The paper 'Challenges Faced by Healthcare Leaders in terms of Decision-Making' is a good example of a Management Literature Review. The process of making decisions in a team environment is a complex phenomenon. Leaders of teams are faced with multiple challenges which, if not checked, have a negative impact upon the final decisions reached by the teams. Yet teams form an important and useful tool for making decisions. From having the potential advantage of generating and processing a high level of information, as a result of numbers, to the credibility that is often attached to team decisions, team decision-making is an important process whose leadership determines the quality of the decisions adopted.
This paper examines some of the challenges that healthcare leaders face in making decisions under a team environment. To achieve this objective, the paper is divided into three parts. The first part examines the general aspects of team-centered leadership together with the advantages and disadvantages of using teams in making decisions. The second part examines the differences between team-centered and leader-centered approaches to making decisions within teams.
The last part examines several challenges faced by leaders in the process of making decisions under a team environment. These challenges are divided into two categories: those that affect communication processes in the practice of making decisions and those that are associated with biases and errors in the process of making decisions. Lastly, a brief examination of some of the measures undertaken by healthcare leaders to overcome these challenges is given. Team-centered leadership and decision making Team-centered leadership entails a complex interaction between members of a team in the process of making decisions that affect all members of the group.
To begin with, teams are human aggregations of the wide diversity in terms of composition, focus, and design (Forsyth, 2010, p. 353). Although teams share the basic characteristics with groups (interaction between members, having common goals pursued by all the members, the interdependence between individuals in the team and a structure of leadership within the group) they differ from groups in terms of the intensity and extent of influence of these characteristics. Teams tend to lay much emphasis on the impact of these characteristics in their operations more than is the case for groups (Nutt & Wilson, 2010, p.
236). Since teams have the advantage of having increased access to information and other resources as a result of the collective effort of the members, the decisions they make are inherently better than those made by individuals. The decision-making process within the context of a team may fall into the main five basic types of decision-making processes (Forsyth, 2010, p. 325). In the first category, the leader seeks information from members of the team before making independent decisions.
These decisions are later communicated to the team and adopted as the official stance of the team. In the second category, the leader of the team performs individual consultation with the members before making decisions. In this category, the impact of the whole group as a single entity is bypassed and decisions are best made when tasks are divided into smaller units and equally allocated to different members (Levi, 2011, p. 150). The third type of decision-making making process by teams involves the leader consulting with the whole group before making decisions.
This is in contrast to the second type in which consultations are made with individual members. In the fourth type of decision-making process, a collaborative and open analysis of the problem is undertaken by the entire group. Decisions are based on mutual understanding as to the leader only plays the role of facilitating the process (Nutt & Wilson, 2010, p. 234). In the last type, the group functions independently from the leader. The whole process of deliberation, discussion, and final making of decisions is undertaken by the members of the team, free from the influence of the leadership.
Forsyth (2010, p. 326), notes that under this type, the role of the leader of the team is confined to providing resources and facilitation to the entire process of making the decisions.
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