And the best collective decisions emanates from the best individual judgement.
Decision-making is both a science and art and depend so much on the learning and experiences of the one tasked to do it. The capacity to decide is bound into the person's independence whether physical or emotional. Freedom and rights to make your own decisions will destroy a person unless it is recognized that these ideals are privileges and not necessities and therefore they are accompanied by responsibilities (Arsham, 1994).
As a person becomes part of a community or an organisation his decision making capabilities becomes limited and is governed by acceptable norms, roles, policies, and other guiding principles. As social arrangements become complex making decisions will also be complex that guidelines are necessary whether individual or a group must decide for any particular situations. In the process the capability of the individual to decide is hampered by systems imposed and adopted in groups. Relevant studies have shown that the capability of a person to decide is enhanced when he is to do it alone. Since systems are used in group techniques, the flexibility of the individual is limited and he is bound to follow the roles even if it contradicts to his norms, behaviours, and beliefs.
There are opposing claims that individual techniques or group techniques are better than the other. In reality both can be effective, but each has its own domains, which they can be most effective, and they have limitations. Let us revisit what the experts and literatures told us about their differences.
Individual decision-making is a better way of arriving at an answer if it requires personal decisions. In the other hand group decisions are needed if it requires collective actions. But in most organizations you cannot separate the two since for every corporate decision a point exist along the line that requires both individual and group decisions. To illustrate the point, a manager would decide for himself to select the best applicant from among the three finalist collectively endorsed by a promotion and selection board. In rating those applicants, every member of the board decides singly on rating the candidate.
Individualism or collectivism approaches in arriving at a consensus also varies with the size and complexity and of the type, whether public or government organizations. Government offices mostly use group decision making in planning and identifying programs. Sample (1984) considered group techniques are common in extension programs where clients are involved in making solutions to problems. The small enterprises, in the other hand, rely on individual approaches as compared to large corporations, which are governed by a body that approves policies and other decision-making jobs.
Managers who are to select between individual or group decision must be guided by the following ideas: In establishing objectives, a group is better than individuals because of the greater amount of knowledge available among members of the groups. In identifying alternatives, the individual efforts of group members encourage a broad search in various functional areas of the organization. In evaluating alternatives, the collective judgment of the group is again superior due to wide scope of knowledge. In implementing a decision, whether or not a group made it, individual managers is more