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DECISION MAKING BY INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS

CHAPTER SCAN Decision making can be strengthened individually and in group situations. Groups can use techniques such as brainstorming, nominal group technique, Delphi technique, devil's advocacy, and dialectical inquiry. Groups must be aware of difficulties that deter decision making like groupthink and group polarization. Individual decision making can be analyzed by examining cognitive styles that are used for gathering information and evaluating alternatives. Models of decision-making range from very rational (e.g., the rational model) to irrational (e.g., the garbage can model). Intuition and creativity can be developed and improved to assist decision makers. Finally, technology can aid individuals or groups through expert systems, and group decision support systems.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. Explain the assumptions of bounded rationality. 2. Describe Jung's cognitive styles and how they affect managerial decision making. 3. Understand the role of creativity in decision making, and practice ways to increase your own creativity. 4. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of group decision making. 5. Discuss the symptoms of groupthink and ways to prevent it. 6. Evaluate the strengths and weakness of several group decision-making techniques. 7. Describe the effects that expert systems and group decision support systems have on decision-making organizations. 8. Utilize an "ethics check" for examining managerial decisions.

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Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups

KEY TERMS The following key terms are introduced in Chapter 9. programmed decision nonprogrammed decision effective decision rationality bounded rationality satisfice heuristics garbage can model risk aversion escalation of commitment cognitive style intuition creativity participative decision making synergy social decision schemes groupthink group polarization brainstorming nominal group technique (NGT) Delphi technique devil's advocacy dialectical inquiry

THE CHAPTER SUMMARIZED I. II. LOOKING AHEAD: Starbucks In Chicago: Was It A Bad Decision? THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Decisions that managers make are either programmed decisions (which are routine, and have established decisions rules) or nonprogrammed decisions (new, complex decisions that require creative solutions). The decision making process is a step-by-step approach that can be utilized for a variety of types of problems.

III.

MODELS OF DECISION MAKING

Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups Effective decisions are timely and meet a desired objective. A. Rational Model

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The rational model is an offshoot of the scientific management approach, assuming that there is a completely rational solution to all problems. This model assumes that decision makers have consistent systems of preferences, that they are aware of all alternatives, and that they can accurately calculate the probability of success for each alternative. B. Bounded Rationality Model

Bounded rationality is a theory that suggests that there are limits to how rational a decision maker can actually be. If the decision factors do not deal with humans, the probability of rationality increases. Since managers cannot make perfect decisions, they tend to select the first alternative that is "good enough" to satisfice. This is similar to students selecting a college that is within their decision frame, as opposed to viewing all 3,000 available colleges and universities. Satisficing involves a shortcut, intuitive approach to decision making, which is referred to as heuristics. Heuristics are shortcuts in decision making that save mental activity. The development of heuristics became the backbone of expert systems, by capturing the intuitive shortcuts of experts, and modeling a program to mimic this behavior. C. Garbage Can Model

In another model, problems, solutions, participants, and choice opportunities float around randomly within the organization. This haphazard approach is referred to as the Garbage Can Model. IV. DECISION MAKING AND RISK A. Risk and the Manager

One of the difficulties with decisions that are innovative is that they also tend to be risky. Unfortunately, many managers tend to be risk averse. Risk aversion is the tendency to choose options that entail fewer risks and less uncertainty. The problem is that risky decisions typically produce novel ideas and potentially high payoffs.

These four steps are analogues to using the following preferences: (1) sensing. VI. B. The Z problem solving method outlines 4 steps for good decisions. (1) examine the facts and details. (2) generate alternatives. intuition. This latter component is the area that is typically destroyed from childhood to adulthood. breadth of interests. positive force in decision making utilized at a level below consciousness that involves learned patterns of information.146 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups B. or both. Students may draw the analogy between stubbornness and escalation of commitment. Some of the characteristics include intellectual and artistic values. high energy. V. concern with achievement. Recent discoveries regarding creativity tell us that creativity can be learned similarly to a skill. Escalation of Commitment Once individuals make decisions they have a tendency to become committed to the decision. 2. Role of Intuition Intuition has made a comeback among managers. (3) analyze the alternatives objectively. Intuition is a fast. and (4) weigh the impact of the decision. independence of judgment. (2) intuiting. Escalation of commitment is the tendency to continue to commit resources to a losing course of action. self-confidence. Individual Influences Personality factors appear to be related to creativity. 1. This is in part because of the impact that intuition has made on the development of expert systems. (3) thinking. 3. OTHER INDIVIDUAL INFLUENCES ON DECISION MAKING A. JUNG'S COGNITIVE STYLES An individual's preference for gathering information and evaluating alternatives is his or her cognitive style. and a creative self-image. and (4) feeling. Creativity at Work Creativity is the process influenced by individual and organizational factors that results in the production of novel and useful ideas. Organizational Influences Part of creativity training involves learning to open up mental locks that keep us from generating creative alternatives to a decision or problem. Individual/Organization Fit . products.

supportive organizational culture and a team-oriented work design. VII. and moral judgment . In addition. reality testing.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups Creative decision making requires creative. Some studies have shown that participation is related to increases in productivity. The Effects of Participation 147 Participative decision making is a situation in which individuals affected by decisions influence the making of those decisions. B. (2) the motivation to act autonomously. Groupthink is a deterioration of mental efficiency. of the stages of the process. PARTICIPATION IN DECISION MAKING A. and employees can be involved in some. VIII. Foundations for Participation and Empowerment The organizational foundations for empowerment include a participative. There are cultural differences that enhance or inhibit our ability to use creativity in our lives. well thought out decision. Advantages and Disadvantages of Group Decision Making One advantage of group decision making is the synergy it creates. motivated individuals and organizations that nurture and reward creative behavior. One of the difficulties of implementing participative groups is that operational-level managers perceive that they have to give up more of their power than do middle-or upper-level managers. What Level of Participation? Participative decision making is complex. time-consuming approach to decisions. Employees who are involved in all five of the stages have higher satisfaction and performance levels. B. the process of decision making gains approval for the solution. THE GROUP DECISION-MAKING PROCESS A. and (3) the capacity to see the relevance of participation for one's own well-being. or all. Participation increases employee satisfaction and creativity. This concept is referred to as "first-line blues." The three individual prerequisites for empowerment include (1) the capability to become psychologically involved in participative activities. Groupthink One of the major disadvantages of group decision making is the tendency for groupthink. C. A major disadvantage is that it is a slow. It has been said that no situations allow for the time that is necessary to make a reasoned.

C. Brainstorming Brainstorming is a technique for generating as many ideas as possible on a given subject. Quality Circles and Quality Teams Quality circles and teams are combining the best of collaborative group efforts with a specific improvement in mind. Dialectical Inquiry A debate between two opposing sets of recommendations is referred to as dialectical inquiry. while suspending evaluation until all the ideas have been suggested. Nominal group technique is a refinement of brainstorming. D.148 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups resulting from in-group pressures. Self-managed teams may choose to alter . Delphi Technique The Delphi technique gathers judgments of experts for use in decision making. bringing out the opposite viewpoint. This happens because the cohesiveness and the solidarity of the group tend to stifle disagreement and questions about the group's chosen course of action. B. E. F. Group Polarization Group polarization is the tendency for group discussion to produce shifts toward more extreme attitudes among members. TECHNIQUES FOR GROUP DECISION MAKING A. G. Group polarization can be seen with juries that become locked in disagreement. Self-Managed Teams The difference between self-managed teams and quality circles is the level of empowerment that goes with their assignment. Nominal Group Techniques Nominal group technique is a structured approach to group decision making that focuses on generating alternatives and choosing one. IX. An individual plays the part of the antagonist to arouse discussion and thought. Devil's Advocacy A devil's advocate is an approach for preventing groupthink. C.

Power distance affects the level at which decisions are typically made in organizations and the individualist/collectivist dimensions has implications for comfort with group decisions. XII. The masculine/feminine dimension indicates the value placed on quick. Uncertainty avoidance influences whether or not decisions are seen as opportunities for change. they provide checks and have the ability to alter the linear path if necessary. XI. CULTURAL ISSUES IN DECISION MAKING Hofstede’s dimensions of culture influence the decision making process. Expert Systems Expert systems are often utilized to train novices in thought progressions. Decision Support Systems Decision support systems (DSS) are computer and communication systems that process incoming data and synthesize pertinent information for managers to use. B. C. MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: DECISION MAKING IS A CRITICAL ACTIVITY XIV. LOOKING BACK: Starbucks Makes the Chicago Decision Work . X. ETHICAL ISSUES IN DECISION MAKING Three questions should be considered: Is it ethical? Is it balanced? and How will it make me feel about myself? XIII. TECHNOLOGICAL AIDS TO DECISION MAKING A. It is possible for individuals to provide comments without regard to their status or influence in the organization.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 149 the course of the group or meeting. but typically do not enact them. Group Decision Support Systems GDSS depersonalize issues by providing anonymity to the participants. Decision Making in the Virtual Workplace Virtual teams are groups of geographically dispersed coworkers who work together using a combination of telecommunications and information technologies to accomplish a task. Quality circles investigate a specific issue and make recommendations. assertive decisions versus those that show more concern for others. In addition. Virtual teams require advanced technologies for communication and decision making. They are self correcting with additional information. D.

Interestingly. . The rational model assumes that there is a logical. and self-managed teams can help managers reap the benefits of group methods while limiting the possibilities of groupthink and group polarization. and sensing and intuiting into four combinations: ST. decision making in organizations can be an unsystematic process. Intuition and creativity are positive influences on decision making and should be encouraged in organizations. List and describe Jung's four cognitive styles. (4) F.150 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups CHAPTER SUMMARY • • • • • • • • Bounded rationality assumes that there are limits to how rational managers can be. quality circles and teams. and NF. devil's advocacy. in order: (1) S. nominal group technique. dialectical inquiry. What are the individual and organizational influences on creativity? Cognitive factors of the individual affect creativity. 2. Managers should carefully weigh the ethical issues surrounding decisions and encourage ethical decision making throughout the organization. neither is totally representative of current decision-making in organizations. SF. Decisions in the garbage model are irrational and unsystematic. 3. REVIEW QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS 1. Personality factors also influence one's ability to be creative. The garbage can model shows that under high uncertainty. Participative decision making is also related to creativity. (3) T. Compare the garbage can model with the bounded rationality model. (2) N. Delphi technique. Jung's cognitive styles can be used to help explain individual differences in gathering information and evaluating alternatives. NT. Technology is providing assistance to managerial decision making. Empowerment and teamwork require specific organizational design elements and individual characteristics and skills. Organizational influences include support and flexible organizational structure. Techniques such as brainstorming. Compare the usefulness of these models in today's organizations. Since these models represent two extremes. More research is needed to determine the effects of these technologies. best way to resolve any problem. being in a good mood provides better creativity than does a bad mood. The Z model recommends using the following preferences. How does the Z problem-solving model capitalize on the strengths of the four preferences? The cognitive style incorporates the concepts of thinking and feeling. especially through expert systems and group decision support systems.

Group decision making is slow because of the process of getting everyone involved. 6.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 4. . Describe the advantages and disadvantages of group decision making. and mind guards who protect the group from dissension. The symptoms of groupthink include illusions of invulnerability. including brainstorming. What are the organizational foundations of empowerment and teamwork? The individual foundations? 151 The organizational foundations of empowerment and teamwork are a participative. However. stereotyping the enemy. asking each member to be a critical evaluator. having experts evaluate the group's progress. structured techniques for improving decisions. and the process involving many concerned has a far greater acceptance level for the final outcome than singular decision making. and encouraging the group to rethink its chosen course of action. Ways to prevent groupthink include appointing a devil's advocate. 2) the motivation to act autonomously. nominal group technique. and unanimity. group morality. evaluating the competition carefully. rationalization. 7. Describe the symptoms of groupthink and identify actions that can be taken to prevent it. and 3) the capacity to see the relevance of participation for one's own well-being. 5. What techniques can be used to improve group decisions? There are several. dialectical inquiry. supportive organizational culture and a team-oriented work design. self-censorship when group members doubt the group's decision. creating several teams that work on the decision simultaneously. decisions are usually better decisions. Delphi technique. The individual foundations are: 1) the capability to become psychologically involved in participative activities. and devil's advocacy. peer pressure to agree.

How can organizations effectively manage both risk taking and escalation of commitment in the decision-making behavior of employees? Students may suggest solutions including policies such as requiring that someone outside the decision making team review a decision to try to guard against excessive risk-taking. How can organizations encourage creative decision making? Organizations can reward risk-taking. 3. Students could also look to the six focus companies to respond to this question or examine organizations with which they have had personal experience. These tools may help simplify the decision process and can affect conflict management within a group. provide a supportive environment. 2. . 5. and permit failure. 4. Why is the identification of the real problem the first and most important step in the decision making process? How does attribution theory explain mistakes that can be made as managers and employees work together to explain why the problem occurred? Identification of the real problem is critical because it ensures that the group will be "treating the problem instead of the symptom. What are some organizations that use expert systems? Group decision support systems? How will these two technologies affect managerial decision making? Campbell Soup Company and DuPont use expert systems while Boeing utilizes a GDSS.152 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups DISCUSSION AND COMMUNICATION QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS 1. The Z model incorporates the strengths of all four preferences. and to recognize that it may not be appropriate in all situations. This could bias the problem-solving process." Attribution theory suggests that individuals will tend to look to external causes to explain their own failure. Organizations may manage the escalation of commitment by having different individuals make initial and later decisions. How will you most likely make decisions based on your cognitive style? What might you overlook using your preferred approach? The key to this question is to identify what our predominant style is.

Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 153 6. and one that you consider a bad decision. supply Watergate. what went wrong. ETHICS QUESTIONS: SUGGESTED ANSWERS 1. and consequences of groupthink. Describe the situation in which you encountered groupthink. and what could be done to improve the decision process. Compare and contrast your two examples in a presentation to the class. and gang member violence. and this can lead to conflict. Then write a summary of what went right. What remedies for groupthink would you prescribe? Summarize your answers in a memo to your instructor. 7. symptoms. Encourage students to apply the material from the text to their analysis of the decisions that were made. How do cultural differences affect ethical decision making? The value systems differ sharply. Vietnam. Be sure that the students have provided good examples from a personal experience rather than just reiterating what the textbook says about groupthink. and two on the bad decision. and decisions are based on our belief systems. the Bay of Pigs. 2. Each pair should write a brief description of the decision. and by clearly communicating ethical standards. Describe groupthink as an ethical problem. . Reflect on your own experience in groups and groupthink. the symptoms that were present. and the outcome. 8. 4. Many people want to impose their own values upon others. Find two examples of recent decisions made in organizations: one that you consider a good decision. how would management's decisions to reject your recommendations affect your motivation to participate? Quality circles are generated from the bottom up. Form a team of four persons. For students not able to think of an unethical decision. Think of a decision made by a group that you feel was an unethical one. 3. How do the potential risks associated with participating in quality circles differ from those associated with participating in quality teams? If you were a member of a quality circle. therefore they operate from fewer formal bases of power in the organization. What factors led to the unethical decision? Evaluate whether groupthink may have been a factor by examining the antecedents. How can organizations encourage ethical decision making? By rewarding and acknowledging when tough decisions are made. Two members should work on the good decision.

5. 6. Its tragic consequences may have been the product of groupthink. or to submit the decision to the outside parties for review. but ultimately the individual will probably be held accountable for the decision. but students may wish to speculate on this one. How could a knowledge of ethical decision making have aided the individuals who made this decision? The first question is whether the actions of NASA's decision makers were illegal. This is a likely outcome of groupthink. .154 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups Groupthink becomes an ethical problem when the group makes less than ethical decisions. The second question is whether the decision was balanced or fair to all concerned. Obviously. any decision they make will be a morally correct one. One way to avoid the problem would be to have groups continuously evaluate whether their decisions are ethical. Undoubtedly. The third question is how the decision will make the decision makers feel about themselves." evaluate the decision to launch the Challenger. Using the "ethics check. An accurate answer here requires a knowledge of law. the Challenger decision was not fair. Full disclosure of potential problems with the launch was not made to all potential participants in the decision. and assume that because they are moral individuals. many of those responsible regret the launch decision. Engineers were not given an opportunity to provide input for the launch. The organization should set the tone and assist in the environment. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that employees make ethical decisions? It is joint responsibility. because members tend to view themselves as above reproach.

which requires left-brain skills. Christmas + 6 Days = New Year’s Eve 14. “1 bird in the hand =2 in the bush” 3.Summer . “A rose is a rose is a rose.which requires right-brain skills and b) the importance of being able to understand the details of day-to-day operations -. Army + Navy + Air Force + Marine Corps + Coast Guard = Armed Forces 9. 9. Senate + House of Representatives = United States Congress . 1 + 6 zeros = 1 million 20. Abraham Lincoln & James Garfield & William McKinley & John Kennedy were all Assassinated 22.2 CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING 1. Maine + Massachusetts + New Hampshire + Vermont + Connecticut + Rhode Island = New England 2. Nina + Pinta + Santa Maria = Ships of Columbus 19. 3 pair = 6 5.Autumn = Winter 15. Eight . Sunday & Monday & Tuesday & Wednesday & Thursday & Friday & Saturday are Days of Week 8. 8 days minus 24 hours = 1 week 4. Yesterday + 2 Days = Tomorrow 13.1 Which Side of Your Brain Do You Favor? 155 This self-assessment exercise encourages students to explore which hemisphere (if either) of their brain is dominant.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups CHALLENGES 9.Spring . 23 years .3 years = 2 decades 11.” 21. My Fair Lady and South Pacific are both Musical Comedies 17.8 = Zero 12. 4 Jacks + 4 Queens + 4 Kings = All the face cards 7. Hour hand + minute hand at 12 = Noon or midnight 6. No news = Good news 18. Texas = Lone Star State 10. You may wish to conduct a discussion of: a) the importance of being able to see the big picture and plan strategically -. Adam & Eve were in the Garden of Eden 16. Noun + Verb + Pronoun + Adverb + Adjective + Conjunction + Preposition + Interjection = Parts of Speech 23. Year .

Students will discover their biases as they examine their reasons for selecting the person to be laid off. racism.1 MAKING A LAYOFF DECISION Instructor's Notes: This exercise challenges students to make a fair. ageism. Typical issues that will emerge are survivor syndrome. leadership style. guilt.156 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES 9. but difficult decision regarding a layoff in an organization. and communications. . This is a good exercise to turn into a short paper since there is a growing amount of information related to reductions in force and effects on morale in the organization. sexism.

and then replace them in the flashlight. There is a much better chance of being heard if you call loudly but in a low key. and walking softly may bring you right on top of a snake. This is the part of the river or stream that flows the fastest. The best location is on the slope. and once the process starts. you may use the lip test. Saving or rationing will not help. on the other hand. try a little. in . This has happened to many campers and hikers before they had a chance to escape. Snakes do not like people and will usually do everything they can to get out of your way.) Call "help" loudly but in a low register. but might be passed off as a bird call by your friends far away. These answers come from the comprehensive course on woodland survival taught by the Interpretive Service. (a. there is a good chance that you will not even see one. But when you are in doubt and very hungry. and the last part to go dry. (c. Monroe County (New York) Parks Department. is to eat only those plants that you recognize as safe.) Drink as much as you think you need when you need it. wind. deepest. might require other courses of action. and birds just do not have the same digestive system as we do. 1. increases your exposure to rain. because it alerts your companions to your plight. (a. (b. The rigid line. 5. should a storm break. you recognize the plant by the berries). your liter of water will not do much to reverse it. "Help" is a good word to use. (c. Flashlight batteries lose much of their power. Low tones carry farther.) Put a bit of the plant on you lower lip for five minutes. 3. 6.) Make a lot of noise with your feet.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 9. If the plant is poisonous. 2. Red berries alone do not tell you much about the plant's edibility (unless. The best approach. of course. and weak batteries run down faster. especially if you are lying unconscious somewhere from sunstroke or dehydration. specific situations. 7. 4. especially in dense woodland. you will get a very unpleasant sensation on your lip. A sudden rain storm might turn the ravine into a raging torrent. is less silted. and be aware of your need to find a water source as soon as possible. however. and lightning. These responses are considered to be the best rules of thumb for most situations.) Put the batteries under your armpits to warm them. So use the water as you need it. The danger here is dehydration.) Midway up the slope. (c.2 THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE Instructor's Notes: 157 Here are the recommended courses of action for each of the situations in the Wilderness Survival Worksheet. of course. Some snakes do feed at night. let alone come into contact with it. (c.) Dig in the stream bed at the outside of a bend. Yelling or screaming would not only be less effective. if it seems all right. Unless you surprise or corner a snake.

uneven ground. Warming the batteries. There are just too many obstacles (logs. Once the sun sets.) Across the stream. the pack could become a lifesaver. zippered backpack will usually float. back very slowly toward some refuge (trees. let him forage and be on his way. of course. A yellow flame indicates incomplete combustion and a strong possibility of carbon monoxide buildup. Errors in facing the wrong way in fording a stream are the cause of many drownings.) Freeze. 10. branches. and going barefooted offers your feet no protection at all. and so on) that might injure you--and a broken leg. keeping your eye on the exit point on the opposite bank. even when loaded with normal camping gear. Sharp rocks or uneven footing demand that you keep your boots on. Otherwise.158 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups the cold. wearing it will provide you the most stability in the swift current. A waterproof. unless you were in open country where you could use the stars for navigation. Used with permission. You have the best stability facing across the stream. W. Jones (eds. Here you can pick your route to some degree.) Leave your boots and pack on. (a. Pfeiffer and J. 11. E. 9. rock outcrop. (c. CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Each year many campers are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning as they sleep or doze in tents. Errors in fording rivers are a major cause of fatal accidents.) In stocking feet. but be ready to back away slowly. (c. will restore them for a while. or twisted ankle would not help your plight right now. (b. injured eye. SOURCE: J. it would usually be best to stay at your campsite. especially if they are already weak. and you can feel where you are stepping. 8. If your pack is rather well-balanced. etc. if you step off into a hole or deep spot. (a. or other enclosed spaces. You would normally avoid night travel. San Diego. If the bear is seeking some of your food. the current could push you back and your pack would provide the unbalance to pull you over.) The 1976 Annual Handbook for Group Facilitators.) Yellow. cabins. Normal hiking boots become slippery. Sudden movement will probably startle the bear a lot more than your presence.). 12. darkness falls quickly in wooded areas. . do not argue with him. 1976. Facing upstream is the worst alternative.

that is. Give the groups about 20 minutes to discuss their roles as they wish and clarify that they are not bound by the group's suggested strategies. but that they should make clear from the outset that the decision is going to come from management. Step 1 Make enough copies of each role so that each member of the class has one role description. OB in Action. Step 2 Be sure that everyone in the class has read the brief background description. For groups of four. The entire exercise can take more than an hour: 50 minutes or more to read the background material and roles and carry out the role play. 159 Instructor's Notes: This is a role play to be used with groups of five. Autocratic managers should says things such as: "I don't really care about your brother's wedding. Houghton Mifflin. Meet with the group of managers to answer any questions concerning what they are to do. This means that the managers should clearly frame the problem for the workers. 30 minutes or more for discussion. c1992. 3rd edition. listen to their concerns. Scott Weighart. the workers should be told. "Do whatever you want. This gives individuals a chance to identify with and better understand their roles. Wohlberg. and actively lead them to a solution that has the widest acceptance and still meets the needs of the organization. add one or more observers (see observer sheet) or double up on one of the employees. omit either employee 1 or employee 2. For larger groups.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups ALTERNATIVE EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISE WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? Janet W. In other words. Assign about one-third of the managers to be highly autocratic." and so forth. This means that the managers should constantly remind the workers that the decision is not of interest to them." and so forth. Step 4 . Be sure that the groups have enough physical space so as not to interfere with one another's discussions. all of the managers together. Assign the last third of the managers to be democratic.) Step 3 (optional) After distributing the roles to the members of each group. and so forth. all employee 1s together. Assign about one-third of the managers to be extremely laissez faire. Cases and Exercises. divide the class into groups of the same-role members . This means that the managers can listen to the employees. (It may help to read it aloud to the class.

to report on their findings. Are these consistent with the managers' descriptions of how decisions were made? Step 8 Discuss the questions below and those on the observer sheet.160 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups Redivide the class into work groups. did the manager of your group use an appropriate leadership style? Why or why not? (If you were the manager in your group. How was the decision made? Did the manager elicit input from the employees? 5. for the purposes of comparison within the class. how did you feel about the effectiveness of the leadership style you used?) 2. Or. What do you think the manager should have done differently? 3. all members from the same cultural background. all female workers with a male manager. ask them to describe the role that they were assigned (democratic. autocratic. try assigning the manager's role in some groups to students who are highly authoritarian and to others who are highly participative. each of which includes a manager and a player for each employee role. Record each group's decision in a visible place. What are the implications of decision for each member? For the effectiveness of the team on Sunday? For the ultimate success and quality of the project? . the methods they used in arriving at their decisions. and so forth. Step 7 Ask the observers. Questions for Discussion 1. laissez faire). Step 6 At the end of the 30 minutes. or flip chart. and the bases for the decision. all male workers with a female manager. overhead. if any. workers from one culture with a manager from another. (Interesting results. can come from arranging the groups in specific ways-that is. In addition. such as a blackboard. Given the problem presented. Did the manager listen to and consider each employee's arguments? 4.) Step 5 Instruct the groups that the manager must make a decision at the end of the 30 minutes of role play. call time and ask the managers for their decisions.

to midnight and for the entire team to work at its most productive and cooperative level for the full day on Sunday. 3. The budget allows for one member of the team to be paid to work on Saturday night. and why? Rate your group manager on the following scale: . 6. As you do this exercise. To finish on schedule. although not your company's only source of revenue. Were the employees given a fair chance to explain their concerns? How would you rate the manager's overall listening skills and why? What factors do you think the manager failed to consider in making a decision? What factors did the manager appear to use in reaching a decision? How did the employees react to the manager's leadership style. Do not discuss your role with any of your classmates until you have been told to do so. relinquish their decisionmaking powers to the group and its members. and laissez faire—in decisionmaking situations. Review and plan out your role thoroughly. The contract for this project. including use in several aspects of the aerospace industry.. The prototype product is due to be demonstrated to the leaders of your aerospace industry the following Monday. Democratic leaders clarify the goals to be met by the decision and work with subordinates to find a decision that best meets those goals. 4. democratic.M. Turnem. it will be necessary for one member of your team to work this Saturday evening from about 5 P. 2. 1. is on a tight deadline to complete a project. a manufacturer of valves that have a wide variety of uses. is important. Briefly describe the manager's dilemma.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? 161 The purpose of this role play is to give you an opportunity to explore the effectiveness of different leadership styles—in this case. consider the leadership style being used by your group's manager and the ways in which you believe that style to be appropriate or not. Autocratic leaders generally impose their decisions without considering the interests of their subordinates. Laissez-faire leaders. BACKGROUND Your small company. on the other hand. 5. Inc. autocratic.

and why? In what situation would you consider autocratic leadership to be both appropriate and acceptable. and why? . In some cultures. mangers who involve workers in decision-making processes. groups that perceive their leaders to be autocratic will be more dissatisfied with decisions made about who works Saturday night. Laissez-faire managers can also be frustrating to groups. Generally. in other cultures. tend to be rare compared to that of more autocratic styles. and why? In what situations would you consider laissez-faire leadership to be both appropriate and acceptable. The occurrence of and acceptance of laissez-faire styles of management. Rate your satisfaction with the decision on the following scale: Very dissatisfied 10 9 8 7 6 Indifferent 5 4 3 2 Very satisfied 1 Calculate the average rating of satisfaction in your group by adding all of the ratings and dividing by the number of workers. such as those represented by this exercise. Keep in mind that this may vary depending on the composition of the group: Some people actually like to be told what to do.162 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 10 9 8 7 6 Laissez faire 5 4 3 2 1 Autocratic Democratic Calculate the average rating in your group (not counting the manager's opinion!) by adding all ratings and dividing by the number of workers in the group. however. managers are expected to seek input from subordinates regularly. • • • How did your group feel about the style of your manager. are considered to be ineffective.

do not tell them that you have been instructed to be autocratic. . That isn't your problem! Your problem is to get the right person to do the job. employee 3. until at least midnight. Everyone must work on Sunday. Keep reinforcing that point whenever possible. who have the technical knowledge and ability necessary for the tasks that must be completed on Saturday night. You have the budget and the need for one employee to work with you on Saturday night. You know that it's going to be really important to have your team functioning at its highest and most cooperative level on Sunday if the work is going to be completed on time. In order to get the project done on time. and they'll just have to live with your decision. no matter what. but make clear from the outset that you'll decide. Everyone on the team will be expected to work all day on Sunday. who has the necessary technical knowledge and skills but who is completely unwilling to work on Saturday night. you and one member of your four-person team are going to have to work this Saturday night from about 5 P. Your choices are employees 1 or 2. Currently. your team is working to complete development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry and to put the finishing touches on the presentation to be made on Monday to the highest officials of your aerospace program. neither of whom want to work because of other commitments. the work that must be completed Saturday night takes a high degree of technical expertise. Inc. and you intend to get the person you want. You should listen to the concerns of your subordinates.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? AUTOCRATIC MANAGER 163 You are the autocratic manager in a division of Turnem. It is your job to decide who will work on Saturday night. and employee 4.M. Tell your group only that you are their manager. As far as you are concerned. who has little of the necessary technical knowledge but who needs the money and very much wants to work on Saturday night. In addition. you don't really care what the conflicts and concerns of your subordinates may be.

who has the necessary technical knowledge and skills but who is completely unwilling to work on Saturday night. . the work that must be completed Saturday night takes a high degree of technical expertise. In order to get the project done on time. Of course. neither of whom want to work because of other commitments.M. You don't much care who works on Saturday night. until at least midnight. Tell your group only that you are their manager. In addition. and you're going to stay out of it. who has little of the necessary technical knowledge but who needs the money and very much wants to work on Saturday night. Their choices are employees 1 or 2. you will want to let them know from time to time that they're probably not making the right decision. Everyone on the team will be expected to work all day on Sunday. One thing is for sure. Everyone must work on Sunday. as long as someone does. You have decided to let your employees make the decision. you don't really care what the conflicts and concerns of your subordinates may be. employee 3. and employee 4. Inc. As far as you're concerned. You have the budget and the need for only one employee to work with you on Saturday night.164 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? LAISSEZ-FAIRE MANAGER You are the laissez-faire manager in a division of Turnem. you don't want to be responsible for making the decision. That isn't your problem-it's theirs! You should listen to the concerns of your subordinates. who have the technical knowledge and ability necessary for the tasks that must be completed on Saturday night. You know that it's going to be really important to have your team functioning at its highest and most cooperative level on Sunday if the work is going to be completed on time. do not tell them that you have been instructed to be laissez faire. your team is working to complete development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry and to put the finishing touches on the presentation to be made on Monday to the highest officials of your aerospace program. you and one member of your four-person team are going to have to have to work this Saturday night from about 5 P. Currently. but make clear from the beginning that you're not going to interfere.

you and on member of your four-person team are going to have to work this Saturday night from about 5 P. do not tell them that you have been instructed to be democratic. Your choices are employees 1 or 2. serving as a clearing house. Since the beginning of this project. your team is working to complete development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry and to put the finishing touches on the presentation to be made on Monday to the highest officials of your aerospace program. Currently. the work that must be completed Saturday night takes a high degree of technical expertise. and involving the employees in decision-making processes that directly affect them. In order to get the project done on time. articulating the goals. who have the technical knowledge and ability necessary for the tasks that must be completed on Saturday night. who has the necessary technical knowledge and skills but who is completely unwilling to work on Saturday night. Tell your group only that you are their manager. you have been working closely with the members of your team. and employee 4. You know that it's going to be really important to have your team functioning at its highest and most cooperative level on Sunday if the work is going to be completed on time. In addition. Put this in terms of their best interests and the best interests of the organization. Everyone must work on Sunday. neither of whom want to work because of other commitments. You should listen to the concerns of your subordinates and help them achieve an outcome that is mutually beneficial and acceptable. Everyone on the team will be expected to work all day on Sunday. . It is your job to decide who will work on Saturday night. guiding the process.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? DEMOCRATIC MANAGER 165 You are the democratic manager in a division of Turnem.M. Inc. Begin by setting out the goals and purposes of having the best person work on Saturday night. who has little of the necessary technical knowledge but who needs the money and very much wants to work on Saturday night. employee 3. until at least midnight. You have the budget and the need for only one employee to work with you on Saturday night.

The project on which you are working. You are one of the key experts for this project on which you have worked seven day s a week for over a month. it is necessary for you and your teammates to work all day this Sunday. You have to convince your manager that you should not be required to work on Saturday night. To be ready on time.M. development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry. and your whole family will be outraged if you fail to attend. until midnight. You consider that you have a special reason for not wanting to work on Saturday night. and you may possibly have to work on Saturday night from about 5 P. you are part of the wedding party.166 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? EMPLOYEE 1 You are a member of a four-person team at Turnem. is due to be demonstrated to the highest officials of the aerospace program on Monday. . It's your brother's wedding. Inc.

you don't have any choice about missing that event. until midnight. is your family's reaction. You have to convince your manager that you should not be required to work on Saturday night. Your family has made it quite clear that your presence is not an option. Unfortunately. development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry. but Saturday evening is your youngest child's debut as star in the third-grade play. however. and a number of friends and relatives have been invited to help celebrate the day at your home. and you may possibly have to work Sunday night from about 5 P.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? EMPLOYEE 2 167 You are a member of a four-person team at Turnem. Your spouse and children are angry at what they see as your rejection of them in favor of your job. At this point you're feeling pretty burned out. is due to be demonstrated to the highest officials of the aerospace program on Monday. Sunday is your spouse's birthday. You have been working on the project since its inception. . The project on which you are working. it is necessary for you and your teammates to work all day this Sunday. Inc.M. Worse. including many nights and weekends. To be ready on time.

You're angry enough that you have to work on Sunday. until midnight. and gain power. it is necessary for you and your teammates to work all day this Sunday.M. It was a shock to you to suddenly be faced with the uncertainty and fragility of life. and you had originally asked not to be put on this job anyway. and you may possibly have to work Saturday night from about 5 P. and status. because you're not going to! . someone else can work on Saturday night. You joined the project about two months ago. Inc. The project on which you are working. You have decided that you had better live life while you have it. prestige. However. and that doesn't mean spending it at work. About eighteen months ago. you definitely do not want to work. and while you're no expert. To be ready on time. There was a time in your life when you would have been at the head of the line to volunteer for this job-a time when your sole purpose in life was to get ahead. development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry. you certainly have the abilities and skills to do the work that must be done on Saturday night. As far as you're concerned. make more money. As far as you are concerned. is due to be demonstrated to the highest officials of the aerospace program on Monday. you're not much of a team player. you're entitled to a life outside of the workplace.168 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? EMPLOYEE 3 You are a member of a four-person team at Turnem. your best friend died in a car accident.

until midnight. The project on which you are working. You joined the team about five weeks ago and have some minimal knowledge of the project. To be ready on time. you desperately need the money. Inc. so far. . Your job is to convince your manager to let you work on Saturday night.M. it is necessary for you and your teammates to work all day this Sunday.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups WHO WORKS SATURDAY NIGHT? EMPLOYEE 4 169 You are a member of a four-person team at Turnem. and you may possibly have to work Saturday night from about 5 P. development of a prototype valve having a highly specialized use in the aerospace industry. has been keeping you busy seven days a week and evenings. You have been holding off taking a moonlighting job because this project. is due to be demonstrated to the highest officials of the aerospace program on Monday. While you're pretty tired.

Students should have taken the MBTI or the short version in Chapter 3. The instructor must be knowledgeable of the "T" and "F" dynamics of the MBTI. but it has been satisfactory and you really don't think you can push yourself to do anymore. Give the following roles to students: Role You are a head nurse. Your work is not super. b. It seems to cause you so much anxiety that you literally lose sleep at night when you go home. You would really love to get out of being in your current position.).. . Form as many groups as you need so that everyone is in a group. but it is too close to retirement and will just cost you entirely too much to leave now. Exercise Overview 1. You have considered taking a demotion to a nurse's job until you retire. This exercise usually takes 65-70 minutes. Your boss has called you in for a talk. c. Additionally. 2. the instructor should be on the look out for the potential of hurt feelings and bruised egos. they must be able to "sell" their decision to other people. Exercise Description: a. This is the single most powerful and potentially useful MBTI-based exercise in this series. That person will observe a group of the opposite type. You would leave the hospital.e. (i. c. Students in like groups will work a scenario and then sell their decision to the opposite group type. 4. Form "T" and "F" groups of 4-6 students each. You have been a head nurse over several others nurses for too long. Demonstrate to the students that people make decisions using different styles. Ask each group to select an observer. b. You just don't have any interest supervising people anymore. Ask students to form groups into those that prefer thinking and those that prefer feeling as their decision making basis. Students will experience a real-world situation they will face. "T" will observe "F" and vice-versa. We highly recommend that the instructor review the material listed in the MBTI reference section. Satisfactory should be enough for what you get paid. 3. Show students that regardless of their decision making process.170 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups MBTI EXERCISE: Exercise Learning Objectives a.

. 4. Ask each boss if he/she agreed with the decision. 3. he has had low performance. i. You will then have 15 minutes to develop the rationale that you will use to defend your position. each group should present. After the first group is finished the bosses now must present their case. Debrief the second presentation first. 3. Debriefing the exercises. If you used observers. e. You should select a person who will represent your group and your boss to support your decision. If you have more than one group of each type. Over the last couple of years. As with other things. 8. You can run these presentations simultaneously if you use student observers to assist you in reporting what happened. 5. You will have 5 minutes to present your case to the other group who will collectively act as your boss. Debrief the first presentation. Debrief the class. You will then have 5 minutes to decide whether or not to fire this employee. Your boss is of the opposite type from your T/F preference. You must develop a rationale for your decision. 6. 5. You have called him in to talk over his performance. this holds true for our decision making process and its subsequent verbalization. 2. Timing must be precise. failed to do many of the jobs assigned. You have all the facts before you--nothing else is known.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 171 Role You are the supervisor of a group of head nurses who manage other nurses. You are very concerned about one of your head nurses. What in the presentation led to your decision to agree or not? How did the presenter think/feel about the experience? What did the observers notice (if you used them)? What did the presenters learn? h. the observers first and then solicit feedback from the entire class. You are to the point of telling him that if he doesn't correct his performance you will have to terminate his employment since there is no position to which to demote him. g. This is done BEFORE reporting out happens. You feel you must call him in for discussion. You are to decide to fire or not to fire this employee. Part of the benefit of this exercise is the time pressure. You will have 10 minutes to discuss the case and determine the facts. Most of the time. 7. To show the class the real distinctions between "T" and "F" we need to highlight the best use of the strength of each group. 2. using these same steps. f. 4. Give the students the following instructions: 1. and brings almost all decisions to committee meetings in order to avoid making decisions. d. 1. when we are under pressure we will subconsciously use our preferred strength to achieve the results we seek.

In an organization. Inc. and what will be the cost if your decision is implemented. used with permission. both have strengths and pitfalls. Type Resources.. rotated jobs. "Fs" want to reassured that everything possible was done for the employee.172 Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups 1. Finally. Instructor's Summary Making decisions is something we all face. For example. rational approach that led to the decision. Neither process is inherently better. "Ts" are concerned about getting sued if there is not a logical. What differences and similarities did you notice? What the instructor should expect: a. "Ts" will turn the employee problem into a management competency issue if they believe the situation should have been resolved earlier. what have been the results of any interventions. They want the facts stated clearly as to what the issues are. counseled the employee. b. It is important to remember that some people make decisions based on objective logic while others make decisions based on subjective values. you will need to show "Fs" that the employee has violated the organization's values. Ask the class. They need to know the impact the decision (fire or not) will have on the other people in the organization. Most of the time. *Adapted from Dr. we have to "sell" our decisions to others. "Ts" want the decision to be stated up front and followed by the rationale for the decision. what steps have been taken. Margaret Hartzler. students should have paper and pencil. Materials Needed: None. and so forth? The "Fs" also want to know that the person who is presenting really cares about this person--no phony affects here. They are not as concerned about the effect on the organization as an entity as they are about the person and those people directly impacted. . has the supervisor made training available. "What did you see?" 2. asking people who use different decision making processes should result in a more complete and supportable decision.

Management Skills: Practice and Experience.Chapter 9: Decision Making by Individuals and Groups EXTRA EXPERIENTIAL EXERCISES 173 The following alternative exercises to supplement the material in the textbook can be obtained from: Marcic. p. In-Basket Exercise 1: Identifying Problems. 217-221. South Western College Publishing Company. 329. In-Basket Exercise 2: Generating Alternatives. West Publishing Company. . Dorothy & Seltzer. 1998. 1994. Fandt. Organizational Behavior: Experiences and Cases. p. Purpose: To explore a structure for organizational decision making. p. Joe. 331. Patricia M. Time: 30 minutes. 5th Ed. ROLE PLAYS Additional role plays relevant to the material in this chapter are located in Appendix A of this instructor's manual. Improving Organizational Decision Making.