Groupthink: A Significant Threat to the Homeland Security of the United States   [open pdf - 644KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The groupthink psychological phenomenon prevalent in the homeland security enterprise is a significant threat to the United States. Homeland security is vulnerable to groupthink because its leaders frequently share similar backgrounds, work histories, and world-views. This similarity minimizes the chance of outside perspectives being introduced to the decision-making process, which insulates leadership from external ideas. This research project asks, 'Has groupthink influenced the homeland security enterprise and if so, what are the implications of this phenomenon?' It examines case studies of decisions made by government in-groups to determine if the antecedent conditions and symptoms of groupthink are present and if the resulting fiascos are caused by groupthink. Furthermore, it analyzes Irvin Janis's original remedies, which have successfully alleviated groupthink in the past, and it offers recommendations to mitigate this phenomenon. Leaders who wish to alleviate groupthink should promote a culture in which employees are encouraged to play the role of devil's advocate by offering alternatives to organizational decisions and commonly held assumptions. Homeland security can reduce groupthink by employing Janis's remedies and encouraging critical thinking, innovation, and imagination to bolster the national security of the United States."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx
Media Type:
Cohort NCR1303/1304; CHDS Outstanding Thesis
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Listed on March 4, 2015 [Critical Releases]