Construct of Groupthink and the Potential Ramifications Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1145 Words
Date:  2022-07-25


Groupthink tends to occur when team members in an organized attempt to avoid conflicts and thus alive at a consensus without a detailed analysis of an issue. In such a case the desire to have harmonious conformity supersedes the irrational decision-making outcome by settling for the first idea suggested and suppressed dissenting views from other members (FISHER, 2011). Most researchers have argued that the habit of groupthink is more likely in groups that are more cohesive and where the members have mutual respect towards one another.

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According to Leon Festinger and others, the cohesiveness of the group occurs when the members are stable and participates equally (Hart, n.d.,). Kurt Lewin, a psychologist, reinforces this belief by indicating that high cohesiveness promotes dominance by some members of the group and because of the mutual respect and liking, the habit of group thinking becomes inevitable (Grendstad, 1997). This trend of group thinking has been associated with many problems when it comes to group decision making where all ideas are not explored and thus member's settles for the first idea proposed without challenging it and sharing their independent thoughts and ideas (Freud, 1971).

Causes of group conflicts

There are various causes of conflicts in a workplace. However, based on recent studies it has been found that competition, personal differences, and task conflicts (Benabou, 2009).

Competition among members- this can be in the form of implied or explicit competition between the coworkers. In most cases, competition is encouraged by the top management to boost production and increase productivity. However, this has proven to be a short-term strategy, and it can fail if employed as a long-term strategy ("11. Das Groupthink-Modell," n.d). Too much competition increase the pressure to perform and bring about stress where workers must work more. In most cases, the aspect of competing brings about fighting and hatred towards the worker where they feel that they need to work more to outdo the other. To avoid unhealthy competition, it is necessary for the top management to develop various incentives which reward workers based on different criteria that do not encourage group conflicts and unhealthy competition (Bohm, Rusch, & Baron, 2018).

Personality differences- in an organization, every employee has their social, cultural and personal believes which vary from each other. The presence of these differences might be a cause of conflicts where workers feel irritated and frustrated towards their colleagues (Freud, 1971). This particular becomes important for managers to acknowledge the personality differences in their workforce and thus encourage interaction and tolerance between team members (Seger, Smith, & Mackie, 2009).

Task conflicts- these conflicts arise when there is a communication breakdown between the workers on how to meet the shared goals and objectives in an organization (Hampson, 1985). To avoid such cases, the group must lay down plans and strategies on how specific tasks of the organizations will be met (Grant, 1990). This entails proper planning and effective communication where information flows both vertically and horizontally in the organization (Smith & Mackie, 2016).

Effects of group thinking

The challenges highlighted above are not successfully addressed, the members might be engaged in apparent disagreements and conflicts. However, in other cases due to the fear of losing employment, the workers might become complicit and fail to give their opinion freely without fearing being despised and disregarded (Hewstone, 1988). This example could also lead to group thinking where the first idea suggested gets adopted by the group members without exposing it to much scrutiny or comparison with other suggestions (Ilgen, Mitchell, & Fredrickson, 1981). Other effects of group thinking are highlighted down as follows

Few alternative ideas are presented- when the group is engaged in collective thinking, all possible solutions are ignored, and this leads to overlooking better solutions (Johnston, 2016).

Failure to reexamine the course of action- in this case, the risk involved is that the group is not thinking of the ramifications of their actions (Schmidt, n.d.).

Little or no time is spend to think on the gains they would get by exploring other alternatives and the cost implications involved when they go with the initial ideas (Lilli & Rehm, 1988).

There is little or no attempt to get expert information on the organization. Experts might be in a better position to give a more accurate and precise estimate of the gain and losses that are likely to originate from an idea (Johnston, 2016).


In conclusion, to prevent the trend of group thinking, the leaders should encourage the members to challenge ideas, seek outside expert help and if necessary invite the experts to the meeting (Rusch & Gavrilets, 2017). The leaders of the organization should also support the members to talk about the ideas with other people outside the group and have discussions among themselves before presenting the final thoughts (Rusch, 2013). Despite that, the creation of members who play the role of the "devil's advocate" in a meeting is crucial; such members are tasked with challenging of every idea before it is passed.


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