Like every type of organization, formal organizations need a theory to be a successful organization. Models or theories of formal organization are discussed below in detail:
A. Brainstorming method
Brainstorming is a popular method of encouraging creative thinking in a formal group. It is built around four basic guidelines for the participants:
- Generate as many ideas as possible.
- Be creative, freewheeling, and imaginative.
- Build upon, extend, or combine earlier ideas.
- Withhold criticism of other’s ideas.
Two main principles underline brainstorming. One is deferred judgment, by which all ideas even unusual and impractical ones are encouraged without criticism or evaluation. The purpose of deferred judgment is to separate idea creation from idea censorship.
The second principle is quantity breeds quality. As more ideas come forth eventually higher quality ones will be developed. When these principles are followed brainstorming typically produces more ideas than the conventional approach of combined thinking and judging.
B. Nominal Group
A nominal group exists in name only, with members having minimal interaction prior to producing a decision. Here are the steps that nominal groups often follow:
- Individuals are brought together and presented with a problem.
- They develop solutions independently, often writing them on cards.
- Their ideas are shared with others in a structured format.
- Briefs time is allowed so that questions can be asked but only for clarification.
- Group members individually designate their preferences for the best alternatives by secret ballot.
- The group decision is announced.
The advantages of the nominal group technique include the opportunity for equal participation by all members, the no dominance of discussion by any other member, and the tight control of the time that the process allows.
Disadvantages reported are that group members are frustrated by the rigidity of the procedure, gain no feelings of cohesiveness, and do not have the opportunity to benefit from cross-fertilization of ideas.
C. Delphi decision Group
A panel of relevant people is chosen to address an issue. Members are selected because they are experts or have relevant information to share and the time available to do so. A series of questionnaires are sequentially distributed to the respondents, who do not need to meet face to face.
All responses typically are in writing. Panelists may be asked to identify future problems, project market trends, or predict a future state of affairs. Explanations of their conclusions also can be shared. Replies are gathered from all participants, summarized, and fed back to the members for their review.
The participants are asked to make another decision on the basis of new information. The process may be repeated several times until the responses converge satisfactorily and a final report is prepared.
The success of the Delphi decision process depends on adequate time, participant expertise, communication skill, and the motivation of members to immerse them in the task. The major merits of the process include:
# Elimination of interpersonal problems among panelists.
# Efficient use of expert’s time.
# Adequate time for reflection and analysis by respondents.
# Diversity and quantity of ideas generated.
# Accuracy of predictions and forecasts made.
D. Dialectic decision Methods
The dialectic process begins with a clear statement of a problem to be solved. Then two or more competing proposals are generated. A key step follows in which participants identify the explicit or implicit assumptions that underlie each proposal.
The group then breaks into advocacy subgroups which examine and argue the relative merits of their positions. Then decision may mean embracing one of the alternatives, forging a compromise from several ideas, or generating a new proposal.
The merits of DDM include a better understanding of the proposals, their underlying premises, and their pros and cons by the participants. Disadvantages include the propensity to forge a compromise in order to avoid choosing sides and the tendency to course more on who were the better debaters than which will be the better decision.
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