The Problem of Unshared Information in Group Decision-Making: A Summary of Research and the Implications for Command and Control
SPACE AND NAVAL WARFARE SYSTEMS CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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This report contains a detailed review of the literature on the use of unshared and shared information in a group decision-making situation, and two conclusions can be drawn 1 People are not very effective in communicating unshared information groups tend to focus their discussion on information that is already shared, with the result that little, if any, unshared information moves into the shared environment, and 2 when unshared information does move into the shared environment, participants tend to ignore or discount this information and not factor it into their decision process in an effective manner. The net result is many group decisions are based on incomplete information, i.e., decisions are made without taking into account information that would be available to the group if they were optimally exchanging and integrating unshared information. Consequently, group decisions may be sub-optimal when critical information is held by individuals and not shared. The preponderance of the literature on group decision-making is based on experimental groups working in a face-to-face environment, and the findings have been attributed to a variety of social and cognitive influences. In contrast, much of modern military command and control decision-making is not predicated on face-to-face groups, but on timeplace asynchronous collaboration where the decision process is often distributed over time and location. Proposed is a research program called START Structure, Tag, And Release Templates that will develop group consensus on critical decision evaluation categories, parameters, and qualifying values.
- Administration and Management
- Information Science