MG456      Half Unit
Group & Team Decision-Making Processes

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nicole Abi Esber


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Human Resource Management/CIPD), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Human Resource Management/CIPD), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour), MSc in Management (1 Year Programme) and MSc in Marketing. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is complementary to any behavioural course offered at LSE.


Elementary statistical and mathematical concepts, as well as a curiosity towards the fascinating field of decision making and a strong interest in rebooting your analytical “decision-ware”.

As this course embraces the two key stages of the decision making process, i.e. the initial divergent and creative stage and the subsequent convergent and analytical one, please note that it is important to feel comfortable with interdisciplinary research, as well as with the use and discussion of both qualitative and quantitative strategies for successful decisions. Group work will also be a key component of the course.

Course content

In organizations, employees are required to work at least some of the time in groups, teams, and social networks. To be successful, managers and team leaders must create an atmosphere in which these groups of people produce high-quality decisions, generate creative or innovative solutions to problems, and complete their projects in a timely, efficient, and productive fashion. Moreover, they must be aware of common group decision-making biases, and learn to prevent them.

This course will delve into the dynamics of decision-making in groups, exploring topics such as how groups make decisions effectively and the common pitfalls that can impede their success. We will examine strategies for encouraging diversity within groups and explore the concept of group think, along with techniques for preventing it. Additionally, we will delve into the role of choice architecture in shaping group decision-making processes, and analyze various heuristics that individuals use, such as anchoring and receptiveness, which can impact group decision-making. We will also examine different decision processes utilized by groups, such as consensus-building and voting, and explore the factors that influence group conversations, including who speaks and why. By the end of this course, students will have a deep understanding of the complexities involved in group decision-making and will have developed a range of skills and strategies for improving the effectiveness of group decision-making processes.

This course will provide the opportunity to learn about group decision making behaviour through interactive group exercises. These activities will simulate the process of group decision making, and will often be based on a real-world decision making context (i.e. NASA’s decision to launch a spaceship).These activities are designed to bring out the natural variations in human behaviour that we see in teams at work, and to explore their consequences on teams and on decisions made, and expose common group decision-making biases. They are designed to vividly and memorably illustrate the challenge of managing teams, and to provide a common context for discussing course concepts, as well as your insights about your own and others’ behaviour. These exercises will take place either during lectures or in seminars, depending on the exercise. As such, attendance is an important part of the course experience and the grade, and the class is not well suited to auditors.


20 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the WT.

A reading week will take place in Week 6. There will be no teaching during this week.

Formative coursework

There are two pieces of formative assignments in the WT.

1. Group project plan presentation (i.e. the selected decision context, due in week 5). Over several weeks (both in and outside class), you will work as a group to analyse a real decision that you will select. Students will submit information about the team and the decision they have selected, as well as an outline of their proposed project plan for the group project. During Week 5 the student group will meet with the professor to review their project plan and receive feedback as a group. This feedback will help prepare for the summative Group project submission.

2. Case analysis (individual): As a preparation for the individual case analysis essay, students will be assigned to analyze a case study which will be real-world example of group decision-making provided by the instructor. Students should identify one key concept discussed in class that impacted the decision-making process. Students will be expected to write a short essay that outlines the concept and its effects on the decision-making process. This assignment will encourage students to apply their knowledge of the course material to a practical situation, while also helping them develop their skills in critical analysis and effective communication. Additionally, it will provide students with an opportunity to practice their research and referencing skills in preparation for the final report.

Indicative reading


  • Hackman, J. Richard. (2011). Collaborative Intelligence: Using Teams to Solve Hard Problems. San Francisco, CA


  • Cosier, R.A., & Schwenk, C.R.(1990). “Agreement and Thinking Alike: Ingredients for Poor Decisions.” Academy of Management Executive, Vol.4, No.1,69-74.
  • Mannix, E., & Neale, M. (2006). “Diversity at work” Scientific American Mind, August/September, 32-39.
  • Phillips, K. W., & Apfelbaum, E. P. (2012). Delusions of homogeneity? Reinterpreting the effects of group diversity. Research on Managing Groups and Teams,15, 185-207.
  • Duhigg, C., What Google learned from its quest to build the perfect team. New York Times Magazine, Feb 28, 2016.
  • Wooley, Malone, & Chabris (2015) Why some teams are smarter than others. New York Times, January 18.
  • Edmonson, A. (1999) Psychological Safety and Learning Behavior in Work Teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 44, 2,350-383


Group project (40%), case analysis (45%) and class participation (15%).

Group Project: In week 11. Over several weeks (both in and outside class), you will work as a group to analyse a real group decision that you will select. The group assignment is a case analysis of a team decision of your choice that requires you to apply learning from the course. It can be an organization, a sports team, or another team involved in a high-stakes decision-making process (e.g. how a team should proceed at a key crossroad). The presentation should include an analysis of the decision making context, and the problem the team is facing and recommendations. The analysis and recommendations must use concepts from readings and lectures, In Week 11, groups submit their project on Moodle and give a short timed presentation.

Case Analysis: This is an individual technical report (1500 words maximum) which will provide an explanation and insightful discussion of one key concept observed in the group decision making process. The individual report is due the Tuesday after the end of Winter Term. Students are expected to utilise course materials, including supplementary readings from the reading list. It is not necessary to research further readings.

Participation: Based on (a) attendance at lectures with group exercises and/ or simulations, (b) contribution to seminar discussions (quality, not quantity).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills