Perils and Pitfalls of Democracy

In some teams, the choice facing members does not center upon a choice between the team and self-interest. Rather, members must agree on some course of action. This is particularly true when the decisions facing the team are complex. Consider, for example, team members who disagree about their weekly meeting time. This cannot be resolved by individual members simply deciding the time that is best for them. Effective conflict resolution requires coordination and consensus among members. Voting is one method for reducing conflict, in which members agree to adopt the choice preferred by the majority. Voting is commonly used in organizational hiring, promotion, and firing decisions. Team members who vote among alternatives ...

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