Home Computer Science Safety at the sharp end a guide to non-technical skills
Difficulties in team decision-making
Sources of failure in team decision-making, according to Orasanu and Salas (1993), include poor communication, logical errors, inadequate situation assessment and pressure to conform. Compared with individuals, teams have increased cognitive resources and might be expected to perform better than individuals. For example, team members can monitor each other’s performance, pool their knowledge or observations, suggest strategies or options, provide alternative viewpoints, reduce workload by sharing tasks, provide feedback to one another and critique each other. However, some difficulties with team decision-making can arise:
• ‘Groupthink’: Originally identified by Janis (1972), groupthink involves a group suspending its rational judgement in order to maintain group cohesion, often by accepting, without challenge, a proposal by a respected leader. An example of hesitance to contradict figures of authority is that of the Bay of Pigs incident in 1961 (Kramer, 1998) described in Box 5.7.
Box 5.7 Bay of Pigs incident (1961)
In 1961, an invasion of Cuba by a group of Cuban exiles was supported by the CIA with the authorisation of President John Kennedy and his advisers. The invasion was a failure being readily repulsed by the Cuban army. President Kennedy and his advisers were
young, optimistic and committed to civil rights and democracy, yet they collectively had
considered that this event could be successful. They, led by the President, had formed a cohesive group which appeared to be insulated from outside opinion.
• Organisational policy: The organisational context in which the team operates may affect team decision-making.
|< Prev||CONTENTS||Next >|