â€¢ Group decision-making is a type of participatory process in which multiple individuals act collectively, analyse problems or situations, consider and evaluate alternative courses of action, and select a solution or solutions from the alternatives. It has certain pros and cons, few of which are mentioned below:
â€¢ Pros of group decision making
â€¢ Group decision-making, ideally, takes advantage of the diverse strengths and expertise of its members. By tapping the unique qualities of group members, it is possible that the group can generate a greater number of alternatives that are of higher quality than the individual can. If a greater number of higher quality alternatives is generated, then it is likely that the group will eventually reach a superior problem solution than the individual.
â€¢ Group decision-making may also lead to a greater collective understanding of the eventual course of action chosen, since it is possible that many affected by the decision implementation actually had input into the decision. This may promote a sense of "ownership" of the decision, which is likely to contribute to a greater acceptance of the course of action selected and greater commitment on the part of the affected individuals to make the course of action successful.
â€¢ Cons of group decision making
â€¢ Groups are generally slower to arrive to decisions than individuals, so sometimes it is difficult to utilize them in situations where decisions must be made very quickly.
â€¢ One of the most often cited problems is groupthink. Groupthink occurs when individuals in a group feel pressure to conform to what seems to be the dominant view in the group. Dissenting views of the majority opinion are suppressed and alternative courses of action are not fully explored.
â€¢ Group polarization is another potential disadvantage of group decision-making. This is the tendency of the group to converge on more extreme solutions to a problem. The "risky shift" phenomenon is an example of polarization; it occurs when the group decision is a riskier one than any of the group members would have made individually. This may result because individuals in a group sometimes do not feel as much responsibility and accountability for the actions of the group as they would if they were making the decision alone.
â€¢ Pros and cons of individual decision making
â€¢ Individuals have a tendency to think and question before performing. This is fruitful in analysis and forecasting of individualâ€™s behaviour. Individual decision making has certain pros and cons, few of which are mentioned below:
â€¢ Pros of Individual Decision Making
- An individual generally makes prompt decisions. While a group is dominated by various people, decision-making is quite time consuming. Moreover assembling group members consumes also a lot of time.
- Individuals do not escape responsibilities. They are accountable for their acts and performance. While in a group, it is not easy to hold any one person accountable for a wrong decision.
- Individual decision-making saves time, money and energy as individuals generally make prompt and logical decisions. On the other hand, group decision-making consumes a lot of time, money and energy.
- Individual decisions are more focused and rational as compared to group decisions.
â€¢ Cons of Individual Decision Making
- A group has potential to collect more information compared to an individual while making the decision.
- An individual while making any decision uses his own views and intuition . While a group has many members, so more views and approaches are taken into account and hence it might result in better decision.
- A group discovers hidden talent and core competency of employees of an organization.
- An individual will not take into consideration interests of each every member, while a group might take into account interest of all members of an organization.