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It is always advisable for parties to engage in debate when seeking solutions to organizational problems. Teams and groups are ones who typically conduct most of the debates at the workplace. However, the relationships amongst members of such groups and teams normally determine their success in arriving at concrete decisions that provide a way forward to a particular situation. It is always ideal for some of the team members to play roles such as the devils advocate. This is because such roles allow team members to evaluate various alternatives through brainstorming sessions. It reduces the possibility of such a team falling into various judgmental traps and groupthink scenarios that can render their activities ineffective.
Joni & Beyer (2009) assert that the prevalence of conflicts in organizations is vital for its growth and prosperity. This is because most workplaces that are harmonious and peaceful are at great risk of suffering from indecisiveness due to lack of engagement and reliance on a few or selected group of people for decisions. Such scenarios lead to evolution of loyalty to top managers who make almost all decisions that no one dares to question. In such situations, most employees become complacent in accommodating grave errors and indecisions of their managers whose authority they feel is unquestionable.
Managers in organizations, where they enjoy great levels of loyalty, cannot contemplate any form of dissent because they usually regard it as a challenge to their authority. However, such managers fail to understand that dissent can provide an avenue to evaluate and understand other peoples ideas and conceptions on various organizational matters. It collectively puts organizational stakeholders together to understand the various lines of arguments and ideas that others have. Presented evaluation of such arguments and ideas may eventually lead to proper decision-making and better exploitation of an organizations competitive advantages.
Mechanic (1962) claims that the lower cadres of employees yield immense power and control in organizations in a way that their involvement cannot be ignored. Most of these lower rank employees have access to a lot of organizational information that they obtain in the normal course of their duties as secretaries, messengers, and clerks. It therefore requires them to communicate most of the decision-making efforts pursued in an organization should be properly. This cultivates the buy-in from such employees, which is vital for harmonious and logical implementation of decision making processes. This is because these employees have dependable expertise, especially when it comes to seeking for particular information or records that are required for decision making. This means that these lower ranking officers have more information on certain areas regarding the organization than their bosses. Such scenarios make replacing such officers like messengers and clerks difficult because a new person may take long before familiarizing himself with various organizational processes.
It is also worth noting that most of these low-ranking officers have no deputies or subordinates whom they supervise. Their duties are therefore complex to pass to other employees. The power of these low-ranking officers emanate from their willingness to exert effort and interest in areas where other high-ranking employees consider too low and inconsistent with their ranks. Any efforts than an organization may make to replace such officer from their low ranks may lead to acts of sabotage that can greatly limit the quality of decisions and their effectiveness to the company.
Fisher & Ury (2003) provide guidance on how individuals should engage with others during debates and discussions on topical issues. It is wrong to take a position over an issue. This is because one starts identifying with such position and the debate centers around one defending his or her position with little reference to the problem that made the parties meet in the first place. Decisions made are usually a reflection of the various attributes of each of the positions that the parties took rather than a conceptual analysis of the problem. Such decision becomes ineffective and usually difficult for implementation since neither side accommodates with the resolutions.
The arguments involved when parties in a decision-making process hold personal positions act as a breeding ground for inefficiency. This is due to deceptive presentations that each party makes in order to ensure his or her position looks like the best to others. Each of the parties involved makes subtle concessions that do not add any value to the debate. Eventually the end result is a poor decision that could have been better if the parties had not taken positions. This implies that organizations must have safeguards so that employees, especially top management, do not abuse the power they have (Drummond 2001).
Organizations should have proper mechanisms that discourage the notion of having power concentrated at one position. This is because such a system fails to recognize the need for diversity in the workplace. This is because diversity is vital in maintaining the healthy forms of conflict and dissent in the organization. Failure to this puts organizations at risk of suffering from poor decision-making mechanisms and groupthink. Such an organization may suffer since it lacks the incentives that normally motivate employees to explore their capabilities and power in decision-making. Therefore, it means that organizations should continuously evaluate their decision-making structures and eliminate any forms of complacency, which in most cases subdues the thinking and reasoning capabilities of most employees.