Teams and Teamwork: Decision Making in Teams

Decision making – is the process of making choices among alternative courses of action.

How Teams make Decisions

  • Decision by lack of response: one idea after another is suggested without any discussion taking place.
  • Decision by authority rule: the leader, manager, committee head, or some authority figure makes a decision for the team.
  • Decision by minority rule: two or three people are able to dominate or “railroad” the team into making a mutually agreeable decision.
  • Decision by majority rule: formal voting may take place, or members may be polled to find the majority viewpoint; method parallels democratic political system.
  • Decision by consensus: what is encouraged; there is a full discussion which leads to one alternative being favored by most members and the other members agree to support it.
  • Decision by unanimity: maybe the ideal state of affairs; all team members agree on the course of action to be taken.

Assets and Liabilities of Group Decisions

Advantages of group decision making {Potential Assets}

  • Team decisions make greater amounts of information, knowledge, and expertise available to solve problems
  • Avoids considering only a limited range of options; more quality
  • Generates more understanding and commitment

Disadvantages of group decision making {Potential Liabilities}

  • Social pressures to conform
  • Greater time requirements


  • A high level of cohesiveness can sometimes be a disadvantage; strong feelings of team loyalty can make it hard for members to criticize or evaluate one another’s ideas and suggestions.
  • Psychologist Irving Janis calls this phenomenon groupthink, the tendency for highly cohesive teams to lose their critical evaluative capabilities and make poor decisions.

Creativity in Team Decision Making *Techniques for improving creativity in teams

  • Brainstorming: engages groups (usually 5-10 people) in an open, spontaneous discussion of problems and ideas.
  • Nominal group technique: structures interaction among team members discussing problems and ideas.
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment