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The movie 12 Angry Men has a classical/rational approach to decision-making. Clear aims, defined challenges, agreement on weights and criteria, and known alternatives are all characteristics of this paradigm. The jurors in the film employ a logical process to reach a judgement since they are aware of their objectives, can debate and find consensus on relevant topics, and comprehend the situation. The model affects the process by causing character conflicts and taking up time, but it also improves decision-making by allowing the cast to consider all the available information. Because it permits the jurors to have an in-depth discussion of the evidence to identify problems, the decision model is a useful approach. According to the Harvard Business Review (2013), bad decisions are a product of the decision-making process. Applying the right model to decision making makes it possible for the jurors in the movie to arrive at a practical decision.
Dialogue can be viewed as the process through which two or more parties listen and respond to each other to reach an agreement (Harvard Business Review, 2013). In the movie, the jurors discuss the case of the boy who killed his father to reach a verdict. Several dialogues are present in the film. Juror #8 and Juror #4 dialogue on the ability to recall events. Juror #4 is convinced that the boy was not in the movies as he cannot remember the film. Through dialogue with the juror where he tests the juror to by asking him to recall the previous day’s incidents, Juror #8 convinces the individual that the boy could have forgotten things that happened in the movie he claimed he was watching when the murder occurred. Jurors #3 and #8 also dialogue with Juror #5 in the scene about the knife. Jurors #3 and #8 present their arguments showing why they believe a shorter person can stab a taller individual at a downward angle, but Juror #5 counters their argument. The acts of listening and responding that emerge in the two scenes portray the qualities of dialogue.
Advocacy refers to the support of a specific cause while an inquiry is an act of requesting for information. The two methods differ in dialogue as advocacy involves an individual who has concluded therefore provides backing to it. On the other hand, inquiry entails seeking information to allow a person to arrive at a deduction that makes it possible to support a course. Advocacy is beneficial to decision making as it is the basis for pushing a person’s beliefs in the process. Equally, inquiry plays a valuable role because it provides a means to gather information that leads to evidence-based decisions (Harvard Business Review, 2013). In the movie, advocacy and inquiry are essential to the jury process as it eliminates bias, pushes the right information, and forces further analysis. The jurors have to ask more questions beyond the evidence presented through inquiry, which involves examination of the evidence. Advocacy for the boy’s rights to a fair hearing limits biases contributing to a better decision process.
Decision making should follow the three C’s of decision making, that is, clarify, consider, and choose an alternative (Harvard Business Review, 2013). In the movie, the three C’s are evident in various instances. At the point where Juror #3, #8 and #5 dialogue about the angle of the stab wound, the three are clarifying information on the ability of a shorter person to stab a taller individual at a downward angle. By revealing the errors in the judgments made by Jurors #3 and #8, Juror #5 clarifies the shortcomings of the observations made by the two jurors. Consequently, it reveals the mistakes they have made. Consideration of the evidence presented facilitates effective decision making. Examination of the attributes of the woman who stated that she saw the murder and the ability to recall events also makes it possible to reach conclusions. Based on the analysis of the evidence given, the jurors can choose an alternative that exonerates the boy of a criminal offense. The impact of the jurors’ decision-making process is a more practical decision. The explanation for the deduction is that it enables dialogue, advocacy, and inquiry that permits more examination of the evidence and a better choice.
The central teachings gleaned from the movie are that it is essential to execute a holistic approach to decision making and to allow others to contribute information. A complete strategy for making decisions involves elements such as dialoguing, inquiring, and weighing the evidence. The two are relevant at a personal level as they reduce the potential for problems that negatively affect decision making, for instance, confirmation bias. Dialoguing with other people makes it possible to gain additional views that lower the possibility of wrong choices. Before the experience, my ideas were that it is vital to engage others in the decision making process. However, I never thought about the likelihood of confirmation bias as I consider myself objective. Learning that confirmation bias can camouflage itself as objectivity, as demonstrated by some of the jurors, has altered my values to give greater respect to dialogue. The effect of the change is that it will motivate me to rely more on discussion and inquiry to make better decisions.
Harvard Business Review (2013). On making smart decisions. Brighton, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.
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