Executive Coaching Paper


This assessment has two deliverables. Develop “Groupthink-No-More” guidelines for teams AND complete either Option 1 OR Option 2 for the second deliverable.


Many organizations aspire to be “innovative environments,” but are plagued with less-than-successful outcomes. The executive team may decide to hire a social psychologist to identify the root causes of poor decisions and provide coaching on creative and independent thinking.

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

Describe the process of group formation, including why and how groups are formed.

How does cohesion influence groupthink?

  • Can conflict within a group ever be productive?
  • Preparation
  • Read the Assessment 4 Context document for information about the subject of this assessment.

Many organizations and institutions launch initiatives to promote independent, creative, and innovative thinking within management and teams. The reality, however, may fall far short of the ideal. “Groupthink,” occurs when group members pressure each other to avoid conflict because the culture values and rewards consensus and penalizes in some way those who dare to disagree or challenge assumptions. Disagreement does not have to be an unpleasant or intimidating experience. Conflict directed towards producing a positive outcome can improve decision-making throughout the workplace.

Use the Capella Library and the Internet to research social psychology theory related to: group process, group formation, group cohesion, group belonging, conflict and individual behaviors within groups, and Groupthink and intervention activities that promote effective teams.


Assume the consultant role in the scenario below.


The executive director of a large hospital-based mental health center with three private practice-model outpatient offices in three neighboring communities has hired you as an outside consultant to help increase client referrals to these three private practice offices. These private practice outpatient offices are managed by a medical director and staffed with support staff, counseling and clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychometrists, social workers, Licensed Master’s Level therapists, and specialists in substance abuse treatment. Historically, the referral base has been the hospital staff physicians.
Despite the fact that the private practice offices are all losing money due to low rates of referral and changes in insurance reimbursement, the staff continues to follow the directions of the medical director to make referrals. This medical director insists that the physicians on the hospital’s medical staff need to “step up to the plate” and increase referrals to the outpatient clinics. Referral development meetings continue to focus on this medical-based referral system largely because none of the non-physician staff will present a different perspective to the well-loved medical director.
Groupthink is alive and well in this group.
There are five hospitals within easy driving distance, and another dozen within an hour’s drive, most with their own counseling/therapy offices and experiencing the same decline in referrals. In addition, the neighboring communities have all the normal and expected social services, community and family services, institutions, schools, and religious organizations we expect to see in established communities with a comfortable mix of low, medium, and high socio-economic classes.


There are two required deliverables for this assessment.

Develop “Groupthink-No-More” guidelines for teams.

Complete either Option 1 or Option 2 for the second deliverable.

Use the professional format of your choice.

Address issues of groupthink as well as ways to expand thinking beyond the narrow referral-base perspective currently monopolizing this hospital-based system.

Analyze a workplace problem by applying social psychology principles related to group processes.

How does this research affect teams?

Under what conditions does groupthink occur?

  • Assess the influence of the social context on individual emotions and behavior in group decision-making.
  • How would you instruct an individual to be more or less conforming, compliant, or obedient given society’s need for some conformity, compliance, and obedience, and humanity’s need to sometimes question authority?

How does personality play a role?

How do people react to conflict?

How do these principles relate to creativity and innovation in a group?

  • Integrate social psychology principles and research to develop guidelines for minimizing groupthink.

How should teams be constructed?

What is the role of conflict?

  • What cultural shift needs to occur within the organization?

Option 1: Develop one original, research-based individual activity to use in a group training workshop that demonstrates how to maximize independent, creative, and innovative thinking in a group.

  • Option 2: Propose a research-based team-training program with a minimum of three activities that demonstrate how to maximize independent, creative, and innovative thinking in a group.
  • The following criteria apply to both Option 1 and Option 2:
  • Integrate methods and principles of social psychology to develop training that promotes independent, creative, and innovative thinking.

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