Groupthink Versus High-Quality Decision Making in International Relations
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Description: Can we say there is such a thing as good or bad decision making? Indeed we can, to the extent that certain decision-making techniques and practices limit the ability of policymakers to achieve their goals and advance the national interest. The success of policy often turns on the quality of the decision-making process that goes into it.Mark Schafer and Scott Crichlow identify the factors that contribute to good and bad policymaking, such as the personalities of political leaders, the structure of decision-making groups, and the nature of the exchange between participating individuals. Analyzing thirty-nine foreign-policy cases across nine administrations, and through both statistical analyses and case studies including a detailed examination of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003-the authors pinpoint factors likely to lead to either successful or failed decision making, and they suggest prescriptive measures to improve the process. Schafer and Crichlow show how the staffing of key offices and the structure of central decision-making bodies determine the path of an administration even before specific topics are introduced. Additionally, they link psychological characteristics of leaders to the quality of their decisions. This work is essential for better understanding and improving decision making.
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List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 4/22/2010
Size: 6.10" wide x 9.02" long x 0.57" tall
|List of Tables and Figures|
|Groupthink and the Quality of the Foreign-Policy Decision-Making Process|
|The Group and the Individual in Foreign-Policy Decision Making|
|The Decision-Making Model: The Interplay of Group Processes and Psychological Characteristics|
|Case Studies in American Foreign-Policy Decision Making|
|Case Studies in Low-Quality Decision Making|
|The Garter Administration and the Shah|
|Reagan Funding the Contras, 1981|
|Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative|
|George W. Bush and the 2002 Steel Tariffs|
|Case Studies in High-Quality Decision Making|
|The Carter Administration and the Ogaden Crisis|
|The Reagan Administration and Easing Ferdinand Marcos out of Power|
|The Clinton Administration and South Asia: Nuclear Capabilities and Another War Over Kashmir|
|The Effect of Groupthink Versus High-Quality Decision Making on Outcomes|
|Individual-Level Factors Affecting the Quality of Decision Making|
|The 2003 War in Iraq: How Flawed Decision Making Led to Critical Failures|
|Groupthink Versus High-Quality Decision Making: Lessons and Prescriptions|
|Cases Included in the Analysis|
|Operational Definitions of Situational-Context Variables|
|Operational Definitions of Group-Structural Variables|
|Operational Definitions of Decision-Processing Variables|