The current business environment is characterized by a considerable level of competitive rivalry and as a result, businesses have to maintain a continuous improvement process in order to build and maintain a competitive advantage. In this respect, the development of a sustainable competitive advantage is the critical success factor.
However sustainability cannot be achieved unless the company determines the strategic focus.
This is why developing a system for adopting goals becomes a critical consideration.
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The question whether group dynamics are better at adopting goals than individual decision making can be answered depending on the situation that the company is in. There is no doubt that when it comes to managing change a cross-functional project management team must be built in order to adopt the right goals.
This is because all the departments that are going to be affected by the change must be represented in the project management team. However the problem with group dynamics is that the process delays decision making (http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/old/15703015.htm).
One of the reasons for this delay can be groupthink in which the participants withhold views that may not conform in order to maintain membership (cited in Robbins & DeCenzo, 2003). Outside of change management, in the situation in which the decision making process has to be fast, individual decision making is undoubtedly the better option. Individually, the decision maker can speed up the process of decision making because fewer issues are considered.
The problem with facilitating group dynamics in decision making is that the decision making process has to be based upon consensus. This has the advantage that the suggestions that are taken into consideration are diverse. As a result, the same problem is viewed from many different perspectives.
The result is a process of brainstorming that can generate a lot of valuable ideas. However, in the situation in which the question is one of adopting goals, diversity of ideas can be a hindrance because it delays the process of decision making in adopting goals. In the event that the complexity of the situation is high then group decision making can be advantageous because too many issues will be considered, thus delaying the process.
Therefore in the situation in which adopting goals does not have to take too many issues into consideration, group decision making may be the best option. However in the event that the situation is complex, then the individual decision maker will be in a position to do a better job because he can exercise intuition in arriving at a decision.
From the above, it is made clear that there is no specific answer as to whether group dynamics or the individual decision maker will do a better job. The effectiveness of either of the tools depends on the complexity of the situation. The current business environment is characterized by a fast state of change.
Therefore the decision making process has to be speeded up. In this respect, even in the situation which calls for many issues to be taken into consideration, the individual decision maker can do the best job. However in the event that the management of the company can afford to spend time on considering all the relevant issues, then group dynamics create the best infrastructure in which to conduct the decision making process (http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/pdf/efop/efo38561.pdf).
However when facilitating group dynamics, the management must ensure that the decision making process is not affected by the need to reach a consensus. In such a situation, the participants are afraid of creating a conflict and therefore all the relevant issues are not taken into consideration.
Schwartz, Andrew E. (1994, August). Group decision-making. The CPA Journal Online.
Retrieved February 19, 2009 from http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/old/
Barlow, Jeff. (2005, October). Strategic planning for the Bloomington, Indiana, fire
department. Retrieved February 19, 2009 from http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/pdf/efop/
Robbins, Stephen P., and DeCenzo, David. (2003). Fundamentals of Management
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