Hastie, R., & Sunstein, C.Wiser: getting beyond groupthink to make groups smarter


Hastie, R., & Sunstein, C.

Januar 2015

Harvard Business Review Press

Why are group decisions so hard? Since the beginning of human history, people have made decisions in groups – first in families and villages, and now as part of companies, governments, school boards, religious organizations. We've all been involved in group decisions – they're hard and often turn out badly. Many blame bad decisions on "groupthink" without a clear idea of what that term really means. Sunstein and Hastie shed light on the specifics of why and how group decisions go wrong and offer tactics and lessons to help leaders avoid the pitfalls and reach better outcomes. In the first part of the book, they explain the distinct problems groups run into: They often amplify, rather than correct, individual errors in judgment; they fall victim to cascade effects, as members follow what others say or do; they become polarized, adopting more extreme positions than the ones they began with. In the second part of the book, the authors turn to straightforward methods and advice for making groups smarter. These approaches include silencing the leader so that the views of other group members can surface, rethinking rewards and incentives to encourage people to reveal their own knowledge, thoughtfully assigning roles that are aligned with people's unique strengths.

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