S=(E-F)/T LO25372

From: Roy Benford (roy@benford.demon.co.uk)
Date: 09/25/00

Replying to LO25363 --

Stan & At

Thank you for clarifying S=(E-F)/T.

Perhaps, I could clarify Groupthink by quoting a section from 'Management
and Organisational Behaviour' by Laurie Mullins.

"The effectiveness of group behaviour and performance can be adversely
affected by the idea of 'groupthink'. From an examination of some
well-known government policy-making groups, Janis concluded that decisions
can be characterised by groupthink which he defines as: 'a deterioration of
mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment that results from
in-group pressures.' Groupthink results in the propensity for the group to
just drift along. For example, Britain's do-nothing policy prior to the
Second World War, and in America the attack on Pearl Harbour, the Bay of
Pigs invasion of Cuba and the escalation of the war in Vietnam were a result
of groupthink.
The idea of groupthink is not limited however to government policy-making
groups. Janis maintains that groupthink is a generalised feature and can be
apparent in any organisational situation where groups are relied upon to
make important decisions.
Janis identifies a number of specific symptoms of groupthink, including:
 - a sense of invulnerability with excessive optimism and risk taking.
There is an unquestioned belief in the morality of the group;
 - pressures on individual members to conform and teach consensus means
that minority or unpopular ideas may be suppressed. Members who oppose the
group are stereotyped as evil, weak or stupid;
 - the search for group consensus can result in rationalisation by members
to discount warnings and there is an illusion of unanimity. There is
self-censorship of any deviation from group norms or apparent group
consensus. "

Mullins quotes references for Groupthink as:

Janis, I.L. Victims of Groupthink, Houghton Mifflin (1972) and Janis, I.L.
Groupthink, 2nd edition, Houghton Mifflin (1982)

Roy Benford
Fulmer, UK

[Host's Note: Also, there's a good training video, "Groupthink, Revised
Edition" from CRM films. ..Rick]


"Roy Benford" <roy@benford.demon.co.uk>

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