Group Dynamics

Group Dynamics and Group Decision Making

Group decision making requires a lot of knowledge and skills. Therefore, before heading into the concept of group decision making, it is important to brush up on some fundamentals.

Introducing Group Dynamics (Properties)

In order to ensure effective group decision making, it is important to analyze and agree with the group dynamics. The various essential group properties (also known as group dynamics) are as follows:

  1. Roles – roles refer to a set of expected behaviour patterns that attribute to someone occupying a given position in a specific social unit. Also, role identity refers to certain attitudes and behaviours which are consistent with the role. However, role conflict refers to a situation in which an individual is confronted by divergent role expectations.
  2. Norms – norms refer to acceptable standards of behaviour within a group that the group members share. In addition, some of the most important classes of norms are performance norms, appearance norms, social arrangement norms and allocation of resources norms.
  3. Status – status includes a social rank or a position definition that others give to group members or a group as a whole. Moreover, these are usually people who are external to the group.
  4. Size – group size affects behaviour with respect to speed, individual performance, problem-solving and diverse input. Also, the size of the group determines the overall group performance.
  5. Cohesiveness – cohesiveness refers to the degree to which group members willingly want to be a part of the group. It also includes the degree of motivation that they receive to stay in the group.

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Comparing Work Groups and Work Teams

Work groups refer to those groups that interact primarily to share information and to make decisions. These decisions focus on helping each group member perform within his or her area of responsibility. Moreover, there is no requirement for any joint efforts.

Work teams generate positive synergy through the effective process of effort coordination. Finally, the individual efforts result in a performance that is much greater than the sum of all the individual inputs put together.

group decision making


What is Group Thinking?

In order to ensure effective group decision making, group thinking is an important knack and art to master. Group thinking is applicable to those situations where a group’s pressure for conformity deters the group from critically appraising the following:

  • Unusual view
  • Minority opinions and/or
  • Unpopular views

Group Decision Making

Some of the best group decision-making methods are as follows:

The Delphi Method

The basic idea behind the Delphi Method is to provide a platform for everyone. With the help of this platform, they can share their honest opinions without fearing consequences. Moreover, the Delphi method is a system that respects anonymity. Throughout the process, participants offer their opinions and ideas on an anonymous basis.

Bain’s RAPID Framework

Bain’s Framework states that RAPID is an acronym for five major roles of the group decision-making the process. Those aspects/roles are as follows –

  • R – Recommend a problem
  • A – Agree with the problem-solving method
  • P – Perform the solving method
  • I – Input the effectiveness
  • D – Decide on the acceptance

Hartnett’s CODM Model

CODM stands for ‘consensus-oriented decision-making’. The key focus is to bring your group to a consensus before confirming on a decision. The seven steps of the CODM model are as follows:

  1. Framing the problem
  2. Having an open discussion
  3. Identifying Underlying Concerns
  4. Developing Proposals
  5. Choosing a direction
  6. Developing a preferred solution
  7. Closing

Multi-Voting Method

In the multi-voting method, the first thing you need to do is developing a list of ideas. These ideas are the subject of your vote. Then, ask the team to collaborate on a list. At first, you can put any idea that is presented onto the list, but you will want to slightly narrow down and ‘clean up’ that list before it goes to the vote. Before taking the vote, you will want to decide on exactly how many votes each individual is going to be given.

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Solved Example on Group Decision Making

Q. How are work groups different than work teams?

Answer: The core purpose of the workgroup is to collect and share the necessary crucial information. However, the main purpose of the work team is to ensure collective performance towards achieving their team goals.

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