Group Decision-Making, Leadership, Influence and Power: Illustrations from the Film “12 Angry Men”

1685 words 7 pages
The film “12 Angry Men (1957)” present a diverse group of twelve American jurors brought together to decide the guilt or innocence of a teenaged defendant in a seemingly open-and-shut murder trial case. The film illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of group decision-making, group developmental stages, leadership personality and models, social influence tactics and outcomes, and the bases of social power.

The following advantages of group decision-making were demonstrated in this approximately 90 min black-and-white 1957 film: First is diversity. A pool of varied cultural backgrounds, age groups etc, and different life experiences is a great strength of a group in decision-making. Second is enhanced memory of facts. The combine
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This type of leadership was very obvious in this film. Juror #1 had the formal role to lead the group, but every member had the responsibility to lead, and so members with some leadership qualities such as juror # 4, 8, 9 and 11, particularly, # 4 & 8 led the group simultaneously with juror #1 the foreman. The second leadership model that was illustrated in this film is the transformational leadership. This leadership model was well exemplified by juror #8 leadership. According to Kinicki & Kreitner (2009), transformational leaders transform followers by creating changes in their goals, values, needs, beliefs, and aspirations. This is exactly what juror #8 did in this film, as already explained in the preceding paragraph. He was a successful transformational leader.

About six influence tactics (Chapter 13 in Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009) were probably illustrated in the 12 angry men film, but I will discuss the most successful four used by Juror #8 to win over all the other jurors to join in his “not guilty” verdict. First, juror #8 used rational persuasion, a tactic that involves trying to convince someone with reason, logic, or facts. Although, he stated clearly from the beginning that he did not intend to change anyone’s verdict, he started off by convincing the other jurors the reason it was necessary to spend sometime to discuss the case. And throughout