Date of Conferral
Project teams advance a common goal by working together on projects that require a diverse set of skills and are difficult for 1 person to complete. In this study, there was an exploration of the antecedents to groupthink in project teams from the perspectives of project managers. Many companies use project managers to complete critical objectives; avoiding groupthink is crucial to their success. The purpose of this research was to understand why project teams are susceptible to groupthink and what precautions managers can take to avoid it. The conceptual framework utilized in this study was Janis' concept of groupthink, which is reaching consensus without adequate examination of ideas. The study was a qualitative, phenomenological design involving semistructured phone and face-to-face interviews with 16 project managers from a variety of industries with at least 10 years of experience and who hold a project management professional designation. The main research question was: how does groupthink occur and how can project managers mitigate the adverse consequences of groupthink? Data analysis consisted of open sentence analysis and axial coding of patterns in the data using NVivo 11. The key research finding was that project managers with more experience are better at mitigating groupthink. Project managers expressed that groupthink can lead project teams to advance flawed decisions that may cost people their jobs or result in loss of life. This study may affect positive social change by preventing flawed decisions that could adversely impact society. Future researchers should explore possible ways that project managers can develop strategies that can identify and prevent groupthink from occurring.