Human Relations Week 7

Discussion Description: Please note that there are TWO parts to this Discussion: Have you ever went along with a bad decision and tried to figure out later on why you did that? Well, don’t be so hard on yourself—it is a phenomenon called “Groupthink.” Our text covers it well, but attached you will find two great articles that discuss it more in depth. Please read them in preparation for this Discussion assignment. PART I: After reading the two articles, answer each of the following questions: 1. What is the difference (in your own words) between “Groupthink” and the “Abilene Paradox”? 2. Which do you think is easier to fall into? Explain why. 3. If you were leading a group and saw signs of “Groupthink,” how would you handle it? What would you specifically do? 4. Explain and discuss any personal examples of these decision blunders (“Groupthink,” “Abilene Paradox,” etc.) that you have been a part of and realize it now? PART II: This week we will be getting involved in politics…kind of…sort of… We’ll be forming committees and trying to get something done on Capitol Hill! SCENARIO: You have been tasked by the Secretary of Homeland Security to form and lead a committee to determine the actions required to reform immigration. 1. You have to present your findings to Congress on Friday. They will expect you to answer each of the following questions: a. Define the committee’s task (think of this as your problem statement). It should be clear and concise. b. Who will be on your committee (not names—just positions and organizations) be specific? c. How will you organize the committee? d. How will your committee make decisions? e. 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)? f. Post your initial work as if you were addressing Congress (by answering each of the above questions). 2. Some peer reply hints as suggested below: a. First Reply to a Peer: Ask a fellow student a relevant question as if you were a member of Congress. The question should challenge your peer (you are skeptical of their committee and want to make sure your peer has a solid plan). b. Second Reply to a Different Peer: Tell a second student (different than who received your first reply) why their committee members are inadequate (this should be tactful and aimed at being helpful). 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 the questions.

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