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AU / Management / MNGT 4400 / What is groupthink?

What is groupthink?

What is groupthink?


School: Auburn University
Department: Management
Course: Organizational Change
Professor: Lucian bifano
Term: Summer 2015
Tags: MNGT4400, Exam 2, and Study Guide.
Cost: 50
Name: MNGT4400Exam2StudyGuide
Description: This study guide is to be used in addition to past lecture notes. Remember you can print this out and bring it to the exam!!
Uploaded: 03/25/2016
6 Pages 170 Views 7 Unlocks

Demond Cassin (Rating: )

I was sick all last week and these notes were exactly what I needed to get caught up. Cheers!

Exam 2 Study Guide 

What is groupthink?

MNGT 4400 


∙ Drivers:

o High group cohesiveness  

o Strong desire to maintain membership in the group

o Premature striving for agreement on decisions

∙ Symptoms

o Overestimation of the group

 Illusion of invulnerability

 Belief in the morality of the group

o Closed mindedness

 Shared rationalization

 Stereotypes

o Pressures toward uniformity

 Self-censorship If you want to learn more check out What are esteem needs?

 Direct pressure

 Mind guarding

 Illusion of unanimity

Problem Symptoms

1. Illusion on invulnerability

What is root cause analysis?

2. Inherent of morality of the group

3. Rationalization

4. Stereotypes of outsiders

5. Self-censorship

6. Direct pressure

7. Mind guards

8. Illusion of unanimity

Problem causes  

∙ Faulty group process

∙ Heuristics (problem-solving by trial & error) Don't forget about the age old question of What is the slope of the total product curve?

o Availability-committing info to memory

o Representativeness- collecting, organizing, and analyzing data that doesn’t accurately reflect the current state

o Anchoring-focus on a particular item


1. Foster an open climate

2. Avoid sequestering the group from outside criticism

What are the 6 drivers of credibility?

3. Assign everybody the role of “critical evaluator”

4. Avoid being too directive or exerting undue influence upon the group

Visual representations can often allow faster and more accurate  communication of key facts.

Root cause analysis 

∙ Things happen for a reason Don't forget about the age old question of What is accelerated depreciation?
Don't forget about the age old question of What do you call the recognition of the ways that different systems of oppression, domination, and discrimination can overlap in one person?

∙ Not all causes are of equal importance

∙ If we understand root causes, particularly the important ones, and deal with them, we can get the outcomes we desire.  

5 Whys

∙ “there is nothing magical about asking why 5 times, but in many cases  it will get you to root cause”


o Easy to teach

o Easy to use

o Introduces people to structured problem solving methods o Prevents “Band-Aid” solutions We also discuss several other topics like What does an informal care mean?
We also discuss several other topics like What iq tests are the most commonly used today?


o Not repeatable

o Not always data driven

o Results can be easily biased

o It doesn’t account for multiple causes

Transforming Organizations-Why Firms Fail 

∙ Lack of commitment

∙ Failure to shepherd the change from diagnosis through  institutionalization

∙ Neglect

∙ “Program of the month”

Common Errors

1. Allowing too much complacency

2. Failing to create a sufficiently powerful guiding coalition 3. Underestimating the power of vision

4. Under-communicating the vision by a factor of 10, 100 or 1,000 5. Permitting obstacles to block the new vision

6. Failing to create short term wins

7. Declaring victory too soon

8. Neglecting to anchor changes firmly in the corporate culture Consequences

1. Reengineering takes too long and costs too much

2. Changes don’t deliver expected results

“Communicating in a clear and understandable fashion is challenging especially across multiple languages, time zones, geographies and cultures.”

A framework for bridging social distances

The problem

∙ When teams consist of people from different cultures working apart  from one another in different locations, social distance – or a lack of  emotional connection – can cause miscommunications,  

misunderstanding, and distrust

The Solution

∙ Identify and address five sources of social distance: structure, process, language, identity and technology

The 6 drivers of Credibility 

1. Discovering and knowing yourself – clarifying your values 2. Appreciating and valuing others – listening and appreciating diversity 3. Affirming shared values – finding common ground and creating  community

4. Developing capacity – educating and creating a climate for learning 5. Being a role model – leading by example

6. Sustaining hope – finding a will and a way, giving and getting support

Credibility: Change Agent Attributes

∙ Perceived by others as

o Honest

o Competent

o Forward looking

o Inspiring

New Era Apparel Case Study Question of Character 

Review the discussion of these questions:

1. What are the key issues?

2. What risks and exposures exist for New Era Apparel?

3. What are the questions and positions you would expect different  members of the board of directors to take?

4. What position would you take if you were a member of the board? 5. What risks and exposures exist for the members of the board? 6. Would you expect directors and officers insurance to indemnify the  

board members if there was a legal claim against Pleasanton and NEA? 7. What actions would you recommend if you were a member of NEA’s  board?

Kotter’s 8 Steps 

1. Establish a sense of urgency 2. Create the guiding coalition 3. Develop a change vision 4. Communicate the vision for buy-in

5. Empower broad-based action 6. Generate short-term wins 7. Never let up

Create a climate for change

Engage and enable the whole  organization

Implement and sustain change

8. Incorporate change into the culture

Review the discussion about how a change leader might use the 5-Step  Sentiment Framework along with Kotter’s process for leading change

Employee Perspective Step 1-Step 5

1. Discrepancy – there is a deviation from desired performance 2. Appropriateness – the proposed change will address the discrepancy 3. Efficacy – it is possible to successfully implement the change 4. Principal Support – there is leadership support for the change 5. Valence – the perceived personal benefit or loss from the change is  understood

The view of Yahoo! In 2012 when Marissa Mayer left Google and took over as  CEO:

Viewed by many in the industry as a company in decline since its stock price  peak in 2000 …

∙ Arrogant and undisciplined

∙ Having made a huge mistake in not accepting Microsoft’s acquisition  offer

∙ A company with the absence of accountability

∙ Lacking strategic focus

∙ Having an insane organizational structure

∙ Being over-reliant on revenues from failing dot-coms

Criticisms of Mayer’s leadership

∙ A tendency to micromanage

∙ Tone-deaf communications

∙ Ending the company’s liberal work-at-home policy as she built an in office nursery for her own newborn

∙ Habitual tardiness

∙ Stack ranking (forced performance ranking skews)

Another Point-of-View

∙ Mayer brought unprecedented transparency to Yahoo

∙ She was right to cut back on telecommuting because an organization  going through a reset requires much more face time from its  employees

∙ The business she’s built or acquired are making money

∙ The company appears to be back on track for growth this year

Organizational Change at IGM 

Gerstner sets five ninety-day priorities in his first meeting 1. Stop hemorrhaging cash

2. Make sure IBM will be profitable in 1994 to send a message to the  world – and the IBM workforce – that the senior team had stabilized the company

3. Develop and implement a key customer strategy for 1993 and 1994 –  one that will convince customers that IBM was back serving their  interests, not just pushing “iron” down their throats to ease IBM’s short term financial pressure

4. Finish right-sizing by the beginning of the third quarter

5. Develop an intermediate-term business strategy

… Then he asks each business unit leader for a 10pg report ∙ Product line

∙ Economics

∙ Long and short term key issues

∙ Customer needs

∙ Technical outlook

∙ Competitive analysis

∙ 1993-1994 outlook

…Then he asks each one to describe their view of IBM as a whole ∙ What short-term steps could IBM take to get aggressive on o Sales

o Customer relationships

o Competitive attacks

∙ What should IBM be thinking about in its long-term and short term  business strategies

...Finally he tells everyone to go out & manage the company ∙ Help “me” establish a travel schedule that will take me to customers &  employees very early

∙ Let me know the meetings your are scheduled to hold over the next  few weeks & recommend whether I should attend or not

∙ Don’t talk to the press about IBM’s problems

One of Palmisano’s key focus items is operating earnings per share growth

For the first time in IBM’s history, Palmisano tells investors  IBM’s earnings per share growth objective and underlying  plans for the period 2005 to 2010

Some of his priorities are: 

∙ Growing value-add, high-margin segments of IBM

∙ Exiting low-margin commodity businesses

∙ Growth markets

∙ Global services

∙ An industry competitive expense structure

∙ Software

∙ Achieving the 2010 earnings per share roadmap

Rometty’s opinion about priorities in IBM’s 2014 annual report ∙ IBM’s priorities are …

o Remaking enterprise IT for the era of the cloud

o Helping transform industries and professions with big data and  analytics

o Reimagining work by helping clients build systems of  engagement underpinned by the imperative of security

o Continuing to move to higher value  

o Addressing significant challenges in some of IBM’s businesses,  principally hardware

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