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Groups’ environment

Group think has been defined to be a cohesive in-group’s way of thinking wherein motivations to come up with realistic appraisals of alternative causes of action are overridden by the desire or striving for unanimity (Irving, 1972). Such may be caused by directive leadership, the homogenous social background and ideology of members in the group, as well as isolation of the group from other sources of information and analysis that is beyond the confines of the groups’ environment (McCauley, 1989).

Group think has been highly discouraged because it could lead to faulty decision-making that is consensus-driven rather than by careful analysis and scrutiny of facts and circumstances that would ultimately solve the problem at hand (Kamau & Harorimana, 2008). I have experienced group think and its negative effects when I worked with a group in one of my subjects. All of the members except for one person came from the same program or course, the lone individual in our group came from another discipline of study.

We had to formulate solutions to the problem the teacher gave us. The person, who was taking up another type of course from us, had different views in approaching the problem. However, her ideas were set aside because we all have the same views in solving the problem as proposed by our group leader who came from the same discipline as ours. The need for the group to come up with a majority decision was stronger, and those dissenting views were deemed to be incorrect. It seemed at that time that the group’s decision appeared accurate because everyone concurred.

It turned out later on that she was correct in her evaluation of the problem and the facts. The whole group got an unsatisfactory grade and everyone regretted the hasty decision-making done. Group think must be prevented from happening because such impedes the coming up of innovative solutions to problems that come before the group. Cooperation is needed for a group to function, but not in sacrifice of individual contributions that can benefit all the members in the group.


Kamau, C. & Harorimana, D. (2008) Does knowledge sharing and withholding of information in organizational committees affect quality of group decision making? Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Knowledge Management. Academic Publishing: Reading. McCauley, C. (1989). “The Nature of Social Influence in Groupthink: Compliance and Internalization. ” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 57-2. Irving, J. (1972). Victims of Group think. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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