Integrating Information and Making Effective Decisions in Teams
In this information age, organizations have come to realize that they can no longer rely on employees to have all the knowledge necessary to make quick, well-informed, and competitive decisions. Consequently, most of today’s organizations structure work around teams, which enable workers to share, discuss, and integrate information, thereby increasing the speed with which informed decisions can be made while boosting employee learning. Research has long shown that, when there is no clear “right” or “wrong” answer, teams make significantly better and more innovative decisions than individuals do when working alone. Whether you are studying engineering, nursing, education, management, accounting, or any other field, you will find yourself working in teams. However, team decision making only works well when team members solicit information and ideas from every team member, listen to one another, and then build on or integrate ideas to make a decision. Although this may sound easy, it isn’t, as many of the behaviors that get in the way are either unconscious or outside one’s awareness.