Subject: Organization Behavior –II
Topic: Group thinking
Study Program: MBA (HRM)
Submitted by: Badar-e-Alam-Anwar
Q: What is group thinking? Explain and Discuss.
Definition: group thinking defined as “Two or more individuals interacting and
interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives”.
Definition: Group think is a psychological phenomenon that can occur in groups of people.
Rather than critically evaluating information, the group members begin to form quick
opinions that match the group consensus. Groupthink seems to occur most often when a
respected or persuasive leader is present, inspiring members to agree with his or her opinion.
Groupthink is sometimes positive but is more often seen in a negative light.
Definition: Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs
when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of
“mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment” (p. 9). Groups affected by
groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other
groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in
background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear
rules for decision making.
Reference: Janis, Irving L. (1972). Victims of Groupthink. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Janis, Irving L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and
Fiascoes. Second Edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Types of groups
Formal group: Defined by the organization’s structure with designated work assignments
Examples: schools, churches, workplaces, civic organizations, towns, cities.
Informal group: Alliances those are neither formally structured nor organizationally
Examples: neighbourhoods, friendships, hobby groups, computer-user groups.
Why do people join groups?
Securit: By joining a group, individuals can reduce the insecurity of “standing alone”. People
feel stronger, have fewer self-doubts, and are more resistant to threats when they are part of a
Status: Inclusion in a group that is viewed as important by others provides recognition and
status for its members.
Self-esteem: Groups can provide people with feelings of self-worth. That is, in addition to
conveying status to those outside the group, membership can also give increased feelings of
worth to the group members themselves.
Affiliation: Groups can fulfill social needs. People enjoy the regular interaction that comes
with group membership. For many people, these on-the-job interactions are their primary
source for fulfilling their needs for affiliation.
Power: What cannot be achieved individually often becomes possible through group action.
There is power in numbers.
Goal Achievement: There are times when it takes more than one person to accomplish a
particular task. There is a need to pool talents, knowledge, or power in order to complete a
job. In such instances, management will reply on the use of a formal group.
Stages of Group Development
The Five-Stage Group-Development Model
The five distinct stages groups go through: forming, storming, norming, performing, and
Stage I: Forming: The first stage in group development, characterized by much uncertainty
about the group’s purpose, structure, and leadership.
Stage II: Storming: The second stage in group development, characterized by intragroup
Stage III: Norming: The third stage in group development, characterized by close
relationships and cohesiveness.
Stage IV: Performing: The fourth stage in group development, when the group is fully
Stage V: Adjourning: The fifth stage in group development for temporary groups,
characterized by concern with wrapping up activities rather than task performance.