One of the biggest complaints among managers is the huge amount of time they have to spend in meetings. Ideally the purpose of meetings is to put everyone’s heads together to solve a problem or make a decision. But far too often they can lead to unproductive, time-wasting conversations and even conflict.
For this assignment, think about some recent meetings you’ve attended where a significant decision had to be made. Think carefully about how some of the problems regarding group decision making that were discussed in the background readings apply to what you’ve experienced. Then write a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following issues:
- Are all voices equally heard, or are some people afraid to speak up? Are participants in the meeting afraid to contradict senior management?
- Is time spent at the meetings productive, or is a lot of time wasted?
- Are the decisions that are made solid ones? Or do they suffer from problems mentioned in the background materials such as groupthink?
- Are ideas expressed at meetings creative and original, or are original ideas discouraged?
- Based on what you’ve described in Questions 1–4 above, what kind of group decision-making process would you recommend be used in meetings you attend? Base your answer on readings from the background materials such as Rao (2009), Bolland and Fletcher (2012), and Sims (2002).