Respond to each post: 200-300 ea post.
After reviewing Chapters 7 and 8 in our textbook, I feel that mismanaged agreement poses the most danger to teams. While I do believe that symptoms of groupthink can cause severe damage to a team’s decision making, I think mismanaged agreement has more potential to cause resentment amongst team members due to everyone trying to satisfy one another by not speaking up and expressing their own opposing view. As Johnson (2016) mentions “These actions can generate lots of anger and irritation, and participants blame each other for the group’s failures” (p. 217). In my opinion, teams that show signs of groupthink tend to agree with one another when first making a decision because the “members fail to consider all the alternatives, outlined objectives, or gather additional information” (Johnson, 2016). With that being said, there may be less of a chance of group members feeling resentment towards one another because at the end of they day, majority of the group agreed on the decision that was made, despite the lack of consideration of other alternatives and/or information.
I begin to recognize when a group is caught in the escalation of commitment when members of the group begin to justify their reasoning for making their original decision. I don’t believe a group would feel the need to continue justifying their decision unless they were trying to defend the fact that their proposed project may not be generating any benefits or is heading in a negative direction. I also notice signs of escalating commitment when there tends to be many more resources needed in order to carry out a project in addition to the original plan.
In regards to a manager’s control vs. a group’s control over team members, I agree with the following statement made by Johnson (2016),“Members of newly formed self directed work teams frequently find that the group exerts more control over their behavior than their former managers ever did” (p. 220). My reason being is because groups obviously consist of more than one person, which I believe can be much more intimidating to a team member if an entire group has a common set of values and opinions rather than just an individual manager expressing their values and expectations to a team member. A team member may not have the same views as their manager, but when an entire group is pressing their expectations on an individual, this type of pressure can lead to “excessive, unhealthy influence over one another” (Johnson, 2016).
The ethical guidelines I would set for gathering and sharing information is to first ensure that the information I obtain is necessary for my role as a leader and that the information is not violating any company laws or policies. I would also make sure that any information I share with others does not violate any policies. For example, an manager that works at a University may have access to a student’s personal information such as their date of birth, address, course grades and schedule, etc., but according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), schools must generally have written permission from a parent or student (who is at least 18 years of age) in order to release any information from a student’s educational record. There of course may be certain exceptions, but I would make sure to review and follow these guidelines before releasing any information related to the student.
I think it is definitely possible for a leader to be incompetent, yet also ethical. Leaders can sometimes lack educational experience or control over their emotions, which can result in them being unable to function under stress and their decision and communication skills may suffer (Johnson, 2016). However, if a leader lacks these qualities, it does not necessarily imply that they do not implement their moral values into their work ethic and leadership.
I believe ethical leaders are generally more effective because they tend to be more genuine in both their actions and decision making, which can provide their employees with a sense of trust and commitment. In addition, due to the numerous amounts of company scandals resulting from unethical leadership, companies are now beginning to emphasize ethics as a sought-after trait when searching for new employees (Auletto & Miller, 2017). I think it is becoming more widely known that organizations led by unethical leaders tend to likely result in unwanted consequences.
Auletto, K.T., & Miller, A.J. (2017) Developing more ethical leaders. Techniques, (4), 16-21.
Johnson, C.E. (2016). Organization ethics: A practical approach (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.
Both groupthink and mismanaged agreement have their own set of negative consequences within a team. However, I believe that mismanaged agreement has potentially more room for harm than does groupthink. While groupthink is defined as “putting unanimity ahead of careful problem solving” (Johnson, 2016) mismanaged agreement is possibly more destructive because of the source of the harm. Mismanaged agreement is defined as a situation where “members publicly express support for decisions that they oppose in private” (Johnson, 2017). By supporting a decision publicly you are also encouraging others to do the same, regardless of their own opinion. This is dangerous because it can cause an entire team to feel as if their goals are unrealistic or unjustified- thus their efforts toward completion may not be as committal as would it be if they fully supported the cause.
As a personal example, there have been several times within my own job that I feel that I have changed my mind so many times during a project (or had others suggest different options) that I find the initial idea has changed so much it is almost a completely different objective than when I started. This is the problem with escalating commitment. Which Johnson (2016) states often ends in failure as those committed to the goal bit off more than they can chew. A clear sign of a team being stuck in a escalating commitment is when they continue to add resources, funding, time and energy into a project without seeing significant outcomes- yet they chose to continue pouring in resources. They may not take the advice of others who can see the flaws in their efforts and simply put more and more effort into the project.
Johnson (2016) states that “members of newly formed self-directed work teams frequently find that the group exerts more control over their behavior than their former managers ever did” because groups that form tend to develop their own ideas and come to mutual agreements or compromises that help the group function as a unit. Outside control, such as by a manager or superior, tend to have more structured forms of control. For example, the manager has the power to make decisions based off their own ideals regardless of taking the employees suggestions or thoughts into consideration. This leader-follower relationship is very different than a mutual agreement made within groups.
Johnson (2016) states that an incompetent leader can still be ethical, however, they may struggle in terms of “emotional or academic intelligence” (p.237). In some cases, stress and disorganization can be considered incompetent, but in most situations the individual may be able to make ethically sound decisions.
Overall ethical leaders are the most effective because they lead by example and set the tone for their employees; they model work ethic, standard, and creates the climate in which employees will follow. Ethical leaders are more easily able to establish trust with their employees, motivate them and establish a team that believes in their goal.
References: JOHNSON, C. E. (2018). ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS: a practical approach. S.l.: SAGE PUBLICATIONS.
Johnson (2016) avers that “groups play a larger role than ever in the workplace” and that these groups “not individuals, generally make important organizational decisions” (p. 381). In addition to the crucial roles that groups play in making organizational decisions, “groups tend to bring out the moral best and worst in us” (Johnson, 2016, p. 381). As a member of the Armed Forces, teamwork and groups are often encouraged because members are more likely to “help one another, support (reinforce) the identities of other group members, detect and correct errors in reasoning, and develop positive relationships with other group members” ultimately building unit cohesion and strengthening the commands foundation (Johnson, 2016, p. 386). However, working in groups or teams can pose dangers from both the groupthink, and mismanaged agreement vantage.
Of the dangers posed, mismanaged agreement poses the most danger because “teams continue to pour time and money into new products that no one believes will succeed” (Johnson, 2016, p. 407). The gravity of this dilemma is made readily apparent when caught in the escalation of commitment, when “instead of cutting their losses, groups redouble their efforts, pouring in more resources” until the team is forced to admit defeat (Johnson, 2016, p. 412). Johnson (2016) explains that since the group has an invested stake in the outcome, managers would exert better control because “groups have a tendency to take more risks than individuals which can encourage members to contribute more than they would on their own” (p. 413).
As a leader, you are entrusted with a myriad of information, and have an immense moral and ethical responsibility to those you lead and mentor to protect that information. Ethical guidelines I use to gather or share such information includes gathering it in agreement with privacy act laws, not releasing it unless permission is granted to do so, and using the information for official use only (FOUO) to avoid putting my followers in any legal or moral dilemmas. Unfortunately, there are leaders who are incompetent, and are unable to make ethical decisions because “they don’t have the motivation or ability to sustain effective action” (Johnson, 2016, p. 444). To be an effective and ethical leader Johnson (2016) suggests that leaders “limit your tenure, share power, don’t believe your own hype, get real and stay real, and compensate for your weaknesses” (p. 447).
Johnson, C. E. (2016). Organizational ethics: A practical approach (3rd ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.