P6-IOP - Q6-What are the advantages and disadvantages of group decision…
P6-IOP - Q6-
What are the advantages and disadvantages of 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.
Advantages of Group Decision Making
An individual cannot have all the information that is available to a group as it consists of several individuals.
Diversity of views
A group always has the advantage of varied views. This is because a group always has more than one member, and since every member is unique, there is bound to be a variety in their views also. This is also the reason why there are varied approaches to solving a problem.
The views expressed by a group have more acceptance than those from an individual. This is because the decisions are not imposed, but are part of a larger consensus (general agreement). A group decision is automatically assumed to be more democratic, and the decision of an individual can be perceived as being autocratic (dictatorial).
There may be some group decisions that require expert opinion. The group can either include experts or can call them from outside to form a separate group to take a decision on a particular issue.
Degree of involvement
The members of a group feel involved with a given problem. This minimizes their resistance. It strengthens an organisation and facilitates decision-making.
Encourages people’s participation
A group usually provides a platform for people to present their ideas. Group dynamics is more likely to draw out participation from people who may otherwise be hesitant to talk or interact. It encourages people to take an initiative as they feel part of the decision-making process.
Disadvantages of Group Decision Making
A group involves several individuals. Getting them organised, planning and coordinating their meetings, defining and explaining to them the purpose of a meeting and the goals, and finally reaching a solution or arriving at a decision can be quite cumbersome. Making decisions in a group can, thus, be time-consuming. The time loss involved in group dynamics cannot be ignored.
Lack of onus
It is difficult to fix responsibility in a group. In an organisation, it is often essential to fix responsibility before a problem can be solved. It is difficult to do so if anything goes wrong with a decision made by a group.
Quite often, discussions in a group are dominated by a few members. Although a group discussion means a collective discussion, some people usually manage to usurp (draw to them) a position of informal leadership owing to their personality or style of participation.
The need to arrive at a group decision sometimes results in a compromise. The solution offered is not essentially the best. It is, instead, a compromise acceptable as a mid-point to all concerned. There are different demands and social pressures, and members may agree to a proposal without really evaluating it. Such support may not be wholehearted.
Group decision-making is quite expensive in terms of time, money, energy and man-hours. There is also a theory which says that the larger a group gets, the less is the individual contribution from each member.
The very word has negative connotations. Some members of a group may start harbouring a feeling that they are different from the others. This actually leads to informal groups within the larger formal group, which may generate negative sentiments towards other groups or people outside the group.
Prepared by: Srinivas Adapa