Techniques for Group Decision-Making
Group decision-making is a type of participatory process in which multiple individuals acting collectively, analyze problems or situations, consider and evaluate alternative courses of action, and select from among the alternatives a solution or solutions. The number of people involved in group decision-making varies greatly but often ranges from two to seven. The individuals in a group may be demographically similar or quite diverse. Decision-making groups may be relatively informal in nature, or formally designated and charged with a specific goal. The process used to arrive at decisions may be unstructured or structured. The nature and composition of groups, their size, demographic makeup, structure, and purpose, all affect their functioning to some degree. The external contingencies faced by groups (time pressure and conflicting goals) impact the development and effectiveness of decision-making groups as well.
Advantages of Group Decisions:
- Group decisions help to combine the individual strengths of the group members and hence has a set of varied skill sets applied in the decision making process.
- Individual opinions can be biased or affected by pre-conceived notions are restricted perspectives, group decision help to get a broader perspective owing to differences in perception between the individual in the group.
- A group decision always means enhanced collective understanding of the course of action to be taken after the decision is taken.
- A group decision gains greater group commitment since everyone has his/her share in the decision making.
- Group decisions imbibe a strong sense of team spirit amongst the group members and help the group to think together in terms of success as well as failure.
Disadvantages of Group Decisions:
- One of the major disadvantages of group decision making is that it is more time consuming than the process of individual decision making.
- Group decisions take longer to be finalized since there are many opinions to be considered and valued.
- In case of authoritarian or minority group decision making. the people whose opinions are not considered tend to be left out of the decision-making process and hence the team spirit ceases to grow.
- Responsibility and accountability for the decisions are not equally shared, which leads to a split in the group and can hamper the efficiency of the group.