Group Decision Making Techniques Essay

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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 (Arnold et al.,2008). The number of people involved in group decision-making varies greatly. The individuals in a group may be demographically similar or quite diverse. Decision-making groups may be relatively informal in nature, or formally designated and charged with a specific goal. The process used to arrive at decisions may be unstructured or structured. The nature and composition of groups, their size, demographic makeup, structure, and purpose, all affect their functioning to some degree. The external contingencies faced by groups (time pressure and conflicting goals) impact the development and effectiveness of decision-making groups as well. In organizations many decisions of consequence are made after some form of group decision-making process is undertaken (Morgan 1996). However, groups are not the only form of collective work arrangement. Group decision-making should be distinguished from the concepts of teams, teamwork, and self managed teams. Group processes generally revolve around three methods.. interactive, nominal, and Delphi. Interactive groups, as the name suggest, are free flowing group decision making meetings that are guide and directed by a moderator but driven by the participants (Van De Ven and Delbecq, 1974). The moderator initiates the discussion with an initial problem statement which is followed by an unstructured group discussion that hopefully leads to a consensus or at least a majority vote, (Morgan, 1996). Employees often work in groups and make decisions that affect the whole company. Moreover, sometimes the complexity of a problem calls for pooling expertise and opinions

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