- Paperback: 349 pages
- Publisher: Cengage Learning; 2 edition (May 19, 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395317045
- ISBN-13: 978-0395317044
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes 2nd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Groupthink is the process described by Janis when a group follows a certain set of patterns that result in disastrous consequences. Clearly if the same group patterns were applied to the Cuban Missile Crises that were used in the Bay of Pigs, the world might well have been destroyed by nuclear war. The possible consequences for groups are enormous.
When a group, whether it is a business, church, school, little league, not for profit, or other organization, knows how to avoid groupthink, it can come to a much better decision for the group itself, as well as those the group represents. Janis provides the means to help groups accomplish this very important goal. This is material from which any group can benefit, if they chose to put it into practice.
I recommend this work very highly to anyone who works with groups of any kind.
"In studies of social clubs and other small groups, conformity pressures have frequently been observed. Whenever a member says something that sounds out of line with the group's norms, the other members at first increase their communication with the deviant. . .But if they fail after repeated attempts, the amount of communication they direct toward the deviant decreases markedly. The members begin to exclude him. . . . [T]he more cohesive the group and the more relevant the issues to the goals of the group, the greater is the inclination of the members to reject a nonconformist." In short, groups will tend to reinforce their own views and reject the words of those who disagree. In this case, members of the group become "conformist to some conformity."
Janis uses several case studies of what he considers to be "groupthink"--The Bay of Pigs invasion, the escalation of the Korean War in 1950, the attack on Pearl Harbor while the "fortress slept," and escalation of the Viet Nam War. In each instance, according to Janis, top decision-makers walled themselves off from dissenting voices and tended to reinforce one another's preexisting positions. In counterpoint are two successes, where groupthink did not triumph--the Cuban Missile Crisis and the development of the Marshall Plan.
The thesis may be a bit simplistic, but it is abundantly clear from this book and from what we see around us that groupthink can be problematic.Read more ›
Pressure to conform. Formal and informal attempts are made to discourage discussion of divergent views. Groups exert great pressure on individual members to conform.
Opposing ideas dismissed. Any individual or outside group that criticizes or opposes a decision receives little or no attention from the group. Group members tend to show strong favoritism toward their own ideas in the manner by which information is processed and evaluated, thus guaranteeing that their ideas will win out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Used a lot in MPA course. Reference tool and easy to read...wanted to keep but parted ways with, for more book funds.Published 1 month ago by BWS24
Had read book years earlier, and now ordered 8 copies for my Men's Book and Gourmet Group's upcoming session which I will host.Published 6 months ago by Robert W. Brown
Interesting. I plan to quote some of this in my book. Complements the book "From Good to Great," in that both agree the best way to get strong management performance is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Gregory W. Tuve
first flipped thru it 12 years ago when my oldest son took a political science course at harvard, my youngest son has recently taken a similar course at yale and so I had to buy... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Joel Puleo
This is a fascinating read. We see the results of group think everywhere and around us every day. Truthfully, I think this book shoots holes in the superiority of theory of team... Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Stephen T. Morley
It's a classic academic writing. Informative for anyone looking for more effective decision-making and conflict issues in groups and organizations.Published on January 24, 2013 by Barbara L
With some great case analyzes this book make the point on why some great people working together can fail. Read morePublished on October 15, 2011 by aabraga