For this week, we found an interesting article that explores some of the pros and cons of consensus models and introduces Victor Vroom’s Situational Leadership Model. This article was part of a larger journal series called Management Matters by Laura Freebairn-Smith, creator of the Organizational Development and Learning Center at Yale.
This article has us consider some of the drawbacks of traditional decision-making practices, like consensus and voting. Sometimes decisions rely on a leader having the final say, sometimes fake consensus can lead to disengagement and skepticism, and sometimes consensus doesn’t value expert input.
The author has us consider a more flexible choice based model that aligns with what is needed in specific situations. These choices fall along a continuum between leader influence and group freedom. Based on the situation at hand, a leader may elect to:
- Decide – Use personal expertise
- Consult – Get suggestions from an individual(s)
- Consult – Pose problem to a group for advice
- Facilitate – Serve as facilitator to work toward concurrence
- Delegate – Allow the group to decide
The full article suggests factors that may impact the decision-making model selected. It is a short interesting read. Click here to get the full article.