As mentioned in a previous lesson, individual decisions are those organizational decisions made by leaders in an official capacity. If an organizational decision was made collaboratively by more than one member of the organization, then it is a group decision.
Group decision-making is a participatory process where group members share their ideas, knowledge, expertise, and experience to solve complex problems.
|Individual Decision-Making||Group Decision-Making|
|Decisions are taken by a single individual.||Decisions are taken by a group of people.|
|Individual decisions are less costly.||Group decisions are costly in terms of time and money.|
|They are based on limited information gathered by a single decision-maker.||They are based on extensive information collected by members of the group.|
|Individual decisions are generally taken in situations of emergency.||Group decisions can be taken when there is sufficient time to make decisions.|
|They do not involve moral commitment on the part of members to accept and implement them.||Group decisions are easier to implement as group members feel committed to them.|
|Individual decisions do not affect morale or job satisfaction of employees.||Group decisions positively affect morale and job satisfaction of employees.|
|They introduce one-man control.||They introduce self-control.|
|Individual decisions do not promote interaction amongst superiors and subordinates.||They promote superior-subordinate interaction and healthy relationships amongst them.|
|Decisions are usually based on clear policy guidelines.||Group decisions are taken when the problem requires creativity and expert knowledge of a group.|
|Though decisions are based on individual thinking, they are high-quality if the individual has expertise and experience in making such decisions.||It usually results in high-quality decisions as they are based on extensive brainstorming. They provide the benefit of synergy.|
Pros and Cons
Individual decisions are made faster than group decisions, but group decisions are created from a more diverse set of ideas. As such, individual decisions are best made by individuals who usually outperforms the group. Unfortunately, choosing the best individual can be challenging, depending on the situation of the organization.
The advantage is that having only one person make an organizational decision avoids group dynamics, such as groupthink.
However, it does mean that group members might have less commitment to the decision. As mentioned above, group decisions are easier to implement because they positively affect members of the organization and make them more committed to the decision.
When the decision is done by an individual, it is easier to determine who is responsible for it. However, it also means that the decision might be put off by that individual.
On the other hand, making group decisions can be positive for the organization as it can serve as a team-building activity. Of course, when there is an entire group making a decision, there could be social loafing and it is harder to place accountability.