Dynamics of Group Decision Making
Publish Date: Thursday, 30 December 2021

Anton Garnyk & Claudia Gonnelli



"Group decision-making (GDM) is a multi-faceted complex process. Every group member contributes to the decision-making (DM) dynamics and affects the final decision. Understanding these dynamics can ensure that in a situation with an extremely high level of responsibility, the final decision contains no errors and has been made considering the best alternative. This article seeks to identify the characteristics of GDM dynamics during six Dunedin City Council meetings, in New Zealand. The dual paradigm developed by Daniel Kahneman was tested in relation to group dynamics together with principles of dialectical materialism. The analysis showed a clear correlation between high financial risk and increased time spent for DM. The research undertaken revealed the existence of perplexing GDM dynamics and a tendency to deviate from optimal and effective DM processes. The analysis also showcased the presence of two key existing subgroups: a majority of Councillors including the formal leader, and a small black sheep minority, whose arguments were sometimes ignored due to ‘deviance’ and emerged ‘social reality’. Recommendations include supporting dynamics analogous to the System 2 approach from Kahneman’s dual paradigm, following the Con-Div model from GDM continuum, encouraging sustainable dialectical developments, clearing communication channels and ensuring equal rights for debating."


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