By D Christopher Kayes PhD (auth.)
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Extra resources for Destructive goal pursuit: The mount everest disaster
Each relies on some hidden, if not unconscious, group psychological process that interferes with rational decision-making. The explanations include a variety of memorable titles. “Risky shift” describes how groups make riskier decisions on average than individuals (see Brown, 2000, pp. 199–212). “Groupthink” is the notion that groups form consensus too quickly and members of groups seek a kind of esprit de corps that limits critical thinking. ” With groupthink, for example, the individuals in a team desire to belong.
The study found that companies that performed better the 5 years prior to deregulation were more likely to maintain their current strategies. Companies with poorer performance before deregulation were more likely to develop new strategies after deregulation rather than maintain the same strategies. Ultimately, the study found that transportation companies could not rely on prior success or prior failure to determine what course of action to take in the future. The finding, coupled with a number of other studies that sought to determine if past success and failures could determine action, revealed that prior success in achieving goals may be dysfunctional because success builds unfounded confidence in existing strategies.
Given these characteristics, one can readily see how that which these men define as “stressful” might be different than what others identify with that term. (Lester, 1983, p. 34) Later studies appear to confirm Lester’s findings, at least in part. Studying a more culturally diverse group of Everest climbers than Lester’s AMEE team, one researcher went to Everest base camp and started handing out personality surveys to climbers. Taking advantage of the downtime between training and acclimatization runs up the mountain, the researchers surveyed 39 climbers who spoke and read English but who were native to eight different countries (Eagan and Stelmack, 2003).