ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Steps to Group Decision Making

Updated on February 26, 2014
Group decision making happens everyday
Group decision making happens everyday | Source

According to Allyn and Bacon's Introducing Group and Team Principles and Practices, there are five steps to group decision making.

Five Steps

1. Assess the present situation.

2. Identify goals.

3. Identify several alternatives.

4. Evaluate the positive and negative consequences of alternatives.

5. Select the alternative (make a decision).

Groups that follow a predictable pattern usually come to “better decisions if the pattern is explicitly identified so that the group can structure its discussion” (Allyn and Bacon 209).

A group will be more effective in decision making if they follow a pattern. As opposed to groups that choose not to follow patterns become disorganized and have poor decision making.


The Methods

We can make a group decision based on the expert information in groups, outside of groups, or averaging individual rankings or ratings, random choice, majority rule, decision by minority and consensus (Allyn and Bacon 211).

Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. Decision making based on an expert opinion may benefit a group when knowledge is needed about new data, accurate information, and facts. Such as, a group’s need for an expert opinion from a predominant researcher in another field.


Rankings or Ratings

Another method, averaging individual rankings or ratings, can be useful to a group in deliberation over a client.

The group can decide on the possible outcomes and then vote to see which receives the highest ratings and chooses that client.

The method of random choice is good for a fast, easy decision, such as a football game where the referee flips a coin to see which team kicks first.

Majority rule is an appropriate method when a group has to decide between certain choices, such as a meeting where a decision is made by the number of those who say yea or nay.

Decisions, Decisions

Decision by minority is the exact opposite of majority rule, and can be expressed as the minority making the decision based on the opinions of the least amount of supporters.

Decision by consensus is appropriate for a group that needs to reach a decision that involves all members support. This method takes a lot of time and discussion, such as in the movie Twelve Angry Men when the jury finally arrives at a consensus after hours of debate.


4 Phases of Group Problem Solving

There are also four phases of group problem solving (Allyn and Bacon 217-219). These include:

1. Orientation: members try to understand one another and the task before their group.

2. Conflict: disagreement and individual difference arise.

3. Emergence: a group begins to manage disagreement and conflict.

4. Reinforcement: group members express positive regard for the group and its members and offer comments that build cohesiveness.

The four phases of group problem solving are not followed in a predictable pattern like the five steps to group decision making.

These problem solving phases are not linear because group communication does not always operate the same way or in a step by step manner (Allyn and Bacon 219).



In the end, these five methods of group decision making can effectively help us reach decisions. While the four phases of problem solving help us to arrive at solutions to the problems we face in a group setting where not only our opinions but the opinions of our peers, colleagues, and members must be valued as well.


  • Allyn and Bacon, Introducing Group and Team Principles and Practices. 2008.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)