Understanding Groupthink in the Boardroom

Programme Overview

Groupthink in the boardroom is a situation where a company’s board has a certain way of doing things and the board members do not want to disrupt this method and they are so rigid on keeping the norm and keeping the status quo that inefficiency can occur. The board member’s desire to minimise conflict and striving for unanimity and consensus override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.

Programme Objective

To provide an insight into the world of Groupthink. By the end of the programme board members will be able to:

  • Gain insight into Irving Janis description of what constitutes Groupthink
  • Learn why Groupthink is valuable to know
  • Engage in some practical exercise on how to engage in productive conflicts and build trust
  • Do some short exercises and discuss ways to avoid Groupthink and its close cousins


Programme Coverage

  • What is Groupthink?
  • Why is it valuable for board members to understand the concept of Groupthink?
  • The 8 symptoms of Groupthink
  • The Bay of Pigs invasion: How Groupthink created a perfect disaster
  • The Challenger disaster: The roles of Morton Thiokol and NASA
  • The unethical dimension of the Challenger disaster
  • Observable causes of Groupthink
  • Consequences of Groupthink
  • Symptoms of defective decision-making
  • Other syndromes that can lead to error in group decision-making
  • Ways to avoid Groupthink and its close cousins in the boardroom
  • Groupthink Case – Video

Who Should Attend?

  • Board members (EDs, NEDs and INEDs)
  • Company secretaries, deputy secretaries and assistant secretaries

Duration: 1.5 hours (In-house/In-plant only)

Date: As agreed with our client

Programme fee: As negotiated

Key benefits: programme materials and certificate of participation