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Group Problem-Solving and Decision Making

The modern sphere of business has always been looking for ways to improve the working process. Individual decision making, brainstorm, group work, are all types of decision making, which are used by the companies. Group problem-solving and decision-making is one of the most effective techniques as the group of people will faster find the decision than one person. Working in a group, people should be aware of the steps, which should be followed and types of the group problem solving, as following some guidelines the decision may be found faster and the decision may be more effective.

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There are two models of decision-making in the group, rational and political, but this division is more conditional, as not always is possible to define what model was followed. Considering the rational decision making, the scientific method is taken for the base, traditional and logical approaches are followed during the decision making. Identifying the political decision-making model, preconceived notions and prejudices are involved in the problem-solving process. To justify that the division is conditional, the example of the 13th floor in the hotels should be taken. It may not be stated firmly whether the prejudices or traditional considerations were followed while the elimination of the 13th floor in the hotels (DuBrin, 2007).

Before analyzing the group problem-solving steps, the types of problem-solving should be discussed and guidelines to them. Brainstorming is one of the types of group work. The work should be provided in a group of five to seven people. The person from the side may be invited in order to avoid prejudgment. The secretary should note all the possible decisions which are going to be discussed. Freedom and variety in thought are the main principles of brainstorming. Furthermore, no criticism is allowed, as people will not put their ideas directly. The solutions should be offered by all members of the discussion, as well as contributions and improvements to the decisions are welcomed (DuBrin, 2007).

The nominal group technique is the other type of group decision-solving. The discussed question is offered by the leader of the group and the team members try to give their solutions independently on the sheet of paper. These solutions are later discussed and evaluated. The offered solution, which more scores, is taken as the best one and is accepted. The stand-up meeting is one of the quickest decision-making types. The main idea of this technique is to think for about 10 minutes on foot. This may sound strange, but the investigations, which were provided, proved that sit-down meetings last longer and some people think better, when they are given an opportunity to walk (DuBrin, 2007).

Mentioned decision-making types of work are usually provided by steps. First, the problem is identified and clarified, the cause is analyzed and the alternative solutions are discussed. The most appropriate decision is taken, the plan for implementation is provided and the evaluation of the selected decision is the finishing part of the problem-solving work in groups (DuBrin, 2007).

So, the work in group while decision making has two models and may be of three types. Every type has its own peculiarities and depends on people’s features of character and their ability to work either in a group or individually. In fact, group problem solving is one of the most effective and productive in the comparison with individual work.


DuBrin, A. J. (2007). “Group Problem-Solving and Decision Making.” Chapter 6 in Human Relations: Interpersonal Job-Oriented Skills. Pearson, Oxford.

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