In my research I found 8 symptoms of Groupthink defined by Irving Janice. I found applications for each of these 8 symptoms.
For instance, as explained by sean groupthink symptoms are in politics. In the bay of pigs there was Illusion of unanimity when the majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous. And Self-appointed mindguards are members that protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. But Groupthink happens in more areas then just politics. Using Matt Haig’s book Brand Failures: The Truth about the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time I applied a scenario to each of Irving Janice’s symptoms of Groupthink.
Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions. Did not anticipate any possible risks like alienation of customers.
Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
“ Coke management succumbed to the groupthink practice of self censorship by ignoring focus group data suggesting loyal coke drinkers would “stop drinking Coke altogether” if the new formula replaced the old” Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed. Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
1. GROUPTHINK EXAMPLES Erika L. LaMarch
2. BAY OF PIGS <ul><ul><li>POLITICS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illusion of unanimity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ </li></ul></ul>
3. FORD’S EDSEL <ul><li>MARKETING </li></ul><ul><li>“ Didn’t think the product would not match the marketing hype” </li></ul><ul><li>Illusion of invulnerability </li></ul>
4. BURGER KING HERB CAMPAIGN <ul><li>MARKETING </li></ul><ul><li>Collective rationalization </li></ul>
5. CARNATION <ul><li>R&D </li></ul><ul><li>Powdered Milk for Third World Countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in inherent morality </li></ul>
6. HOT WHEELS/BARBIE COMP. <ul><li>PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotyped views of out-groups </li></ul>
7. NEW COKE <ul><li>CORPORATE COMMUNICATION </li></ul><ul><li>Ignored market data in rival with Pepsi. </li></ul><ul><li>Self-censorship </li></ul><ul><li>Direct pressure on dissenters </li></ul>