discussions

Which of the biases and errors discussed in this chapter do you think are most likely to lead to miscommunication issues with colleagues and friends?

Devise a series of questions you could ask yourself in order to avoid falling prey to the biases and errors you identify.

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I think projection and common information biases are the most likely ones to lead to miscommunication with our colleagues and friends. “Projection bias is the inclination to believe that other people think, feel, and act the same way we do (we project our thoughts and attitudes onto them).”(1) and “Common information bias is the inclination to overemphasize information held by the majority of group members while failing to consider other perspectives held by the minority” (1). As an example for projection bias, a decision could be made considering that other team members would agree since they are predicted to think, feel and act the same way as the decision maker which will lead to miscommunication. For example, at my previous work, a manager made a decision for certain instruments to be calibrated assuming that every scientist in the group is thinking the same way instead of asking their opinions. In reality, most scientists were against calibration at the time since it would cause technical problems and delays in their work showing the miscommunication between them and their manager. For the case of common information bias an example could be the restrictions and requirements at work due to COVID-19 pandemic. One company where my friends are working imposed certain restrictions at work in addition those imposed by the state.Although majority of the employee were in favor, there were one’s who were against them and felt left out of the decision process and could not express their perspective.

The questions I could ask myself to avoid falling prey to the biases and errors could be:

Do I have enough information based on data?

Did I discuss the topic with my colleagues or friends to get multiple perspectives?

Do I feel under pressure during to decision making process?

Which of the biases and errors discussed are most likely to lead to budget and timeline problems in an organization? Defend your answer.

Sunk cost bias is the most likely to lead to budget and timeline problems in an organization. Sunk cost bias is the decision to continue an investment based on past investments of time, effort, and/or money (1). For example, a manager could keep making decisions based on pre-pandemic experience but COVID-19 pandemic has affected supply chains, prices etc. As a result, the manager’s decision could cause to budget and timeline problems in the organization.

Neck, C. P., Houghton, J. D., & Murray, E. L. (2019). Interactive: Organizational Behavior Interactive eBook (2nd Edition). SAGE Publications, Inc. (US). Page 221 https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781544364865 (Links to an external site.)

Example of reply

Hi Fatma, great post! I liked the examples you gave for perception bias and common information bias. People often make assumptions based on the information they receive and don’t think to further their thoughts on the subject by gathering more perspectives. This may not be done on purpose, but being mindful of avoiding these biases is very important. The second question you mentioned “Did I discuss the topic with my colleagues or friends to get multiple perspectives?” would be very helpful in being mindful of avoiding biases. Simply checking in on yourself and looking to hear more perspectives is a great way to gather more ideas. Another question you may consider asking is “do I have a different perspective than I did before?” to make sure there are different perceptions working on the task. Even if your perspective didn’t change, it would help make sure you listen to others. Actively listening is extremely important in this process. According to Paul Crosby, “If your employees feel heard, they will speak up and try to solve problems. If they feel ignored, they will keep their ideas to themselves and wait for you to tell them what to do” (Crosby). This can lead to better productivity and communication within a group.

Crosby, P. (2020, October 19). How your listening skills can make your employees better problem solvers. The Uncommon League. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://theuncommonleague.com/blog/20181029/how-your-listening-skills-can-make-your-employees-better-problem-solvers.

2 Which of the biases and errors discussed in this chapter do you think are most likely to lead to miscommunication issues with colleagues and friends?

Devise a series of questions you could ask yourself in order to avoid falling prey to the biases and errors you identify.

There are some biases discussed in the chapter that could lead to miscommunication among your friends and colleagues. One bias is the confirmation bias, where we seek only information that aligns with our preexisting views without giving any merit to anything conflicting (Neck et al., 2020). Another is projection bias which is us believing that others feel, think and act as we do (Neck et al., 2020). Common-information bias overemphasizes information held by a majority group over a minor (Neck et al., 2020). And finally, a framing error where we highlight certain aspects, whether positive or negative, while ignoring other factors (Neck et al., 2020). All of these biases and errors present conflicting views, which leads to miscommunication.

Miscommunication among friends and colleagues can cause awkwardness within the relationship depending on the topic, like political views. One can ask themselves some questions that can aid in falling prey to these biases and errors previously mentioned.

Questions such as:

Am I open-minded to my friend’s/colleague’s idea or perspective?

Is my ego or desire to win acting as blinders to any differences?

How would I defend their viewpoint?

Which of the biases and errors discussed are most likely to lead to budget and timeline problems in an organization? Defend your answer.

Some biases and errors can lead to poor decision-making, resulting in budget and timeline problems. Ease-of-recall bias is the over-reliance of information from memory in making a decision (Neck et al., 2020). Escalation of commitment is “the increased commitment to a decision despite negative information” (Neck et al., 2020). The chapter gives a great example of a manager choosing to invest more training into an underperforming employee even though evidence suggests otherwise (Neck et al., 2020). Lack of participation error excludes certain people from a decision-making process (Neck et al., 2020). Another excellent example from the chapter is not inviting lower-level employees in a decision-making process where their feedback could be helpful. Decision-making is one of the more essential tools for managers as it can differentiate good and poor outcomes (Neck et al., 2020). Decision-making is a crucial process for managers that determines good or poor outcomes (Neck et al., 2020). Making important decisions requires as much definitive information as possible. The biases and errors mentioned limit that information or ignore it, leading to budget and timeline problems.

References

Neck, C. P., Houghton, J. D., & Murray, E. L. (2020). Organizational behavior: A skill-building approach. Sage

Example of reply

Michael, great post! In the first question, you had mentioned, “…confirmation bias, where we seek only information that aligns with our preexisting views without giving any merit to anything conflicting (Neck et al., 2020). Another is projection bias which is us believing that others feel, think and act as we do

(Neck et al., 2020). Common-information bias overemphasizes information held by a majority group over a minor (Neck et al., 2020).” These are all very crucial biases and errors that will most likely to lead to miscommunication issues with colleagues and friends. You had stated that all these biases and errors present conflicting views which could lead to miscommunication. While I agree, I would like to know more! In my opinion, confirmation bias can lead to miscommunication amongst colleagues and friends because if someone is focused primarily on their own views, not being open to others, it can lead to frustration in personal relationships and overall tension in the workplace. Projection bias is a critical one, as someone being somewhat “conceited” rather than “confident” can lead to various miscommunication issues. Friends and colleagues may not feel heard by their partners, or they may not feel like they won’t have a chance to get anything done if someone is not open to other opinions and tactics. Lastly, I feel common-information bias would lead to miscommunication mishaps regarding friends and colleagues because overestimating capabilities can potentially lead to success, but it is also pivotal not to cancel out the potential negative outcomes as well. Overemphasizing information can lead to biased behavior and large disagreements if someone does not the feel the same way. Do you agree ? I am curious on your outlook regarding these biases and some more elaboration on how they would lead to miscommunication. Nice post !!!

Neck, C. P., Houghton, J. D., & Murray, E. L. (1965). Organizational Behavior: A Skill-Building Approach (2nd ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.

Second discussion

Technology can lead to unethical behavior in several ways, including violating privacy, which is one of the biggest issues of our time. Along with that, technology makes it easier for people to manipulate what the put out for the world to see, creating a false sense of reality for people. On the privacy front, big tech businesses like Facebook and Apple are constantly at odds with their consumers, even sometimes each other, because the consumer wants their private information private. Apple makes this a big part of their company, MIT Sloan wrote a column about a better conversation about tech, business and ethics. They included a recent headline that read, “Apple going to war with Facebook’s web trackers” (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018), this was a fight between two tech giants about consumer privacy. It’s a battle of, is it unethical to track people’s searches, history, etc. if they willingly take part in the activity? They go on to say that as technology evolves so quickly, so do the civic processes. MIT columnist also touches on Facebooks involvement in allegedly influencing the 2016 presidential campaign, which seemingly violates everything democracy stands for. Similarly, the chapter touched on Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo was involved in a fraud scandal, where to meet incredibly demanding sales quotas, bankers were taking clients private information and, without their knowledge, opened various accounts under their name (Neck et al., 2016). Along with that, Facebook has also very recently come under fire for their knowledge fo how detrimental their other social media site, Instagram, is on teenage girls mental health. Instagram has features to put filters on faces, this can blur imperfections, alter tones and more. In the files and studies Facebook collected, they state “The tendency to share only the best moments, a pressure to look perfect and an addictive product can send teens spiraling toward eating disorders, an unhealthy sense of their own bodies and depression, March 2020 internal research states.” (Wall Street Journal, 2021). Facebook is not conducting ethical business to consumer relationships, they knew how their product affected young girls and buried the files, turning a blind eye. If social media didn’t progress as quick as it did because of technology, this may not be as big of a problem as it is now.

On the other hand, technology isn’t all bad, it can be used to strengthen connections between coworkers, and consumers alike. Social media is a way for businesses to give consumers a glance into how their product is made and the teams behind them. It’s common for small and mid-sized companies to highlight their key staff on Instagram or Facebook in order for the customers to put a face to the brand, it creates a more personal connection. Being opened about how the business is run, who runs it and their social responsibility welcome more business and a trusted following.

SOURCES:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2018, July 5). R. Edward Freeman and Seth Lashley | Business, Technology, and Ethics: The Need for Better Conversations. MIT Sloan Management Review. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/business-technology-and-ethics-the-need-for-better-conversations/

Neck, C., Houghton, D., & Murray, E. (2016). Organizational Behavior : A Critical-Thinking Approach (Hardcover)–by Christopher P. Neck [2016 Edition] ISBN: 9781506314402 [E-book]. SAGE Publications.

Wall Street Journal. (2021, September 15). The Facebook Files. WSJ. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-facebook-files-11631713039

Example of reply

Hi Jewel,

Violation of privacy is a very important concept when discussing technology. In our current world, technology ans social media plays such a large role in our lives and it has made it difficult to keep information private, leading to unethical behaviors. Great example. It also makes it easier for people to spread false news and inaccurate information. Thankfully, many organizations offer professional development and workshops to overcome and address possible ethical dilemmas (Neck et al., 2018). I also enjoyed how you brought up the topic of mental health. Social media has a major impact on how individuals view themselves, leading to possible health concerns which would fall under unethical behavior.

Neck, C. P., Houghton, J. D., & Murray, E. L. (2018). Organizational behavior

2.How might technology lead to unethical behavior?

Artificial Intelligence is becoming increasingly advanced. With AI advancing there are pros and cons. People can utilize AI more, whether it’s for an ethical or unethical approach. Because there is so much that can be done on the internet, people will take advantage of AI. When people are tempted to have so much freedom, they will use it unethically. People can use technology unethically by plagiarizing, identity theft, and financial fraud. According to Neck, Houghton, and Murray, “Wells Fargo came under fire for creating fake bank accounts under real customers and bought vast quantities of EpiPen products from retailers to inflate its sales numbers (Neck et al. pg. 246, 2020). Creating fake bank accounts is financial fraud and identity theft. To create a bank account, bankers require such personal information as licenses, SSN, and passports. These are government-issued photo IDs. The internet is known for having a lot of identity theft and fraud. On websites, people can steal credit card information when others are making purchases. Scott Berber, CEO of the hospitality industry also mentioned that he caught an employee clocking in his wife three hours before she attended work (Neck et al. pg. 248, 2020). His wife is getting paid for hours that she did not attend work. Businesses use AI as their “clock-in” system. Some only require a passcode to clock in. But some advanced AI requires a fingerprint or Face-recognition to clock into work.

How might technology help businesses develop more ethical and transparent business practices?

Because technology is so advanced and continues to advance, it has room for improvement and development. There is so much to learn about technology and ways to develop more ethical business practices. One way is having access to all systems used in the business. Being able to see every coworker’s actions on the internet can reduce unethical decisions made on computers. Also, if all companies require their employees to clock in and out using face recognition and fingerprint ID, others will not be able to clock them in or out. Neck, Houghton, and Murray stated, “The key to being an ethical person or organization is to consistently choose to do the right thing (Neck et al. pg. 248, 2020).” Companies need to hire employees that they can trust to make ethical decisions when no one is looking. That is the only way you can guarantee your employees to make the right decisions. Having ethical employees will bring a company success.

Neck, C., Houghton, D., and Murray, E. (2016). Organizational Behavior: A Critical Thinking Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications

Example of reply

Hi Lia!

Great discussion post, artificial intelligence wasn’t at the top of my mind but at the mention of it in your response, it was quite thought provoking. Due to technology rapidly evolving, AI is becoming a fixture in every day life, especially for businesses. According to an article in The Harvard Gazette, AI is used from when the resume’s hit a hiring managers desk, to managing material pricing and buying, and even billing. Though sending a bill and scanning a document will streamline clerical work, will artificial intelligence have the capacity for human emotion, and the ability to make ethical decisions? In the article, honing in on AI scanning resumes, Michael Sendel stated, “AI not only replicates human biases, it confers on these biases a kind of scientific credibility. It makes it seem that these predictions and judgments have an objective status” (Pazzanese, 2020). Because AI is based to know scientific fact and programmed that way, the same biases can appear in the way it picks resumes. Algorithms that are created for social medias, and job candidate pools, are inherently bias, don’t you think? They are specifically coded to suit the person’s need on the other end. Do you think AI can be used in an ethical way, in spite of the nature of many sciences to create bias?

Pazzanese, C. (2020, October 26). Ethical concerns mount as AI takes bigger decision-making role. Harvard Gazette. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/10/ethical-concerns-mount-as-ai-takes-bigger-decision-making-role/

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