Authority Rule In many business groups, decision making is often a matter of authority rule: The designated leader makes the final decision. This doesn ‟ t mean that such leaders must be autocratic: They often listen to the ideas and suggestions of Part Four Working in Groups Working in Teams Chapter 8 members before making the decisions themselves. The owner of a family business might invite employees to help choose a new company logo, while selecting the final design after hearing their opinions. A store manager might consult with employees about scheduling work hours, while reserving the final decisions for herself. The input from group members can help an authority to make higher-quality decisions than would otherwise be possible. One major risk of inviting suggestions from subordinates, however, is the disappointment that might follow if these suggestions aren ‟ t accepted. Choice of a Decision-Making Method Each decision-making method has its advantage and disadvantages. The choice of which one to use depends on several factors. ethical challenge Dealing with Offensive Humor You are a new employee in a close-knit accounting department. You soon find that not- so-subtle racist and ethnic jokes are the order of the day. Your fellow workers use derogatory terms when they refer to clients and others. For you, this is an ideal job in terms of responsibility and salary; however, you are offended by the bigoted comments. What will you do? What type of decision is being made? If the decision can best be made by one or more experts, or if its needs to be made by the authorities in charge, then involving other group members isn ‟ t appropriate. If, however, the task at hand calls for creativity or requires a large amount of information from many sources, then input from the entire group can make a big difference? How important is the decision? Trivial decisions don ‟ t require the involvement of the entire group. It ‟ s a waste of time and money to bring everyone together to make decisions that can easily be made by one or two people. How much time is available? If time is short, it simply may not be possible to consult everyone in the group. This is especially true if the members are not all available – if some are away from the office or out of town, for example. Even if everyone is available, the time-consuming deliberations that come with a group discussion may be a luxury you
can ‟ t afford. What are the personal relationships among members? Even important decisions might best be made without convening the whole group if members are on bad terms. If talking things out will improve matters, then a meeting may be worth the emotional wear and tear that it will generate. But if a face-to-face discussion will just make matters worse, then the decision might best be made in some other way.
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