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Group decision-making is where a group of individuals are brought together in hopes of determining a solution to a problem. The three types of group decision making are nominal, Delphi technique and brainstorming.

Group Decision-Making

Messy Chocolate Company’s new cricket candy bar packed with real crickets and chock full of protein is a huge success! Consumers are clamoring to purchase the chocolate bar with crunch. It has received enormous press and social media buzz.The CEO of the company is now requesting the marketing, engineering, and management groups to develop, produce, and promote another new chocolate bar for 2014.

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Each team has decided to try different techniques for group decision-making in order to try and develop the best new candy bar. Hopefully it will surpass even the success of the Cricket Bar!Group decision-making is where a group of individuals are brought together in hopes of determining a solution to a problem. The marketing team’s first approach in developing a new candy bar will be to try an approach where the team does not verbally discuss the bar.

Nominal Group Technique

In the nominal group technique, members do not discuss the issue and potential solutions verbally. Instead, the group uses a written process to develop and curate ideas. The advantage to this type of group decision-making is that no one member of the group can dominate, and it eliminates the interpersonal aspect, which can sometimes distract from the goal. The steps of the nominal group technique consist of:

  • Team members write down their ideas to solve the problem.
  • Each idea is cataloged, and no idea is discussed between members at this point.

  • An open forum is held to discuss each idea with no negative input allowed.
  • Members then vote secretively for the final solution.

Messy Chocolate’s marketing team met in the boardroom and decided to try this technique first due to some abrasive personalities in the department who tend to try and orchestrate meetings. The team went through each step and ended up with a fantastic idea for a new chocolate candy bar from one of the quieter team members. The marketing team will present the idea for a popcorn chocolate bar to the CEO.

The engineering team is meeting later in the day to try a different group decision-making technique.

The Delphi Technique

The Delphi technique consists of the use of surveys to develop a final solution. A team of experts create a survey that is administered to the team. After each round of surveys, new questionnaires are created and administered until a final solution is able to be rectified. This technique is good for creating numerous alternatives, seeking additional information, developing new ideas and gathering many expert opinions.The engineering team followed this type of decision-making and ended up with many cool new bar ideas. The final questionnaire was a vote on the candy bar decision.

The engineering group will be presenting the chocolate-covered cinnamon cake bar. The last technique is being used by management.

Brainstorming

The management team has decided to try the most creative group decision-making technique. The team will use brainstorming, or a creative way to generate or develop creative ideas for the bar.

There are a few rules of brainstorming that the team has to follow:

  • No initial idea is criticized or rejected.
  • The team is interested in developing a high number of ideas and not concerned with quality or feasibility yet.

The management team was able to develop a list of over 150 new candy bar ideas that ranged from the traditional chocolate chip candy bar to the outlandish chocolate-covered snake candy bar. After much brainstorming and analysis the management team will present the chocolate cheddar cheese bar to the CEO.

Lesson Summary

Group decision-making is where a group of individuals are brought together in hopes of determining a solution to a problem. The three types of group decision making are nominal, Delphi technique and brainstorming. In the nominal group technique, members do not discuss the issue and potential solutions verbally. Instead, the group uses a written process to develop and curate ideas. The Delphi technique consists of the use of surveys to develop a final solution.

The last type is brainstorming, which is a creative strategy used to generate many ideas without any negative feedback or the judgment of feasibility in the initial stages.

Learning Outcome

After watching this lesson, you should be able to identify and discuss the three types of group decision-making in a business.

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