Practical Management Science

Discuss about the Practical Management Science.


Group decisions are used because they provide comprehensive information A group is able to  provide a variety of  perspectives and experiences to the process of decision-making, this does not happen when the individual is acting alone. The objective of this article is to show why a group thinking system has got very many errors, and explains why a group fails to live to its expectations and ends up making greater errors than individuals(Englenberg&Winn,2000).The article gives clear reasons why group thinking may be many errors in this type of thinking. There are two errors that are very common in  a group, one is the informational signals and the other one is reputational pressures (Anderson, Sweeney, & Williams, 2000). Conformity  affects a group in critical thinking and ultimately damage the quality of the final decision.


The objective of this article is to see the approach that is taken by the authors of this article. There are also other behavioural effects that tend to affect the groups overall performance.  The approach taken by this article shows how a a group can be influenced by individuals within the group. However, the  objective is to show how  these errors and influence on group thinking can be minimised.

Theoretical and conceptual framework

Some of the theories that support this article is the prospect Theory of (Kahneman and also Tversky, 2008) .(Daniel, Kahneman and Amos Tversky, 2002) won a nobel peace price for this theory that shows that there are different motivations to how people think.The prospect  theory additionally shows  how individuals deal with risk as well as potential uncertainty for no additional motive. (Kahneman and Tversky,2002) commenced their study by  investigating evident anomalies as well as contradictions in social behavior. They also observed that individuals have different levels when it comes to risk and the options they chose were based on how they interpreted the problem. This is demonstrates the  risk-seeking tendencies . This is not necessarily unreasonable however it is essential for researchers to understand the asymmetry of human choices. 

The manager should be prepared to alter decisions after hearing opinions this is not a sign of  weakness but of good judgment. Listen positively means not only hearing the words but to understand its meaning. Thoughtless decision support is useless, it is important to ensure  that the interests and ideas of everyone are widely represented. Encourage consultative behavior using all possible methods, from team meetings to suggestion boxes. This will allow you to make decisions based on a real understanding and comprehension  of the attitudes of others. Remember to consult encourage others does not mean an endless debate, try to get opinions and information, and listen to what is said, but it is you who must decide the appropriate action.             
Analytical methods.

To reach a solid decision, we must analyze all relevant data. There are several analytical tools that are useful and easy to use. Use the analysis to reach firm conclusions and therefore a proper strategic decision making.

Many of the difficulties of explaining human behavior when it comes to danger have to do with the issue of people making decisions based upon personal assessments of probabilities that can be quite different from the objective probabilities or true (Wilcox & Rush,2004). The situations of the small probability that have never occurred before it can be determined as having a probability of zero in decision making , Small probabilities add up when chances are taken repeated (Winkler,2010) . Thus it can be noted that people influence others in decision making , group members think they know what is right only to get it totally wrong in some case (Drucker & Maciariello, 2008) . This is also caused by group cascade which causes people to agree on a wrong decision because they wish not to be seen as ignorant or sceptical ( Cohen & Bradford,2005). Another finding is that a group decision is more liberal and deliberations decreased diversity of opinions in the group

Application by managers

Managers, by definition, are decision makers. One of the roles of the manager is just taking a series of large and small decisions. Making the right decision every time is the ambition of those who practice management. Doing so requires having a deep knowledge and extensive experience in the subject.A decision is a choice of  between two or more alternatives, which occurs in many diverse situations of life (and of course, management). 

Implications for theory and/or management practice

The article applies prospect theory to management, hence the importance to understand, as in any activity, employing a methodology that leads us to a point of reflection, allowing us to take the right decision.
In the decision making process we should start first to know what the problem or situation we face, moving to an analysis of it. From here we collect all the information that you can access, analyze and review the action alternatives we have. We shall analyse the key points and that we should not forget, the evaluation of all action alternatives before choosing one of them to carry it out.
We know that making impulsive decisions without a minimum of reflection, can lead to error; every decision takes time, so it is necessary to distinguish what is for today, tomorrow or next week (short, medium or long term) the delay or precipitation can lead to error (Frinth & Wolpert,2004)..
This phenomenon is called risk appetite and eventually found that it was not as universal as it might seem at first, coming to regard it as part of a more general phenomenon of group polarization (Frinth & Wolpert,2004).

On entering the study of group decision making with Zavalloni proposed the term group polarization and found in the results of their study after the group discussion, the attitude of people became more extreme preserving the sign that had previously . This means that the group is able to intensify and strengthen the initial beliefs of people (Kugler, Kausel, & Kocher, 2012).

The polarization occurs when the degree of conflict and involvement between subjects is high, and is facilitated by the interaction, exchange of information and the ability to tolerate differences of opinion between individuals involved in the conflict (Gerber, 2011).

This phenomenon explains why the social level to negotiate, when there are conflicts or disputes, etc. differences within groups are accentuated and why some group decisions are extreme.This comfirms the usefulness of the theory.

Credibility of evidence

Currently there are three theoretical approaches that explain the polarization and basis of this article. The first is the social comparison of Festinger, who speaks of psychological processes to meet individual needs through the interaction of the social with the group and the individual (Vollmer, 2009). It proposes that people do not analyze in depth the arguments when making decisions, but we trust the positions of others and believe that what the majority says is good and desirable to be not only part of the group but a member who stands for good among others, a “model member”. People not only comply with the proposals of the majority group, but seek to be above average within that group (Golding,2002). The implication of this as that members are swayed or influenced by those that are perceived to have a lot of knowledge of the decisions that they are going to take.

The second stream emphasizes persuasion and how the types of influence (information and policy) can polarize responses depending on whether new and valid arguments are present or if information on the positions of the other group members is provided without in the group discussion subjects exposed new individual arguments.

While the psychologists believes that the key to the polarization is in the content of the group discussion (we are one or the other depending on what we say), the power of persuasion emphasizes that what matters is the nature of the exchange of information itself (Binmore, 2009).

The article also delves  to  differentiate  between groups and explains that whenever the situation make highlight the ingroup identity (recognize us as members of our group), the rules of the group we belong to become to become more extreme and differ over standards outgroups (groups that do not belong). Polarization makes change of opinion to become more prototypical ingroup members (Huber & Snider,2006).In this way it differs from the other streams that believes the key polarization is in the group that we believe more, because then we identify more with some positions or other.


This conclusion confirms that for groups, in addition to solving tasks provide an emotional basis to how their members make decisions, there are seven ways to reduce these errors. One, is to silence the leader, this a way in which leaders can decline to take a firm position and thus embrace and hear unique ideas and information from other people in the group. The second solution is to reward group success, when you disclose the benefit of disclosing information, group members will be willing to give out ideas since experiments have shown that people withhold information because they do not know the reward for the success of the information (Winkler,2010). The third solution is appointing the devils advocate, where you ask ane or two group members to take a position that is contrary to the group inclination. This improves group performance. The fourth solution is to establish contrarian terms,which is also known as red teaming, which try to defeat primary team in a stimulated mission. These team find the mistakes and vulnerability of the other team. The fifth solution is to apply prime critical thinking, which discloses information that runs counter to the inclination of the group (Anderson, Sweeney, & Williams, 2000).  . The other solution to this problem is to assign roles. In this approach it is important to deliberate a group consisting of various people with different skills for example a doctor, lawter etc, these are people who have extensive knowledge on their respective area of expertise. In such a case these people will give objective ideas regarding the topic. Lastly, is using the dolphin method where anonymity is appried to ease reputational pressures.


Anderson, D., Sweeney, D., & Williams, T. (2000). An introduction to management science. Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western College Pub.

Bieling, P., McCabe, R., & Antony, M. (2006). Cognitive-behavioral therapy in groups. New York: Guilford Press.

Drucker, P. & Maciariello, J. (2008). Management. New York, NY: Collins.

Engleberg, I. & Wynn, D. (2000). Working in groups. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Fowler, J., Gudmundsson, A., & Whicker, L. (2006). Groups work!. Bowen Hills, Qld.: Australian Academic Press.

Kugler, T., Kausel, E., & Kocher, M. (2012). Are groups more rational than individuals?. München: CESifo.

Martin, G. (2008). Psychology. Oxford: Oneworld.

Mintz, A. & DeRouen, K. (2010). Understanding foreign policy decision making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Qudrat-Ullah, H., Spector, J., & Davidsen, P. (2008). Complex decision making. Berlin: Springer.

Schafer, M. & Crichlow, S. (2010). Groupthink versus high-quality decision making in International relations. New York: Columbia University Press.

Vollmer, D. (2009). Enhancing the effectiveness of sustainability partnerships. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Wilcox, M. & Rush, S. (2004). The CCL guide to leadership in action. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Winston, W., Albright, S., & Broadie, M. (2001). Practical management science. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Bacon, T. (2012). Elements of influence. New York: American Management Association.

Bano, M. (2012). The rational believer. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Binmore, K. (2009). Rational decisions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Cohen, A. & Bradford, D. (2005). Influence without authority. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

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