Personal and Managerial Effectiveness (PME) Academic Report

Introduction

Participatory decision-making has become a vital element of modern organizations as markets and consumers continue to evolve. The complexity created by the concept such as globalisation has necessitated the need for a broad scope of understanding factors affecting organizational success before decisions are made (Morrison & Morrison 2011). As such, an inclusive decision-making has become essential to the survival and competitive advantages of many firms. The values derived from group decision making have made it desirable by a variety of organizations. Despite the merits associated with it, it has challenges that can cripple an organization if not dealt with them efficiently. This report outlines the strategic benefits of group decision-making, its challenges and recommendations to the Executive Board of the Medium Sized Enterprise in the United Kingdom.

Strategic Benefits of Group Decision-Making

High-quality decisions represent part of the benefits that a company can derive from implementing group decision-making. In group decision-making, people with complementary skills and knowledge converge to provide solutions to a problem (Howard & Miller 1994). Their diverse skills bring different perspectives to the table on how to look at the problems at hand. When these points of view are explored, they generate more options than when a single person is left to provide solutions. Additionally, a group can seek more information regarding their tasks, which is likely to lead to a valuable decision. The strategic implication of high-quality decisions helps a company to remain ahead of competitors by delivering excellent products and services. The groups involved are made up of people from multiple cultural backgrounds. The communities from which they come have different needs and characteristics that require special handling. Having such kind of members in a group provides insights on the unique needs of various cultures and how to satisfy them (Konrad, Prasad, & Pringle 2006). Consequently, an organization with such teams participating in decision-making can deliver products and services with the right characteristics, which attracts customer loyalty.

The main reason for attempting to seek solutions in participatory decision-making is to implement them so that they can drive a business to success. When decisions are made by a single person, it becomes difficult to guarantee a successful implementation. Those tasked with the implementation process may not agree with the decisions made. Therefore, they may sabotage the implementation. When such a scenario arises, no matter how suitable the decisions are, they may not provide the establishment with a competitive advantage. According to Kinicki and Kreitner (2006), a lower quality solution with a wide acceptance is better than a high-quality one with little acceptance. Therefore, group decision-making increases the probability of acceptance because implementers are involved in the process, which leads to decision ownership. From a strategic perspective, an efficient participatory decision-making can enhance the change process (Harigopal 2006). The dynamics of current markets require companies to be flexible to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Groups that have enhanced cooperation in previous decision making can reach a consensus fast and enable a firm to change swiftly.

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Some of the setbacks that emerge during implementation arise from communication breakdown. When decisions are not communicated to those implementing them, misunderstandings may lead to failure. However, when implementers are involved in the creation of solutions, they comprehend the decisions and how they should implement them. Such understanding leads to great success because the implementation is fast and takes advantage of the available opportunities before competitors. The high degree of acceptance associated with participatory decision-making can reduce resistance that characterise the change process. As a result, a firm with such powerful groups can strategically evolve faster than competitors (Sengupta 2005).

Challenges of Group Decision-Making

Since group consensus is critical to the decision-making, the impact of the opinions of minority members of a group may have limited influence on decisions. Such limitations are caused by social pressures from the majority side. These perspectives may be correct and better than those of the majority, but lose credibility because of the large number of the majority. Therefore, high-quality solutions sought through participation may limit the achievement of excellent decisions (Greene & Burleson 2003).

Groups are composed of individuals with different personalities. These differences affect the participation of members in discussions and consequently, their level of output. Some individuals may capture a considerable portion of influence on decisions than they deserve at the expense of more conservative members. The quality solutions sought through the participatory decision-making are undermined by dominant individuals when their input overshadows their colleagues.

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The existence of conflicting secondary goals may reduce the success of a group. Some group members may have a personal agenda to win in every argument at the cost of the best answer. Such self-centred goals dilute the spirit of teamwork and all the benefits of divergent views. Those determined to have their opinions dominate others may avoid participating when they think that they may not have their way. Therefore, the risk of losing in an argument may discourage some members from fully contributing their ideas (Mor-Barak 2005).

Finally, groups consume a lot of time because they have to consider different points of view (Greene & Burleson 2003). Time-consuming decisions may be disadvantageous to an organization sometimes the answer might be needed right away. The need for such decisions is triggered by emerging opportunities in the market that cannot wait for the tedious group decision-making process. By the time the decision is arrived at by the group, there is a chance for it to be late (Zaccaro & Klimoski 2012).

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