Watch the original 1957, black-and-white version of “12 Angry Men.” Watch for indications of the six
steps of the Group Problem-solving Process and leadership. Write a short essay addressing what occurred as the jury processed through each of the six steps. Keep in mind
that the jury was a group before they walked into the jury room and some of the steps may have occurred
in the courtroom. In addition, address the style and the effectiveness of the characters identified as
The Problem-Solving Sequence involves the following six steps:
Define and Analyze the Problem: at times the problem may be clearly specified but at other times the
problem may be vague and the group will need to define it clearly. It is necessary to limit the
problem to a manageable area instead of a vague concept. Stating the problem as an open-ended
question rather than a statement allows for greater exploration and creativity.
Establish Criteria for Evaluating Solutions: Decide how solutions will be evaluated before proposing
Identify Possible Solutions: brainstorm as many solutions as possible, focus on quantity rather than
Evaluate Solutions: use the previously established criteria to evaluate each solution
Select the Best Solution(s): based on the results of the evaluation process, choose the best solution.
Groups choose solutions in three methods:
Authority: the leader of the group (or organization) makes the decision after listening to
the group’s suggestions. This is usually the most efficient manner and has the
advantage that the more experienced members ultimately make the decision,
however other individual members often feel somewhat ‘left out’ and do not
participate or support the decision enthusiastically.
Majority Rule: decision is reached by vote. Also efficient however the discussion may
be limited by calling for a vote once a majority of the members seem to be in
agreement. Also the individuals on the minority of the vote often feel somewhat
‘left out’ and do not participate or support the decision enthusiastically.
Consensus: all members of the group voiced their opinion, and a solution is synthesized
that the group as a whole agrees on. While not as efficient as the other two
methods, this method produces a high degree of enthusiasm and support for the
decision since everyone takes ownership.
Test the Selected Solution(s): analyze the effectiveness of the chosen solution