According to Irving Janis (1972), groupthink is the process by which we conform to others’ decisions even when we individually disagree with these decisions.
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Imagine that Fred is the manager of a bookstore, and the sales of books have slowed in recent months. Fred decides to meet with his employees to find ways to reduce expenses and increase sales.
To reduce the possibility of groupthink before the start of the meeting, Fred encourages everyone to speak up with their opinions—no matter what those opinions are.
- Discuss why groupthink takes place. What characteristics of a group most often lead to groupthink?
- Do you agree with Fred’s strategy to reduce the likelihood that groupthink will occur?
- Which other strategies can Fred employ to reduce the likelihood of groupthink during the meeting?