Nature and Scope of the Problem Essay

Poor communication amongst teams leads to a lack of unanimity in decision making and the absence of a consensus could quickly lead to our organizational demise.

Nature and Scope of the Problem

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Consensus decision making prioritizes all the elements of teamwork and is vital to the execution of duties within our respective departments and organization as a whole.  Aimed at inclusion, cooperation and participation on the part of all parties involved, consensus decision making is the backbone of organizational success and exactly what we need to get our team on the right path and performing individual job functions based on a higher, previously unattained level of distinction.  The current problem is that all of our employees within their respective divisions function exceptionally as individual units but begin slipping into flaccidity when called to order as a whole.

            The use of consensus decision making improves the decision making process by making the planning and policymaking process more fluid and efficient.  The use of consensus decision making will aid in our ability to engage in forward thinking and the elevation of our vision as an organization.  When enacted by effective leaders it will make our team stronger and get everyone involved in the policymaking process.  High performance is our goal and unanimity is the only way to get there; it is the force behind the assessment of strategic situations and formulation of innovative planning practices.  In the right hands, it can make our team the most powerful asset we have to excel in the current environment.

            Poor communication in the policy development and implementation phases is crucial and affects the organization as a whole.  Consensus decision making gives us the benefit of each employees experience, understanding and judgment when attempting to formulate policy.  Poor communication affects us all, without it we cannot hope to accomplish success of any kind within the organization as it poses a challenge to everything we desire to accomplish - Nature and Scope of the Problem Essay introduction.  Poor communication in the decision making process breeds contempt among team members and kills any opportunity of successful planning or implementation of strategic policy.

            We have tried to increase the effectiveness of decision making without regard to the amount of time spent engaging in the decision making process and with no regard to the effect of compromise on the organization. It is not to say that compromise is a bad thing, but it is vital to include the input of all members involved in the policy making process in order to ensure that a proper consensus is reached once the viewpoints of all parties involved have been considered and properly represented.  We cannot expect to continue in this fashion.  If drastic measures are not put into action immediately we will inevitably be closing our doors in the very near future.

Review of Relevant Research

In decision making, speed and accuracy are often in opposition (Franks & Stevens, pp. 2457).  It can be understood that it takes some time to formulate a compromise or consensus within a team, but time management is not reason enough to sacrifice efficiency.  Policy making is predicated on effective communication and the sound implementation of strategic initiatives within organizations.  Failure to reach a decision in the policy making process will prove hindering to strategy development and implementation – without a strategy organizations falter quickly.

            Efficiency does not have to be compromised when adhering to a schedule or deadline.  We need great leaders to ensure that our deadlines are met and efficiency in implementation is achieved.  In understanding that our departments are engaging in cross-functional practices more and more often it is important to make time management and efficiency work together.  Often team leaders ignore the importance of unanimity in the decision making process for fear that harmony may be difficult to achieve when adhering to time constraints, but a balance of the two can be achieved.

            The fear in using consensus decision making among organizations such as ours is that “large groups operating under unanimity rule are less sustainable” (Georges & Romme, pp. 704) because of how difficult it may be to reach a consensus among a larger number of people taken from various departments within our organization, yet though it is understood that the “likelihood of someone (or a minority) blocking a decision is clearly related to the size of the group” (Georges & Romme, pp. 706), it must also be understood that with proper leadership, anything can be accomplished.

“Historically, unanimous decision making has been prominent in a variety of cooperative and participative forms of enterprise that have emerged as a reaction to the development of the modern corporation” (Georges & Romme, pp. 704) we must make use of our qualified department heads as the leaders of their divisions to carry us into the future.

Recommendations for Addressing the Problem

We must act quickly in order to be effective.  With the number of individuals who rely upon us for quality service delivered with top level efficiency, there is no other option but to use consensus decision making.  Our department heads must stand up and take their positions as leaders and work together in providing the services that we know are so desperately needed by ensuring that their divisions are adequately represented in all policy making initiatives.

I recommend that a company-wide strategic planning committee be implemented.  A conference should be held in which I would like all department heads to be involved in order to get all organizational thoughts and ideas out on the table.  During this conference, we will form a strategic planning and policy making committee charged with the representation of all organizational divisions in the policy making process.  That committee will be expected to represent their respective departments and the organization as a whole.  It shall be left to each member of the strategic planning committee to present the issues, concerns and ideas of their respective divisions and ensure that all voices are heard in the policy making process.  Once this has been done, the committee will meet to formulate company policy.


Franks, Nigel R., Dornhaus, Anna, Fitzsimmons, Jon P., and Stevens, Martin.  “Speed Versus Accuracy in Collective Decision Making”.  Proceedings:  Biological Sciences, Vo. 270, No. 1532 (Dec. 7, 2003), pp. 2457-2463.

Georges, A. and Romme, L.  “Unanimity Rule and Organizational Decision Making:  A Simulation Model”.  Organization Science, Vol. 15, No. 6 (Nov.-Dec., 2004), pp. 704-718.

Goll, Irene and Rasheed, Abdul M. A.  “Rational Decision-Making and Firm Performance:  The Moderating Role of Environment”.  Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 18, No. 7 (Aug., 1997), pp. 583-591.

Goodin, Robert E.  “Consensus Interruptus”.  The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 5, No. 2 (2001), pp. 121-131.

Knight, Don with Craig L. Pearce, Ken G. Smith, Judy D. Olian, Henry P. Sims, Ken A. Smith, and Patrick Flood.  “Top Management Team Diversity, Group Process, and Strategic Consensus”.  Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 20, No. 5 (May, 1999), pp. 445-465.


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