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    CEO Gets a Consultant

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    The CEO has been extremely frustrated with what has been occurring within the organization lately. In a recent manager meeting he exclaimed, "Everyone around this place just follows the status quo. No one ever has any unique ideas on how we can make this organization better. You just sit here and wait for me to give you directions on what to do. Then you follow those directions word for word without asking any questions or making any improvements. We need to change this attitude and change it quickly." He then pointed out each of your group members and said, "You are in charge of fixing this and I want a strategy to fix this on my desk in one week!"

    Your group knows that this happens often in organizations:

    Can this type of behavior best be explained using groupthink, social comparison theory, conformity, group polarization, or a combination of explanations?
    As a group you need to attempt to arrive at a consensus decision regarding which theory best frames or explains why this is occurring in the organization. Following the group deliberation, your group needs to develop the strategic plan for the CEO. This strategic plan should address the following:

    What social psychological theory or theories best explains what is occurring within the organization and why?
    What can people do to avoid a group or mob mentality (such as deindividuation or groupthink)?

    The CEO read your small groups strategic plan and is very impressed with your suggestions and the speed with which your group developed the plan. He would like more groups within the organization to be as effective and efficient as your group was with this project. In order for other members of management to benefit from your group's experience you are to create an article for the corporate management newsletter that addresses the following:

    What type of decision making process did your group use to arrive at a consensus decision?
    In what ways is the group decision making process different from the individual decision making process?
    Did your group avoid or reduce group biases or errors? If yes, how? If no, why not or what happened?
    What are the implications of social influence for individuals and organizations?

    References are to be provided in APA style.

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    Solution Preview

    Can this type of behavior best be explained using groupthink, social comparison theory, conformity, group polarization, or a combination of explanations?
    This type of behavior best can be explained using groupthink. The managers are all working closely together and are deeply involved in cohesive in-group thinking and so there is a need for unanimity and this overrides every other consideration and alternate courses of action are not appraised. This has triggered the CEOs frustration with what is going on within the organization. For the sake of unanimity nobody questions the status quo and nobody wants to rock the boat.

    What social psychological theory or theories best explains what is occurring within the organization and why?
    Groupthink which has been coined by social psychologist Irving Janis best describes what has been going ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution talks about a CEO who is frustrated with managers following the status quo.. It then explores the possibility of using groupthink, social comparison theory, conformity and group polarization, to improve the situation.

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