Group decision making, also referred to as collective or collective decision-making, is a participatory process in which individuals participate jointly in the decision-making process. They analyze problems or situations, consider alternatives and choose a solution together. It differs per form of group decision-making who is responsible for the decisions.
In group decision-making, the decision can therefore no longer be attributed to one person. This makes sense, because all individuals and group processes such as social influences can contribute to the result. The decisions made by a group as a whole often differ from individualistic decisions.
In business, collaborative decision-making is one of the most effective ways to achieve consensus and increase creativity. Although it’s a matter of debate, decisions made collectively are often more effective than decisions made by a single person. Certain collaborative efforts have the potential to achieve better results than individuals would on their own. Under normal circumstances, group decision-making is preferred. Group decision-making could also lead to better results in business. However, there must be time for reflection, discussion and conversations.
Working methods for group decision-making
Managers and team leaders typically have the final say in important decisions regarding projects or undertakings. However, there will also be many occasions when the team must choose the best course of action.
It can be challenging to navigate this. Uniting different personalities and opinions in a decision-making process can be supported by the use of different techniques or working methods.
The most famous method is the Delphi Technique. A comparable method is the nominal group technique. There are also variations in the way in which the decision-making process is shaped. Brainstorming is a well-known and effective method of getting multiple individuals to think about a problem or issue. A more closed way of collective decision-making is the use of a voting system. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis is also a supporting activity for the group decision-making process.
Advantages of group decision-making
Group decision-making has a number of advantages over individual decision-making:
Access to more knowledge
Multiple approaches are shared
More alternative options are being thought of
Accelerated acceptance of decisions
Better understanding of the problem and the decisions required
Group decision-making tips and tricks
What are the most effective and well-known methods and models? How can I apply the theory of decision making in my work environment? Is it possible to switch from an individualistic way of decision-making to a collective decision-making structure? How do group dynamics relate to the effectiveness of group decision-making? Articles related to group decision-making are about the different methods, models and theories about decision-making in (isolated) groups.
The Stepladder Technique is a decision-making method to simplify effective decision-making in a group. The goal is to make sure that the thoughts and ideas of all members are made available to the group, so these can be considered while the group makes a decision. The method was developed by Steven Rogelberg, Janet Barnes-Farrell and Charles Lowe in 1992.
Six Thinking Hats is a good decision making technique and method for group discussions and individual thinking. Combined with the parallel thinking process, this technique helps groups think more effectively.
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