Group Communication and Decision-Making Methods Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Group Communication and Decision-Making Methods

This paper will focus on two primary factors important for the leaders, in the modern world, to completely conquer. These two factors are:

Group Communication

Decision making methods

The paper also provides proof using prior researches done on the aforementioned subjects, focusing primarily on the role of the leader in instigating motivation amongst the employees as well as improving the overall decision making processes. The paper will also take into consideration the views presented in different books written today like the Power of Impossible Thinking by Jerry Wind, Colin Crook and Robert Gunther, first published in 2004 as well as the Prepared Mind of a Leader by Bill Welter and Jean Egmon first published in 2005.

Decision making methods and Leadership

Communication is all about the approach towards a common goal. It is the lifeblood of an effective and successful leader (Wind, Crook and Gunther, 2004). All leaders aim to entice their employees with a motivational beginning to a project and one that brings the employee inadvertently to the aim of the project. This is how one's ability to think can actually be powerful if his decision making skills match up.

Of course, over the years researchers focused on the power of thinking and the impact it has on the leader's decision making skills have taken different approaches which have also been appreciated. Some researchers have focused on constructing a mental design of how we interpret our surroundings and hence given a summary of how powerful thinking would help them in enhancing this particular mental interpretation as well as their overall decision making ability. Another popular approach to approaching similar themed researches is to take a more academic approach and reviewing similar literature and conclusions that have been made in the past with regards to the same topic (Wind, Crook and Gunther, 2004).

Wind, Crook and Gunther (2004) in their book took one of the more practical approaches in the sense that they allowed the leader's personal understanding and response to what he interprets lead how he adopts their ideas to instigate top decision making structures. Coming from a creative reading background, I found this book to be an interesting balance between a creative writing blend and an academic representation of the topic, without being too boring or overwhelming with technical details about the schematics of a leader or the aspects of decision making.

The leader's reaction to a situation is mostly dependent upon how he/she mentally interprets it as opposed to what the situation provokes out of him/her. A leader must always lead by example especially in a group situation when different personalities and cultures can lead to potential clashes. Hence, I feel that the book written by Wind, Crook and Gunther (2004) and researches carried out by Conger & Kanungo (1998) and Sosik and Dinger (2007) are very important for modern leaders when deciphering the dos and don'ts of modern decision making. These aforementioned studies and book depend upon the reader's interpretation of what is written. Unlike other similar researches or books, these provoke the reader to think the way they preach. The beauty of this approach is hence the fact that the reader is involved as much as the writers in teaching the power of thinking. The process of the content present in these researches and book is not complete without the input of the reader. Furthermore, they are designed to allow you to interpret the main theories present about decision making structures based on your own personal business experiences and life situations (Wind, Crook and Gunther, 2004).

In my opinion, once group communication is conquered the leader can also transform the following aspects:

Instigate a positive transformation in:



Figure out how to get oneself out of a rut at work

Instigate a positive change in the progression of one's company

Help enhance one's status against the competitors in the market

Help one instill a positive and sustainable communication flow on a personal and group level

Help manage the flow and level of knowledge that is processed and channeled one's way

Present different options for an individual to mentally interpret the society and situation being faced

Help you become a charismatic leader

Help design high performance teams structures and sustain them

It is a simple fact that the transformation of one's mental approach can transform the overall results one attains in personal and professional life endeavors (Wind, Crook and Gunther, 2004). One of the major reasons why I found these researches and book to be extremely useful in my life was that they helped me understand how I, as a leader, can act as the sole motivator of my team as a charismatic leader. Looking at similar studies conducted in the past on what the qualities of a charismatic leader are I realized that these researches and book had them all.

For case in point, a recent study conducted by Sosik and Dinger (2007) asserts that "Shamir, House, & Arthur's (1993) self-concept based theory of charismatic leadership provided the general theoretical framework for this study. This theory proposes that the leader, whose behavior is not only instrumental but also expressive of the self, develops and articulates vision statements that strongly engage followers' self-concepts in the interest of the vision articulated by the leader. In a political case study illustrating their theory, Shamir et al. (1994) linked examples of charismatic leadership (e.g., Jesse Jackson) with the articulation of inspirational vision themes, and non-charismatic leadership (e.g., Michael Dukakis) with the articulation of instrumental vision themes" (Sosik and Dinger, 2007).

Similarly other researchers have also concluded that the whole structure of charismatic leadership is explained as part of the social influence factors process that incorporates the construction and expression of suggestive and practical ideas. Furthermore, a charismatic leader is also meant to instigate inspiration and motivation for a team effort that exhibits understanding of the environmental inclinations and shows alternative or original daring activities. These activities cause the leaders to not only be the managers of a project but also be the role models for their employees (Conger & Kanungo, 1998; Shamir et al., 1993). The book proposes that the employees usually get attracted to the leader and then the aims of the project or its vision. This then will enable the employees to "experience task meaningfulness, and make sacrifices for the collective cause" (Sosik and Dinger, 2007).

Sosik and Dinger (2007) further support what has been said in the book by asserting that they "operationalize charismatic leadership in the present study along core behavioral dimensions using relevant measures from the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5X; Bass & Avolio, 1997). Our approach was to utilize this widely used survey to assess two core dimensions of charismatic leadership described in the literature and consistent with the theory of Shamir et al. (1993) of charismatic leadership, and Thrash & Elliot's (2003) psychological construct of inspiration, characterized by evocation, motivation, and transcendence. These dimensions are inspirational motivation and idealized influence which represent the two "charismatic" components of transformational leadership. Inspirational motivation involves communicating high performance expectations through the projection of a powerful, confident and dynamic presence. Such behaviors evoke powerful emotional responses from followers that energize them to exert extra effort. Idealized influence involves the display and attribution of role modeling for followers through exemplary personal achievements, character strengths and/or behavior. Such behaviors promote the transcendence of ordinary preoccupations and self-interests of followers to form a strong emotional bond with the leader (Bass & Avolio, 1997)" (as cited in Sosik and Dinger, 2007).

Group Communication

"Chance favors the prepared mind." This statement first made by Louis Pasteur, a 19th-century scientist, was the premise for this discussion on group communication methods applied by the leaders today. Pasteur made this statement to explain his capability to create and solve innovatively whatever complications or shortcomings he faced in his professional career (Welter and Egmon, 2005). Using this approach worked out brilliantly for Pasteur as he was able to carry out numerous successful researches on the processes of crystallization as well as fermentation. Both these aspects were able to help the industries at the time completely revolutionize and enhance their overall processes whether they were dairy industries or other science-based industries. Either way, Pasteur was a great example of what one must be prepared for mentally in case an opportunity knocks on their doors. The leaders today can use the example of Pasteur to instigate the level of preparation they must have in the ever-evolving market to truly make the best of the opportunities that present themselves.

Prepared Mind Leadership

In a very relevant and recent book, the authors write that "in our working definition of Prepared Mind leadership, we see leadership as the practice of continuously envisioning [an] opportunity for growth within complex, dynamic environments, built upon core principles the organization is committed to sustaining and using as the basis for value delivered to all of its stakeholders. Implied in our definition is that leaders, no matter where they are…

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