Abilene Paradox Research Paper

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The Abilene paradox was first identified by Jerry Harvey in 1974 when the family took a trip to Abilene to get food. At first they all said yes, but when they got home everyone stated they didn’t want to go in the first place and they only said yes to please everyone. The Abilene paradox is a dilemma where a couple of people say one thing and the others go along with their decision just to come to an easy agreement. In present time, the Abilene paradox is a problem in many places. Specifically, the Abilene paradox is affecting the workplace in a way of causing companies to go in the wrong direction. When people get into groups they tend to go with the majority opinion rather than state their own. People naturally want to belong in groups…show more content…
“One of the main symptoms of group think is pressure to conform to the groups views” (Butler). When people are in groups there is a tendency to conform to the majority ruling even though some people might believe it they still “agree” to the majority. Often, they are influenced by peer pressure that is not purposely done, but when everyone around you is saying that this is a good idea let’s do that, then that is indirect peer pressure because you are now pressured to agree. Individuals often censor or change their own opinions and beliefs fearing that they are wrong and are afraid that they will be rejected for stating it. The leader of the organization should make room for disagreement “encourage your people to stand up for their convictions” (Strategy). The leader should tell their employees to assert their opinions and thoughts to assure them that their ideas are welcomed and will not be met with hostility. If hostility arises against another’s opinion, then the leader needs to be able to handle conflict well and keep the situation under control and suggest ways to come to a compromise. In a group setting, people often think to themselves that they are the only one who is thinking that way and that it is negative. This is damaging to the individual and organization as it brings down…show more content…
When people are in groups they naturally we do not want be separated by saying something inappropriate. People want to be connected with everyone in the group even if it requires you to say yes when you mean no just to be able to stay connected and in the group. The fear of being fired comes up during this thinking process, “They fear loss of face, being called disloyal or even being fired” (Martin). We naturally do not want to be discredited for the thoughts we create and speaking up for what we stand for or even fired from the job. This is part of the Abilene paradox, when we follow the group’s ideas it will result in some sort punishment or separation. Anxiety can cause group members to suppress their own ideas in the meeting and in doing that; creative thoughts will not contribute to the success of the company. Also, it can possibly lead to depression of the individual because they are unable to express their thoughts because of the anxiety they are feeling. Furthermore, the depression brought on by the anxiety can possibly affect the performance of the employee in their respected job leading to more problems in the workplace. Leaders and managers in the workplace can be trained to identify employees who are acting anxious during group thinking processes and help them to be able to express their thoughts in a productive manner. Also, the leader and manager can reassure the employee that their

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