W7 Group Think and Working in Groups

Class, group politics and committees, what could go wrong?  Another forum to explore some concepts, please make sure to complete both parts.

Part 1:

Have you ever went along with a bad decision and tried to figure out later why you did? Well, don’t be so hard on yourself, it is phenomena called Group Think. Our text covers it well, but attached in this forum you will find two great articles that discuss it. Please read them in preparation for this forum.

After reading the articles answer the following questions.

Group Think Article

Abilene Paradox


  1. What is the difference (in your words) between groupthink and the Abilene Paradox?
  2. Which do you think it is easier to fall into and why?
  3. If you were leading a group and saw signs of Groupthink how would you handle it?
  4. Are there any personal examples of any of these (Groupthink, Abilene Paradox etc) decision blunders that you have been a part of and realize it now?

Part 2:

This week we will be getting involved in politics! We’ll be forming committees and trying to get something done on Capitol Hill! Here we go….

  1. You have been tasked by the federal government to lead a committee to determine the actions required to reform immigration.
  2. You have to present your findings to Congress on Friday. They will expect you to answer the following questions:
    a. Who will be on your committee (not names, just positions/organizations)?
  3. . How will your committee make decisions?
    1. What challenges do you expect your committee to face (think of this as external factors – don’t focus on internal group dynamics for this part)?
    2. How will you organize the committee?
    3. Define the committee’s task (think of this as your problem statement). It should be clear and concise.
    4. Post your initial work as if you were addressing Congress (answering each of the above questions).

    Remember to utilize relevant course material to guide your work (and the course concepts should be evident in your work). You can make up “facts” as needed to complete the week’s work, just make sure you answer all questions.

    Some reply hints:  Ask your peer one relevant question as if you were a member of Congress. The question should challenge your peer (you are skeptical of the committee and want to make sure your peer has a solid plan). Another great statement for a peer reply: Tell your peer why their committee members are inadequate (this should be tactful and aimed at helping them).


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