Positive and Negative Aspects of Group Decision Making
Group decision making has both positive and negative aspects. Some of these emerge because of the group decision-making process itself, others depend on the nature of the problem and the group members involved.
Positive aspects of Group Decision making/Merits /Advantages
i. Groups generate more complete information and knowledge. By aggregating the resources of several individuals, groups bring more input into the decision process.
ii. Group decision making offer increased diversity of views. This opens up the opportunity for more approaches and alternatives to be considered.
iii. Groups lead to increased acceptance of a solution. Many decisions fail after the final choice is made because people don’t accept the solution. Group members who participated in making a decision are likely to enthusiastically support the decision and encourage others to accept it.
iv. Group decision making is a source of development of individuals in the organization. Learning is enhanced when one observes others, practices what has been seen and experiences the positive rewards received for successfully repeating the new behavior.
v. Individual satisfaction and commitment in group decision making are often enhanced. This may be caused by an attitude change regarding the alternatives as a result of discussion. It may also be caused by the development of group spirit as people discover similarities among themselves.
Negative aspects of Decision making/Demerits /Disadvantages
i. Group decision making is time consuming because groups typically take more time to reach a solution than would be the case if an individual were making the decision.
ii. Group decision making may create group think which occurs when social pressure causes group decisions to be the product of only one or or a few members. Group think is a type of thinking that occurs when reaching agreement become more important to group members than arriving at a sound decision.
iii. Group decisions suffer from ambiguous responsibility. In an individual decision, it’s clear who is accountable for the final outcome. A group decision is no one’s decision and no one is held individually responsible for that.
iv. Interpersonal obstacles, like personality conflicts and psychological needs for status and dominance may arise during group decision making.
v. Unwanted compromise decisions are often produced thereby affecting the quality of decisions taken.
vi. Group decisions can be dominated by one or few members. This may be because such individuals may enjoy higher status because of their age, experience, expertise or other influencing characteristics. Thus what appears to be a group decision may actually be thee individual decision ratified by the group. Domination of such persons may not necessarily improve the quality of decisions.