A Case Study about Effective Coordination in Human Group Decision Making
Abstract: In this chapter we present a taxonomy we have developed for assessing coordination mechanisms during group decision-making discussions (MICROCO). Since there is a convincing number of ﬁndings on poor-quality outcomes of human group decisions and tragic examples found in politics, there is an escalating need to foster quality group decision making, particularly with regard to group coordination. Especially for ordinary, daily work-group decision processes, the current state of scientiﬁc research does not offer conclusive explanations of how group members communicate in order to coordinate information exchange and decision making.
Introduction: Do you remember your last board or project meeting where you had to come to a decision within your group? Unfortunately, as you may conﬁrm, the process of joint decision making seems to be a challenging endeavour and human group decisions are far from perfect Reasons for poor human group decision quality stem from an inadequate exchange of information relevant to the decision, (2) an insufﬁcient evaluation of the possible negative consequences of ego-based or predetermined decision preferences, and (3) an inappropriate integration of different information, leading to a lack of consensus and delaying possible decisions. These ﬁndings represent Steiner’s (1972) notion postulating that actual group productivity is a function of both the potential group productivity and process losses occurring during the group interaction.
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