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Jun 28 2005 - 10:31 AM
Group Processes
Has anyone had time to review any literature on what makes a group effective if the task requires new solutions? I think of it as deriving from the field of social psychology and I know it is vast and, to me, fascinating. The most recent thing I have read on the subject is _The Wisdom of Crowds_. It's a book that argues that the many are smarter than the few, but only under certain conditions. The purest form of group smarts is when a very heterogenous group makes independent judgments about a very concrete question -- the weight of a bull at a county fair -- so one of the conditions of a working group is that people do not come to consensus prematurely, that contrarians (contrairianism?) is built into the process. (He uses the last shuttle disaster as a horrible example of when that didn't happen -- when the group reviewing the launch ruled out, almost from the beginning, the possiblity that the piece that broke off could have done any real harm.)
Posted in: FYI|By: grolnick|989 Reads