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of Theory: The result when group cohesion leads all members of the group
to abandon realistic evaluation of the situation and follow the corporate
Janis, I. L, (1972). Victims of Groupthink: A psychological study
of foreign-policy decisionos and fiascoes (2nd edition). Boston:
Groupthink is a theory that was developed in hindsight. All of
the examples given in the original theory were offered post hoc which is
problematic. Since its inception it has been revisted and studies
have raised viable questions about the validity of the assumptions made
Being a Scientific theory the following metatheoretical assumption
should be advanced.
Scientific research suggest that human nature is deterministic.
not have control what they do.
Scientific research suggests that there is one truth, or big T truth.
Research should not be value laden. Research offers objective
Being a Scientific theory it should be critiqued using Chaffee &
Explanatory Power - Groupthink offers a concrete definition of what
will happen when groups become cohesive.
Predictive Power -Groupthink offers a explanation that if a group becomes
cohesive the group will make bad decisions.
Parsimony -Groupthink is a very simple theory that states a cohesiveness
within a group will lead to poor decision making in the group.
Falsifiablity - Groupthink is a little short in this category.
There were no original criteria for groupthink so it is hard to test.
However, some researchers have attempted to develop a scale to test groupthink.
Internal Consistency - Groupthink is argued by many researchers.
Some agree but new research suggests that groupthink should be re-developed
because it is not matching the current research on effective decision-making
Heuristic Provocativeness - There are several new hypothesis that can
be offered about what happens in cohesive groups. Researchers are
working on new ideas as we speak.
Organizing Power - A major drawback on groupthink is there was never
a specific set of criteria of what groupthink is so that it could be tested.
There were only symptoms to be interrupted by the researcher looking a
It is very important to understand groupthink because of the implications
of groups in today's society. We need to know why and how groups
make bad decisions and groupthink offers one explanation. However
the theory of groupthink should be carefully examined before it is offered
as the sole truth of what happens in groups.
The Abbaline Paradox
Hart, P.T. (1998). Preventing Groupthink Revisited:
Evaluating and Reforming Groups in Government. Organizational Behavior
and Human Decision Processes, 73, 306-326.
Rothwell, J. D. (1998). In mixed
company: Small group communication. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt
Schafer, M. & Crichlow, S. (1996).
Antecedents of groupthink: a quantitative
study. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 40, 415-435
Whyte, G. (1998). Recasting Janis's
Groupthink Model: The Key Role of Collective Efficacy in Decision
Fiascoes. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 73,
in Eight (8) Primary Communication Theory Textbooks:
Anderson, R., & Ross, V.
(1998). Questions of communication: A practical introduction to theory
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Cragan, J. F., & Shields, D.C. (1998). Understanding communication
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Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.).
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New York: McGraw-Hill. 231-
Infante, D. A., Rancer, A. S., & Womack, D. F. (1997). Building
communication theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
Littlejohn, S. W. (1999). Theories of human communication (6th ed).
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A
West, R., & Turner, L. H. (2000). Introducing communication theory:
Analysis and application. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield. N/A
Wood, J. T. (1997). Communication theories in action: An introduction.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. N/A