Groupthink as Communication Process, Not Outcome

Michael W. Kramer, Debbie S. Dougherty


A bias of groupthink research is that it primarily examines group decisions that are viewed as catastrophic failures, such as the Bay of Pigs fiasco. An alternative approach focuses on groupthink as a faulty communication process rather than defining it by negative outcomes. Taking such an approach, this paper briefly explores some potential examples of decisions that may have involved groupthink communication processes but either had ambiguous outcomes or succeeded in accomplishing their goals. The analysis suggests the need to explore the communication processes that result in groupthink while recognizing that the outcomes may be negative, ambiguous, or even positive.


group communication; groupthink; decision making

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C&SC - Comunication & Social Change | ISSN: 2014-5462

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