Groupthink

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Groupthink

One process by which groups may make bad or irrational decisions is known as groupthink. Individual members of a group attempt to conform their opinions to what they believe to be the group consensus even though the result may be negative. There are many reasons why groupthink happens. These include the desire to be liked, fear of losing a job, or even not wanting to be the one employee delaying a decision that seems inevitable. These kinds of implicit pressures to conform lead group members to ultimately make decisions that each, by himself or herself, might normally not make.

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    <-NARRATOR:-> Now listen to part of a lecture on this topic in a business management class.
    <-MALE PROFESSOR:-> So let me tell you about my own experience with this when I was working for a computer company a couple of years ago.
    So one day, a coworker and I suggested we should give our computers a design makeover, make them look more up to date.
    Market research was showing that new customers said they would be more interested in buying our computers if they looked cooler.
    Our technology was advanced, but the outside design looked really old-fashioned.
    At first, more than half the group supported us.
    There were a few senior managers there though who didn't support the design change.
    One of the senior managers said,"Our focus has always been on technology.
    Changing the look is an unnecessary cost."
    Almost immediately, some of our supporters changed their minds.
    Even my coworker changed his mind.
    When I asked him why after the meeting, he told me he didn't want to make a bad impression on the senior managers.
    He thought that disagreeing with them might jeopardize his chances of getting a promotion by not looking like a team player.
    What about me?
    I hate to admit it, but after a few hours of discussion, I started wondering if it was worth everyone's time to argue about this.
    As more people sided with senior management, I started to feel like I was the only one holding up the vote.
    Everyone else seemed to think change wasn't necessary, so I voted against my own idea in the end.
    So we unanimously decided to stay with the current old-looking design.
    But this decision ended up costing us a lot of money.
    That same year, our competitor came out with a new design that attracted some of our customers and prevented us from profiting on potential new customers.

问题

Explain groupthink and its effects using example of the computer company.

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