Master's – The influence of group decision-making problems and group techniques in decision quality – an exploratory analysis

Tipo de evento: 
Data e hora: 
22/11/2021 - 14:00 to 17:00


Artur Barretti Mascarenhas

Master's – The influence of group decision-making problems and group techniques in decision quality – an exploratory analysis

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Abraham Sin Oih Yu

Comission: Profs. Drs. Lucas Ayres Barreira de Campos Barros, Cláudio Antonio Pinheiro Machado Filho and Fabiano Rodrigues



Many decisions are made daily in organizations, resulting in irreversible resource allocation and consequences in their operations. Even though decision-making is typically seen as an individual process, in organizations a large part of decisions are made at a group-level, a dynamic that, by nature, can incur in problems that may affect decision quality.
Even though it is possible to find descriptive studies that approach these problems in the group decision-making literature and prescriptive studies that recommend group techniques to mitigate the consequences of the problems, few times these studies deal with how problems and group techniques affect the group decision process in its different stages. Nonetheless, it is still possible to observe that in the organizational practice, not always problems are recognized and solved as preconized by literature.
Therefore, it may seem relevant to understand the relation between group decision-making literature, decision quality and the actual practice inside organizations, which raise this study’s research question: how group decision-making problems and group techniques offered by prescriptive literature and practitioners affect decision quality?
Based on literature research, three objectives were defined for this study: to identify in which stages of the group decision-making the group phenomena related by the descriptive literature may harm decision quality; to identify if the problems observed by the group decision-making descriptive literature are observed in the practice of consultants and facilitators inside organizations and, finally, to identify if the techniques recommended by the prescriptive literature to mitigate problems on group decision-making are in consonance with techniques deployed by consultant and facilitators in their practice.
The methodology of this study is exploratory and descriptive with a qualitative approach, carried out by performing semi-structured interviews with consultants and facilitators that support organizations in group decision-making processes and analyzing 18 group decision processes in which it was possible to identify the observed problems and the deployed techniques to overcome them.
To approach the problems and techniques employed by practitioners, a literature-based analysis on its effects on decision quality was carried out in order to identify in which steps of the group decision making problems are likely to arise, as well as an investigation to check if practitioners’ approaches are in consonance with the group-decision making literature.
This study’s conclusion pointed in which of the group decision-making stages each kind of problem may occur and how they affect decision quality. A considerable dissonance between literature and practice was also observed, evidencing a gap that may be approached by future studies.

*Abstract provided by the author




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