Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Teamwork, Team, Leadership, Psychology, Racism, Discrimination, Stereotypes, Bias

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2021/02/25

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Industrial Safety

Cognitive bias can be described as a deviation from the normal judgment by an individual. It can also mean situations where inferences are drawn in illogical manner. It is always quite predictable and affects professional lives of individuals. Cognitive judgments are not limited to employees or workers but can affect both. Ideally, there are three cognitive biases that often affect individuals, namely, the recency effect, sunk cost effect, and overconfidence bias.
In sunk cost, people always consider past decisions while making investment decisions. They tend to concentrate on activities where they had put some investment in the past. Although the climbers saw the dangers that they were facing while approaching the summit, this did not deter them from climbing. They argued that they had put a lot of investments in terms of money and resources to back out from reaching the summit. For instance, the amount of time that they had spent climbing other areas and the distance that they had covered before could not allow them to back off. They estimated the sunk costs to be $70,000 and several weeks of agony while climbing. They were also affected by overconfidence bias as they became overconfident about climbing the mountain basing their decisions on their past achievements. For instance, a Rob Hall was quoted saying that he believed 100% that he would come back hence no amount of risk could make him change his mind. Finally, the recency effect where they based their judgment on what had happened before. For example, most climbers had experienced good weather in the past they believed that they would still experience this without any hitch at. This made the expedition team not to prepare for climbing the summit.

Psychological safety

This is a situation that requires any team to discuss issues continuously and openly before undertaking any activity or project. There should be a shared belief that the team is safe in every way, and nothing can happen to them. The team that went for this expedition did not discuss these openly hence failed to know the dangers that they were facing in the process of mount climbing. Some of the factors that affected the psychological safety in this case were the style of the team leaders and the lack of familiarity among team members. The guides, as well as the team members, were very uncomfortable to speak up about issues that they were experiencing. They were indoctrinated not question whatever the guides or the leaders had suggested as the truth and correct. For instance, while addressing team members, Rob Hall indicated that he will not tolerate any dissension after they had already started climbing the mountain adding that in case there is any issue they were to wait until they were through so as to tackle that. As much as the team could have turned back, team members feared asking their leaders anything.

System complexity

This suggests that there are several things that could have occurred that led to the breakdown and failures during the expedition. For instance, during mountain climbing, the team noted considerable number of problems even before embarking on the process of climbing the mountain but they did not pay any attention to them. For example, there were problems with poor weather, charter planes, and the customs department. All these complex situations interacted to create an enormous burden on the team. Moreover, Fischer ended up spending more time solving these problems before they could start climbing the mountain. What made it more dangerous is the coming up of tight coupling which means that one action led to the advent of another action in place. The effects of these always affect time. Remember that once any process has been delayed it makes the subsequent processes to run slowly. Fischer did not also anticipate that several complex interactions will occur during the planning and the final process of climbing the mountain. For instance, he did not expect the rain to fall in Nepal, flights to be delayed in Russia and the company to experience a custom’s problems that could not be sorted out in time. All these problems caused a lot of concern to the team. Besides, these issues made him appear exhausted most of the times hence his physical condition was an issue. Besides, there were also several hours wasted while waiting for other team members to arrive before they could start.

What the industry can learn

The industry can learn by ensuring that a lot of attention is paid to cognitive bias, that is, the industry should not base their decisions on past investments but rather on what could be earned in future Secondly, it is important for the industry to take keen interest in psychological safety by giving the team members an opportunity to discuss whatever thing that they would like to share so that they are comfortable when undertaking a project and finally, any complexity in the system should be solved as soon as possible so that it does not affect another complex situation thereby creating systems failure in the system. This will help a lot in saving time that could have been lost.

Cognitive bias and complex failure

These two always interact to enhance a system’s failure. For instance, if there is a lot of cognitive bias in a complex system then there are high chances that the systems will failure. Complex systems can make small errors in judgments bearing a lot of problems. Errors in judgment may cause an organization to underestimate the probability of failures while undertaking the project. The case demonstrates the relationship between the systems complex and the system bias that took place. For instance, there were a lot of poor judgments witnessed brought about by systemic complexity. All these interacted to cause a lot of bottlenecks that made the whole mountain climbing project such a huge hurdle that was very hard to achieve. This is very crucial to industrial safety since managers should always balance their actions while nurturing the confidence of their workers. Through this, they can strike a balance in issues such as overconfident on one hand and using sufficient evidence on the other hand. Leaders who act decisively when faced with several challenges are great for the organizations since they will help it to grown very first
What could be noted from the case study is that not all the climbers adhered to the oxygen rule. The sunk costs made it difficult for them to turn around from what they had focused on doing. They also underestimated the possibility of a dangerous storm because of the recency bias. They also run out of oxygen because the climbed the mountain right past midday that could not have been the case. This heightened the dangers that they were to experience making while act of climbing the mountain a very dangerous endeavor. Above all, the case study showed that human error due to cognitive bias coupled with other complex happenings can cause a lot of problems.
While making a decision, a leader should show some level of confidence since lack of it might mean that the leader has already lost direction in what they are doing. Moreover, if this is mastered well, leaders can cope with anxieties that are prevalent in the workplace. Leaders will also be better placed to seek information based on what they already know to avoid getting overconfidence about what they are still not sure about. Too much confidence is not suitable for any organizations especially among the managers as it could be seen in Everest’s case. Once this is mastered, leaders will always take a lot of care in separating the facts from the assumptions. As we can see, managers should also allow some extent of criticism so that a proper evaluation can happen. For instance, in most organizations currently many ideas remain unchallenged, and junior staffs are not even allowed to think and come up with wise decisions that can be of help to the organizations. Leaders should allow their juniors to scrutinize their decisions and see whether they are flawed so that they can be rectified before something bad occurs.
Each participant within a company should be given a chance to contribute to what the organization feels is good for its developments. These views must be considered genuinely and thoroughly to make sure that they are without any defect. While making the final decisions, it is very imperative for leaders to provide the practical guidance for doing this. For instance, before making a decision that they should share it with their team member. By allowing this, they will be building their members. Moreover, it is very crucial that the management do not allow any personal conflicts by making sure there is enough psychological safety. Every team member should feel comfortable while working with the others. Moreover, leaders should always be able to accommodate the perceptions and beliefs of others. In most instances, leaders’ words and actions always show how they expect others to behave. From the case study, we notice that Hall made it very much clear that he did not expect anybody’s views at all while they were still in the process of the expedition. Any direct command that has been made to members always has a lot of force hence care should be undertaken while giving out any order. Cognitive bias mitigation should also be carried out to prevent any adverse occurrences that may arise as a result of cognitive bias.

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WePapers. (2021, February, 25) Free Essay On Cognitive Bias. Retrieved September 18, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/
"Free Essay On Cognitive Bias." WePapers, 25 Feb. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/. Accessed 18 September 2021.
WePapers. 2021. Free Essay On Cognitive Bias., viewed September 18 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/>
WePapers. Free Essay On Cognitive Bias. [Internet]. February 2021. [Accessed September 18, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/
"Free Essay On Cognitive Bias." WePapers, Feb 25, 2021. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/
WePapers. 2021. "Free Essay On Cognitive Bias." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved September 18, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/).
"Free Essay On Cognitive Bias," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 25-Feb-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/. [Accessed: 18-Sep-2021].
Free Essay On Cognitive Bias. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-on-cognitive-bias/. Published Feb 25, 2021. Accessed September 18, 2021.
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