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College of Administrative and Financial Sciences MGT 312 Assignment 2 Deadline: End of Week 11, 3/4/2021 @ 23:59 Course Name: Decision Making and Problem Solving Student’s Name: Course Code: MGT312 Student’s ID Number: Semester: II CRN: Academic Year: 1441/1442 H For Instructor’s Use only Instructor’s Name: Lujain Miralam Students’ Grade: 5 Level of Marks: High/Middle/Low Instructions – PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY • The Assignment must be submitted on Blackboard (WORD format only) via allocated folder. • Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted. • Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be reduced for poor presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover page. • Students must mention question number clearly in their answer. • Late submission will NOT be accepted. • Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or other resources without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions. • All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font. No pictures containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism). • Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted. Course Learning Outcomes-Covered • Describe decision making process for complex issues pertaining to business environment both internally and externally (C.L.O :1) • Demonstrate effective leadership skills and teamwork capacity for efficient decision making with the problem owners and other stakeholders as either a team member or a team leader. (C.L.O :5) • Explain and apply critical thinking and cognitive psychology as it pertains to analyze and synthesize information for problem solving and decision making. (C.L.O :3) Assignment Instructions: • Log in to Saudi Digital Library (SDL) via University’s website • On first page of SDL, choose “English Databases” • From the list find and click on EBSCO database. • In the search bar of EBSCO find the following article: Title: “7 Strategies for Better Group Decision-Making” Author: Torben Emmerling and Duncan Rooders Date of Publication: September 22, 2020 Published: Harvard Business Review Assignment Questions: (Marks 05) Read the attached article titled as “7 Strategies for Better Group Decision-Making” by Torben Emmerling and Duncan Rooders, published in Harvard Business Review, and answer the following Questions: [5 Marks] 1. Summarize the article and explain the main issues discussed in the article. (In 600-700 words) (Marks 3) 2. What do you think about the article in relations to what you have learnt in the course about improving decision-making and problem solving skills? Use additional reference to support you argument. (In 300-500 words) (Marks 2) ANSWER DECISION MAKING 7 Strategies for Better Group Decision-Making by Torben Emmerling and Duncan Rooders SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 HBR STAFF/CHARLES DELUVIO/UNSPLASH When you have a tough business problem to solve, you likely bring it to a group. After all, more minds are better than one, right? Not necessarily. Larger pools of knowledge are by no means a guarantee of better outcomes. Because of an over-reliance on hierarchy, an instinct to prevent dissent, and a desire to preserve harmony, many groups fall into groupthink. Misconceived expert opinions can quickly distort a group decision. Individual biases can easily spread across the group and lead to outcomes far outside individual preferences. And most of these processes occur subconsciously. COPYRIGHT © 2020 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 2 This doesn’t mean that groups shouldn’t make decisions together, but you do need to create the right process for doing so. Based on behavioral and decision science research and years of application experience, we have identified seven simple strategies for more effective group decision making: Keep the group small when you need to make an important decision. Large groups are much more likely to make biased decisions. For example, research shows that groups with seven or more members are more susceptible to confirmation bias. The larger the group, the greater the tendency for its members to research and evaluate information in a way that is consistent with pre-existing information and beliefs. By keeping the group to between three and five people, a size that people naturally gravitate toward when interacting, you can reduce these negative effects while still benefitting from multiple perspectives. Choose a heterogenous group over a homogenous one (most of the time). Various studies have found that groups consisting of individuals with homogeneous opinions and beliefs have a greater tendency toward biased decision making. Teams that have potentially opposing points of view can more effectively counter biases. However, context matters. When trying to complete complex tasks that require diverse skills and perspectives, such as conducting research and designing processes, heterogeneous groups may substantially outperform homogeneous ones. But in repetitive tasks, requiring convergent thinking in structured environments, such as adhering to safety procedures in flying or healthcare, homogenous groups often do better. As a leader, you need first to understand the nature of the decision you’re asking the group to make before you assemble a suitable team. Appoint a strategic dissenter (or even two). One way to counter undesirable groupthink tendencies in teams is to appoint a “devil’s advocate.” This person is tasked with acting as a counterforce to the group’s consensus. Research shows that empowering at least one person with the right to challenge the team’s decision making process can lead to significant improvements in decision quality and outcomes. For larger groups with seven or more members, appoint at least two devil’s advocates to be sure that a sole strategic dissenter isn’t isolated by the rest of the group as a disruptive troublemaker. Collect opinions independently. The collective knowledge of a group is only an advantage if it’s used properly. To get the most out of your team’s diverse capabilities, we recommend gathering opinions individually before people share their thoughts within the wider group. You can ask team members to record their ideas independently and anonymously in a shared document, for example. Then ask the group to assess the proposed ideas, again independently and anonymously, without assigning any of the suggestions to particular team members. By following such an iterative process teams can counter biases and resist groupthink. This process also makes sure that perceived seniority, alleged expertise, or hidden agendas don’t play a role in what the group decides to do. Provide a safe space to speak up. If you want people to share opinions and engage in constructive dissent, they need to feel they can speak up without fear of retribution. Actively encourage reflection on and discussion of divergent opinions, doubts, and experiences in a respectful manner. There are COPYRIGHT © 2020 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 3 three basic elements required to create a safe space and harness a group’s diversity most effectively. First, focus feedback on the decision or discussed strategy, not on the individual. Second, express comments as a suggestion, not as a mandate. Third, express feedback in a way that shows you empathize with and appreciate the individuals working toward your joint goal. Don’t over-rely on experts. Experts can help groups make more informed decisions. However, blind trust in expert opinions can make a group susceptible to biases and distort the outcome. Research demonstrates that making them part of the decision-making can sway the team to adapt their opinions to those of the expert or make overconfident judgments. Therefore, invite experts to provide their opinion on a clearly defined topic, and position them as informed outsiders in relation to the group. Share collective responsibility. Finally, the outcome of a decision may be influenced by elements as simple as the choice of the group’s messenger. We often observe one single individual being responsible for selecting suitable group members, organizing the agenda, and communicating the results. When this is the case, individual biases can easily influence the decision of an entire team. Research shows that such negative tendencies can be effectively counteracted if different roles are assigned to different group members, based on their expertise. Moreover, all members should feel accountable for the group’s decision making process and its final outcome. One way to do that is to ask the team to sign a joint responsibility statement at the outset, leading to a more balanced distribution of power and a more open exchange of ideas. Of course, following these steps doesn’t guarantee a great decision. However, the better the quality of the decision-making process and the interaction between the group members, the greater your chances of reaching a successful outcome. Torben Emmerling is the founder and managing partner of Affective Advisory. He is the author of the D.R.I.V.E.® framework for behavioral insights in strategy, a seasoned lecturer in behavioral science and applied consumer psychology and an accomplished trainer and keynote speaker. Duncan Rooders is the CEO of a Single Family Office and a strategic advisor to Affective Advisory. He is a former B747 pilot, a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management program, and a consultant to several international organizations in strategic and financial decision making. COPYRIGHT © 2020 HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL PUBLISHING CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 4 Copyright 2020 Harvard Business Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Additional restrictions may apply including the use of this content as assigned course material. Please consult your institution’s librarian about any restrictions that might apply under the license with your institution. 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