Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Countering groupthink: The inner-circle of influence
by Sarver, Christopher Charles, Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2013, 148; 3595837
Abstract (Summary)

As noted by research journalists, ‘t Hart, Stern & Sundelius (1997), foreign policy decisions “…are shaped in relatively small groups and informal face-to-face interaction” (p 4). This study explores the influence of small groups on the effectiveness of decision-making techniques and examines how to counter the new forms of groupthink such as an inner-circle of influence.

This project utilizes an experimental design study to test the relative efficiency of two decision-making models in a pre-scripted scenario in countering this new inner-circle form of groupthink. Using a cross-over research design, participants responded to each scenario with random assignment into one of two decision-making models: the Delphi model and an iterative feedback technique referred to in this paper as the Continuous Group Problem Solving (CGPS) model. After completing two decision-making scenarios, participants identified the most effective decision-making model overall and potential for this method to counter dominance by an inner-circle of influence.

The results from this study are significant since the findings reconceptualize the term groupthink as a simpler term implying inner-circle influence that preempts thorough decision-making. The findings also provide insight for future application in countering the deleterious control of an “inner-circle.” These exploratory research results are ripe for replication in large corporate or Government organizations, The desire to have a voice in the decision process and to overcome inner-circle influence will be of value to those conducting future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Franklin, Aimee L.
Commitee: Barbee, Nina, Gabert, Trent, Little, Richard, Spigner-Littles, Dorscine
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Teacher Leadership
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-A 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Continuous Group Problem Solving, Decision-making, Groupthink, Influence, Inner-circle
Publication Number: 3595837
ISBN: 9781303420801
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