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The Advantages and Disadvantages That Group Decisions Impart

Advantages and Disadvantages of Group Decisions
Decision-making is a tricky process, especially when it comes to large groups. It has its own share of advantages and disadvantages, which one needs to know for better implementation.
Uttara Manohar
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
There are several instances in one's professional as well as personal life, when decision-making requires opinions and inputs from more than just one or two people. This is where group decisions come into the picture. It is a complex process, which can be achieved by several methods.
Group Decision-making Methods
No two groups will ever function in the same way while involved in the process of decision-making. Some are proactive groups while there are other groups, which need a driving force or a facilitator to facilitate the process. There are several methods of group decision-making. Here are some of the common methods employed in the process.
Authoritarian Style
authoritarian style of group decision making
This style is like a dictatorship, in which the decision ultimately rests in the hands of one person. It is applicable in the presence of a powerful person who dictates the entire process of decision-making and has the final authority on the outcome. Although in use at various places, it tends to have more disadvantages than advantages because the people whose opinions are disregarded might have negative feelings about the entire process.
A variation of the authoritarian method of decision-making is the minority control method wherein the group discusses the issues but the power of decision-making rests not in the hands of one but a small group of people within the group.
brainstorming in group decision making
This is an excellent method for group decisions, popular owing to the complete creative freedom it offers to all the participants to create and weigh all options. There can be a facilitator to facilitate the entire discussion. He/she can merely help to start off the conversation, provide subtle hints and nudges when the participants get stuck and thus help to make effective and creative decisions. It values the opinion of every individual member and the final decision is reached by a consensus.
Voting Based Method
voting based method of group decision making
This is a group decision-making process used when the group has a certain set of defined options, where it needs to pick out the optimum solution. It allows every participant to cast his/her vote for the option that he/she thinks is the best. The option that gathers the maximum number of votes is selected. This method does not value the individual opinion of each and every participant in the group.
A variation of the voting method is the majority method wherein a majority of people within the group has the power to pass the final decision.
Pros and Cons of Group Decisions
Like any other process, the process of taking group decisions has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
➔ Group decisions help to combine individual strengths of the group members, hence has a set of varied skill sets applied in the decision-making process.
➔ Enhanced collective understanding of the course of action to be taken after the decision is taken.
➔It gains greater group commitment since everyone has their share in the decision-making process.
➔ It imbibes a strong sense of team spirit amongst the group members and helps the group to think together in terms of success as well as failure.
➔ Individual opinions can be biased or affected with preconceived notions that can hinder the process.
➔ It is more time-consuming than the process of individual decision-making.
➔ It takes longer to be finalized since there are many opinions to be considered and valued.
➔ In case of authoritarian or minority group decision-making, the people whose opinions are not considered tend to be left out from the decision-making process and hence the team spirit ceases to grow.
➔ The responsibility and accountability of the decisions are not equally shared in some cases which leads to a split in the group and hence hampers the overall efficiency of the group.
While involved in the group decision-making process it is always better to study the pros and cons of each style and hence formulate a group-decision-making process that suits your group.