can put to use. Two examples are consensus and consultation. Consensus decision making involves posing several options to the group and using the most popular option to make a decision. Consultation takes the opinions of the group into consideration when making a decision. Both methods require the group's participation and call for a manager who respects the opinions and input of the group in the decision making process.

An individual can make a decision quicker than group can, of course, since only one person needs to be consulted. Group decision making, though it can be an arduous process, can help cement the group by allowing input from all members of the group.

There are times when each decision making method is not appropriate. Avoid individual decision making if the decision directly affects the group. For example, making a blanket decision that everyone must work weekends will meet with opposition for reasons ranging from religious to other personal obligations. On the flip side, group decision making should be avoided if there is little chance that a group might reach a consensus. For example, a directive that all members of a department must carry out works best when the manager decides on the course of action.

Determining Which Is Appropriate
If the decision's successful execution requires the group's involvement, then some type of method should be implemented such as consensus or consultation. Not involving the group in this type of decision could damage the overall effectiveness of the group. However, if the...
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