People Innovation Excellence

What You Need to Know About : Groupthink

Irving Janis used the term groupthink to refer to a condition in which highly cohesive groups strive to reach unanimity in their decision making at the expense of adequately examining alternative solutions. Such groups desire to maintain a cohesive atmosphere in the group to the extent that members are not to “rock the boat” or “stir the waters.” The condition ultimately leads to a deterioration in decision processes that usually results in poor decisions. The groupthink hypothesis is intimately tied to how group members communicate with one another. This entry explores groupthink, identifying its antecedent conditions, corresponding symptoms, effect on decision processes and decisions, and ways the phenomenon might be prevented.

There are certain characteristics that lay the foundation for groupthink. Among these antecedents are group cohesiveness, structural faults, and a provocative situational context. Cohesiveness refers to a state of mutual liking and attraction among group members; group members are amiable and united and have a desire to maintain positive relationships, and a feeling of esprit de corps is present. Structural faults may include the group’s insulation from external sources of information and counsel, lack of an established tradition of impartiality on the part of the leader, lack of norms for decision-making procedures, and homogeneity of group members with regard to social background and ideology. Provocative situational contexts are the kinds that impose high levels of stress on group members. These stresses may be due to a previous or recent record of failure, perceptions that the task may be too difficult, or the belief that there is no morally correct alternative available.

Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.529

Penanggungjawab naskah :

Gayes Mahestu
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan

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