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Work Groups And Teams

             Groupthink is a concept that was identified by Irving Janis that refers to faulty decision making in a group. Groupthink occurs when groups are highly cohesive and do not consider all alternatives and they desire unanimity at the expense of quality decision making. .
             Groupthink can be easily identified by its numerous symptoms that prevail in most work groups and teams. They are; having an illusion of invulnerability, rationalising poor decisions, believing in the groups morality, sharing stereotypes that guide decisions, exercising direct pressure on others, not expressing your true feelings, maintaining an illusion of unanimity and using mind-guards to protect the group from negative information. .
             There are causes that can be directly related to the symptoms discussed above. When groups and teams examine few alternatives this causes workgroups and teams to share stereotypes which guide decisions, and leads them to rationalise poor decisions instead. Also when groups are not critical of each other's ideas this causes a groups and teams to not express true feelings and also can result in creating an illusion of unanimity. Not seeking expert opinion can also be potentially harmful to a group's progress because this can lead to the group having an illusion of invulnerability and causes group members to believe in group morality instead. Leaders of groups can dissuade a group to seek expert opinion and be highly selective in gathering information if they want a group to use mind-guards to protect the group from negative information. Refusing to examine early alternatives and not having contingency plans, exercises direct pressure on others not to make them. .
             India (my country of origin) has a widespread problem of groupthink in organisations that employ work groups and teams.
             India is a country where a groupthink is a widespread problem in a large majority of organisations. It is my belief that it was ingrained in its society as a direct consequence of the caste system that operates amongst the population and the power-distance relationship forged into the minds of empolyees and employers alike.

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