Groupthink: Fastest Decision May Not Be Best
You are a member of a team charged with recommending a vendor to perform an upgrade of your firm’s computer systems. Greg, the group leader, suggests the company where his sister works, claiming it will give your firm a good price. Lucinda says she will go along with whatever the group decides. Estéban announces he has another meeting in five minutes. Paul says he would like to solicit bids from several companies before recommending any one firm, but Greg dismisses that idea saying, “The sooner we make a recommendation, the sooner we improve our computer systems. My sister’s firm will make our job a top priority and besides, it’s local. Let’s support a company in our own community.” The committee urges Paul to
drop the idea of putting the job out to bid, and the group makes a unanimous decision to recommend the firm of Greg’s sister.
Your Task. In class discussion answer the following questions:
a. What aspects of groupthink were at work in this committee?
b. What conditions contribute to groupthink?
c. What can groups do to avoid groupthink?