Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | March 23, 2010

Article Analysis: United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: report on pre-Iraq war intelligence

This article pointed out the results that come from “group think”. Group think has some very negative results because people begin to stop thinking as individuals. The text book Understanding Organizational Behavior by Debra Nelson and James Campbell Quick points out the symptoms of group think. They are:
1. Illusions of invulnerability
2. Illusions of group morality
3. Illusions of unanimity
4. Rationalization
5. Stereotyping the enemy
6. Self-censorship.
7. Peer pressure
8. Mindguards
Although all of the symptoms were present to a degree in the article, the biggest contributors to group think were mindguards, peer pressure, and self-censorship.

Group think is very detrimental to any group. It is, however, very difficult to avoid at times. In the work force it is easy to get in a cohesive group where several individuals are very focused on getting the job done and the major pressure is to get quick results. That type of atmosphere creates high peer pressure to not raise questions that will slow the progress of the work to be done. When individuals are under extreme pressure to get the job done, they also begin to have self-censorship. They continue to move forward without looking at all aspects of the solution. As happened in the article, this behavior can lead to severe negative consequences. With the group think mentality, extremely important details can be overlooked.

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