Influence of differentiated roles on group forecasting accuracy
While behavioral research on forecasting has mostly examined the individual forecaster, organizationally-based forecasting processes typically tend to rely on groups with members from different functional areas for arriving at ‘consensus’ forecasts. The forecasting performance could also vary depending on the particular group structuring utilized in reaching a final prediction. The current study compares the forecasting performance of modified consensus groups with that of staticized groups using formal role-playing. It is found that, when undistorted model forecasts are given, group forecasts (whether they are arrived at through averaging or by a detailed discussion of the forecasts) contribute positively to the forecasting accuracy. However, providing distorted initial forecasts affects the final accuracy with varying degrees of improvement over the initial forecasts. The results show a strong tendency to favor optimistic forecasts for both the staticized and modified consensus group forecasts. Overall, the role modifications are found to be successful in eliciting a differential adjustment behavior, effectively mimicking the disparities between different organizational roles. Current research suggests that group discussions may be an efficient method of displaying and resolving differential motivational contingencies, potentially leading to group forecasts that perform quite well.
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