ERIC Number: ED245287
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
When Consensus Decision-Making Fails: A Case Study.
Savage, Grant T.
Habermas's theory of dialogue was used to evaluate the process of decision making that occurred in a labor-management committee's meeting to discuss flextime. The study attempted to determine why, at that meeting, the committee's consensus process of decision making failed. W.R. Bion's theory of unconscious group motives was also used to supplement the analysis and provided a basis for concluding that the committee was motivated by the unconscious desire to fight or flee from its responsibilities. It was only after the committee had reflected upon its actions--a move brought about because one member publicly questioned its motives--that it was able to reach a "true" consensus. The findings imply that the process of group discussion is perhaps the most significant factor that should be considered when either evaluating or intervening in labor-management committee decision making. Moreover, structures within labor-management programs that establish and maintain an "ideal speech situation" during committee meetings are necessary to ensure consensus decisions. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (75th, Philadelphia, PA, March 8-11, 1984).