The decisions made by groups are often different from those made by individuals. There is much debate as to whether this difference results in decisions that are better or worse. Social identity analysis suggests that the changes which occur during collective decision-making is part of rational psychological processes which build on the essence of the group in ways that are psychologically efficient, grounded in the social reality experienced by members of the group decision making process pdf file have the potential to have a positive impact on society. Tries to avoid “winners” and “losers”.
Consensus requires that a majority approve a given course of action, but that the minority agree to go along with the course of action. In other words, if the minority opposes the course of action, consensus requires that the course of action be modified to remove objectionable features. The option with the highest average is chosen. Thus, the bar for action is lower than with unanimity and a group of “losers” is implicit to this rule. A facilitation method that relies on the use of forms called “dotmocracy sheets” to allow large groups to brainstorm collectively and recognize agreement on an unlimited number of ideas they have authored.
Decision-making in groups is sometimes examined separately as process and outcome. Process refers to the group interactions. Some relevant ideas include coalitions among participants as well as influence and persuasion. The use of politics is often judged negatively, but it is a useful way to approach problems when preferences among actors are in conflict, when dependencies exist that cannot be avoided, when there are no super-ordinate authorities, and when the technical or scientific merit of the options is ambiguous. Involves all participants acknowledging each other’s needs and opinions and tends towards a problem solving approach in which as many needs and opinions as possible can be satisfied.
It allows for multiple outcomes and does not require agreement from some for others to act. Involves assigning responsibility for evaluation of a decision to a sub-set of a larger group, which then comes back to the larger group with recommendations for action. Sometimes a sub-committee includes those individuals most affected by a decision, although at other times it is useful for the larger group to have a sub-committee that involves more neutral participants. Each participant has a say that is directly proportional to the degree that particular decision would affect the individual. Those not affected by a decision would have no say and those exclusively affected by a decision would have full say. Likewise, those most affected would have the most say while those least affected would have the least say. Plurality and dictatorship are less desirable as decision rules because they do not require the involvement of the broader group to determine a choice.
Thus, they do not engender commitment to the course of action chosen. An absence of commitment from individuals in the group can be problematic during the implementation phase of a decision. There are no perfect decision-making rules. Depending on how the rules are implemented in practice and the situation, all of these can lead to situations where either no decision is made, or to situations where decisions made are inconsistent with one another over time. Sometimes, groups may have established and clearly defined standards for making decisions, such as bylaws and statutes. However, it is often the case that the decision-making process is less formal, and might even be implicitly accepted.
Social decision schemes are the methods used by a group to combine individual responses to come up with a single group decision. An individual, subgroup or external party makes the decision on behalf of the group. Each group member makes their own private and independent decision and all are later “averaged” to produce a decision. Group members vote on their preferences, either privately or publicly. A consensus scheme whereby the group discusses the issue until it reaches a unanimous agreement. This decision rule is what dictates the decision-making for most juries.
The group leaves the choice to chance. For example, picking a number between 1 and 10 or flipping a coin. There are strengths and weaknesses to each of these social decision schemes. Delegation saves time and is a good method for less important decisions, but ignored members might react negatively. Averaging responses will cancel out extreme opinions, but the final decision might disappoint many members.
Plurality is the most consistent scheme when superior decisions are being made, and it involves the least amount of effort. Voting, however, may lead to members feeling alienated when they lose a close vote, or to internal politics, or to conformity to other opinions. Consensus schemes involve members more deeply, and tend to lead to high levels of commitment. But, it might be difficult for the group to reach such decisions.
Groups have many advantages and disadvantages when making decisions. Groups, by definition, are composed of two or more people, and for this reason naturally have access to more information and have a greater capacity to process this information. However, they also present a number of liabilities to decision-making, such as requiring more time to make choices and by consequence rushing to a low-quality agreement in order to be timely. Some issues are also so simple that a group decision-making process leads to too many cooks in the kitchen: for such trivial issues, having a group make the decision is overkill and can lead to failure. In this model, Vroom identified five different decision-making processes. The leader talks to each group member alone and never consults a group meeting.