Homework Question on Small Group Experience
Lessons from the Columbia Space Shuttle.Visit:
http://www.asecib.ase.ro/mps/TheWisdomOfCrowds-JamesSurowiecki.pdf (Links to an external site.) and read chapter 9 starting on page 173 of the pdf.
Based on this reading:
- What are some of the elements of successful small group experiences? Then think about why Surowiecki chose the Columbia experience to illustrate how small groups can go wrong.
- What were some of his examples? Tell us one thing you found interesting, surprising, etc about your reading of the MMT.
- What did you learn about small group experiences?
- Remember to write at least 200 words, quote from the reading at least once, and edit your work before posting.
Homework Answer on Small Group Experiences
The reading’s primary argument is that small groups are less effective as compared to big groups, and this is because the former can make bad decisions that result from direct and immediate influence (Surowiecki 174). However, the reading highlights that for small groups to be successful, they must have a clear agenda and their leaders must take active roles in ensuring that each member of the group gets a chance to contribute.
Surowiecki chose the Columbia disaster because it is one of those unfortunate events that occur as a result of poor or bad decisions made by groups due to direct and immediate influence. In the case of the Columbia Disaster, NASA managers came up with a bad decision that they would not inform the crew members of the impending problem in the flight (Smith 2). The mindset was widespread among the NASA astronauts, given their small number, and this resulted in the disaster in the long run.
One surprising thing in the reading of the Mission Management Team (MMT) is how members of a group can come up with a decision without considering the its consequences on other individuals, in this case, on the lives of the crew members (Smith 2).What was learned about small group experiences is that they are influenced by the lack of diversity as well as the fact that small groups are readily and easily polarized, and thus, decisions made are not steadfast and appropriate (Surowiecki 189).