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Examples of Recent Events That Are Indicators of Groupthink

The Case of Dominic Cummings, a Government Official, Breaking Covid-19 Lockdown Restrictions

In recent days, a top government adviser, Dominic Cummings, was said to have broken lockdown restrictions to travel across the UK. To maintain public confidence, many prominent leaders have approved these acts. Several government members have criticized Cummings’ actions, asking for his resignation. Cummings’ actions have been publicly endorsed by the chancellor, health secretary, leader, and foreign secretary (Lokesh & Marsden, 2021). This blog explores the concept of groupthink and Irving Janis’ theory, as well as a current example, and the risks it poses. Because the situation had never happened before, this act was based on Janis’ theory. Others make political decisions. The others have specialized skills and have worked in those fields for decades. They are competent and part of a tiny, linked network that builds a case to action around several key issues. The focus is on precise tasks and deadlines, and they are all committed to following through.

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The Case of the US Cabinet Members Failing to React to a Breach of the Law by Their Colleague Despite Public Demand

Cabinet members’ failure to react to Dominic Cummings’ actions, despite divergent opinions from the rest of society, may be seen as another instance of groupthink. The public stands by its earlier position that establishing public confidence is critical to managing the current pandemic response. This is connected to Irving Janis’ thesis since Dominic Cummings makes all the choices regardless of the public’s complaints about the kind of judgments they want to be made. The group is organized in such a way that it becomes extremely insular, concentrates on certain categories of activities, and lacks impartial management (Lokesh & Marsden, 2021). This is exacerbated by a lack of structure in discussions, and also the grouping is often homogenous in terms of the social background, views, ideology, and, in some cases, educational achievement.

The Case of Venezuela Government Imposing Contravening Measures in Employee Management

Venezuela’s government has committed itself to enforcing stringent regulations against unethical and erroneous choices that harm the country, including decreasing employee misbehaviour. The findings show that there are concealed aspects such as groupthink and a relationship to Irving Janis theory that were not captured by those measures but harmed organizational decisions, thereby costing organizations and the country (Colina et al., 2021). This study calls for the authorities and their institutions and the private sector to be reborn and notified if they are committed to and worried about the reliability of decisions they make.

Remedies Against Groupthink

Case 1

Creating a decision-making team that is diverse in thinking and capable of listening to, reacting to, and accepting opposing perspectives when appropriate (Janis, 1991): The cabinet secretary out to have created a team that would have researched on the proper measures to take in the face of Covid-19 and therefore place appropriate restrictions that befits everyone. He should consider involving other cabinet secretaries in making decisions that will affect them inclusively.

Case 2

Increasing individual accountability for the group’s choices counteracts the incentive toward conformity and empowers members to accept responsibility for the results (Janis, 1991): The cabinet members should have held Cummings responsible for the decisions he made as an individual without consulting the cabinet. On the other hand, the cabinet members should also be accountable and play their roles accurately in the decision-making process.

Case 3

Provide a style of leadership that shows a willingness to collaborate at the right level for the decision at hand (Janis, 1991): Venezuela can overcome the aspect mentioned earlier of groupthink by educating their leaders on the importance of being able to listen to their subordinates and their opinions into considerations. This act is necessary for ensuring that both the cabinet, citizens, and leaders are satisfied with the decision made.


Colina, M., Colina, K., Fernandez, A., Maia, M., & Torrealba, D. (2021). Un recorrido electoral en Twitter Venezuela durante el periodo enero de 2019 a diciembre de 2020. Espacios, 42(12), 94-114.

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Janis, I. (1991). Groupthink. In E. Griffin (Ed.), A First Look at Communication Theory (pp. 235 – 246). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Lokesh, K., & Marsden, G. (2021). Estimates of the carbon impacts of commute travel restrictions due to COVID-19 in the UK. Findings.

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