Group Problem Solving Decision Making by mrsafety987

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									Group Problem Solving &
    Decision Making
   Group Decision Making

Two effectiveness dimensions:
– Attaining organizational and/or group goals
– Satisfying needs of group members
Decision-making groups are only one of
many types of groups
Spectrum of roles for decision-making
   Group Decision Approaches

Leader-Centered           Democratic          Consensus

Fastest decisions-------------------------Slowest decisions

Lowest decision quality--------------------Highest quality

Lowest member commitment------Highest commitment
    Group Decision Making

Advantages:                Disadvantages:
– Greater pool of          – Social pressure
  knowledge                – Domination by a vocal
– Different perspectives     few
– Greater                  – Logrolling
  comprehension            – Goal displacement
– Increased acceptance     – ―Groupthink‖
– Training ground
Illusion of invulnerability
Dismiss opposing ideas
Stereotype the opposition
Pressure members to conform
Self-censor deviations
Share illusion of unanimity, without testing
Self-appointed mind-guards
      Group Effectiveness
Commitment via involvement
Conflict & how it’s handled
Consensus—producing willingness to
support the group decision
          Effective Groups

Participative leadership, sharing of
Flexible, effective patterns of communication
Surface and deal with important issues
Collaborative rather than competitive
No hidden agendas
Group Problem

Identify as many ways as you can think of
in 5 minutes to get the ball out of the pipe
without damaging the ball, the tube, or the
Some Consensus Guidelines

Goal is for group to make a high quality
Balance advocacy and inquiry
Avoid majority voting, horse-trading,
compromising, etc.
Manage differences productively
Varying Degrees of Consensus

Can you live with this?
Is this OK with you?
Can you support this?
Does this please you (even excite you)?
        Earthquake Exercise

Follow handout:
– Things most important to do during & immediately
  after a major earthquake
– First, individually
– Then, consensus in groups

Process the way your group worked
– What was helpful
– What could be improved next time
Ethical Considerations
What do we mean by ―ethics‖ or

Motivations to behave unethically:
– Personal gain, especially power
– Competition
– Restoration of justice or fairness

What is ―fairness?‖
Some Ways to Behave Unethically
Selective disclosure &/or
misrepresentation to others
False threats or false promises
Provide false information (lie)
Inflict intentional harm on the other party
Selective disclosure or misrepresentation
to constituencies
Ethical Decisions Have Complexity

 Multiple alternatives
 Broad & long-range consequences
 Uncertain consequences
 Mixture of economic, legal, ethical, social,
 and personal benefits and costs
        Some Ethical Systems
Eternal law: "capital-T truth"
Ethical Egoism: seek self-interests & promote
greatest balance of good over bad for self, with
ethical constraints
Utilitarianism: greatest good for the greatest
number, or maximize the social benefit function
Universalism (Categorical imperative): would I be
willing to make the basis for my action a general law
binding everyone, given similar circumstances?
Enlightened self-interest: self-interest rightly
understood, with long-term perspective or judging
from my deathbed
 Some Ethical Introspections

Is it right?
Is it fair?
How does it smell?
Who benefits and who gets hurt?
What if details were made public?
What would you tell your child to do?
What if everyone did this?
    Some Moral Dilemmas
Individually, review your thoughts & notes
re the three scenarios you read (Heinz)
– Focus especially on your reasoning
In groups, share & discuss your thinking re
the assigned scenario
Representative from each group gives
summary report to class
Class joins in discussion
Kohlberg Stages of Moral Development
 Stage 1: Obedience and Punishment (e.g., I won't hit
 him because he may hit me back.)
 Stage 2: Individual Instrumental Purpose and Exchange
 (I will help her so she will help me in exchange.)
 Stage 3: "Good Boy/Girl" (I will go along with you
 because I want you/people to like me.)
 Stage 4: Law and Order (I will follow the rule/order
 because it is wrong not to.)
 Stage 5: Valuing Rights of Others plus Social Rights
 and Responsibilities (Although I disagree with his views,
 I support his right to have them.)
 Stage 6: Individual Principles of Conscience Grounded
 in Universal Ethical Principles (There is no external
 force that can compel me to do an act that I consider
 morally wrong.)
Learning from your mistakes
Look in the mirror & see how you like what
you see
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
and see how they see you
However, don’t be naive
     Case: A Tragic Choice
Review silently the questions at end of the
We discuss Q.1
Each group takes one of questions 2-5
plus the general question: If you were Jim,
what would you do and why? - reports
All join in discussion of each
The Insufficiency of Honesty

Honesty: refusal to steal, lie, or deceive
in any way

Integrity: trustworthiness & incorruptibility
to a degree that one is incapable of being
false to a trust or responsibility

Honesty is necessary, but not sufficient

The most important thing in acting is
honesty; once you learn to fake that,
you’re in.
        - Sam Goldwyn
– Examining beliefs & assumptions
– Searching for "truth," avoiding error
– Allowing others the same
Acting on what you have discerned
– Even at personal cost
Saying openly that you are acting re the above
Fulfilling moral obligations
– Do no harm to others
– Not just the minimum
  Star Trek Case
―Measure of a Man‖
      Star Trek Characters
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (of Starship
Capt. Phillipa Louvois (Chief JAG officer for
the sector)
Cmdr. Bruce Maddox (Starfleet Professor of
Lt. Cmdr. Data (android science officer on
Guinan (bartender, wise old soul)
Cmdr. William Riker (2nd to Picard)
          Star Trek Case
Refer to the posted case material you
were asked to bring
At two times in the video, you will need to
respond to several questions in the case,
writing individually & then discussing
Pay particular attention to how the
characters, you, and others in the class
       Questions at First Stop
1. Define the issue (or dilemma) faced by Captain
   Picard and Lt. Commander Data at this point in
2. Which of the six ethical frameworks* would
   each of the following characters (a) claim to be
   using in justifying his position? ...and (b) is
   actually using, in your opinion?
  – Lt. Commander Data
  – Commander Maddox
  – Captain Picard
            Questions at End
3. How was the issue in the case finally defined in
   the hearing for the purpose of making a ruling?
4. What was Guinan's contribution to Picard's
   thinking & approach to the hearing? Be
   specific in explaining how she contributed to
   clarifying the issue for him. What advantage
   did she have over the other characters in
   advising him?
5. What are the pros and cons of using an
   adversarial process in examining an ethical
6. What was Commander Data's position on the
   decision of his "disassembly?" Did it change
   during the course of the story? If you think his
   position did change, why do you think he
   changed it?
7. When Captain Picard said that the mission of
   the Starfleet was ―to seek out new life,‖ how did
   this relate to the issue in the hearing? How do
   mission and values differ? How do values and
   ethics differ?
8. Is there a BEST framework for deciding ethical
   issues? What lessons does this case have that
   can be applied to your work or life situation?
     Layoff Decisions at RDX
Note assignment and grading dimensions
at end of case
Work through the full decision making
Describe your logic and reasoning at each
stage. Err on the side of more detail,
rather than less.
      Make this useful for you

Identify from the course at least two of the
suggestions and/or blocks to effective
problem solving and decision making –
that you want to work on
For each, write down at least two specific
things you can do to apply the suggestion
or reduce the block in your work and life

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