Analysis of the Movie “Twelve Angry Men” (1957)

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The movie name Twelve Angry Men (1957) is a story that focuses of jury’s deliberation by 12 diversity background men, they all forcing the question by their ethics and values to decide whether a young man is guilty or not guilt basis on some reasonable doubt. The great philosopher Socrates proved by death that “majority democracy” may also be “majority dictatorship”, especially when the situation is working on a seemingly convincing murder case and twelve routine jurors, just as the company is under-prepared and routine. Decision-making meetings can easily belong to the leaders or “authorities”.

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In this movie, it provides us with many useful ideas of decision-making in organizational behaviors, such as groupthink, social loafing, the minority in a group, conflict management, and the group-forming stage. Sometime, when people are working with a group, they will easily to compromise the majority decision, whether the decision is not making any sense. Consistent with Janis (1972), some key factors that aggravate groupthink, according to the theory, are high initial cohesiveness, directive leadership, and conditions of high stress. The impact of groupthink can lead to ineffective and unethical group decision making.

As an example in the movie, the first vote for the defendant is guilty or not, some of the juries don’t even understand the case or making any individual decision, they just vote guilt by following the majority groups. They are trying to avoid any unnecessary trouble or conflict. Under this condition, analyzing and assessing are less important, and decision making becomes more unreliable. Johnson (2005) give us some suggestion to avoid this problem which are listening, engaging in dialogue, and utilizing productive conflict will increase the chances that groups will come up with a better solution because members have examined their assumptions and considered more viewpoints and possible solutions. In the textbook have mention that individual characteristics like age, gender, race, ethnicity, and abilities can influence people’s performance. In this movie, the jury is made up of 12 jurors of different ages, occupations, values, and characteristics. The differences among these people lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding that construct the most conflict within the movie. There is additional deep-level diversity than surface-level diversity during this movie. However, those jurors have the identical gender, similar race, and ethnicity, all of them have distinct values, personalities, and backgrounds, that lead them to hold different opinions throughout this decision-making process.

As a result of diversity is inevitable in an organization, diversity management becomes necessary so as to make everyone more aware of and sensitive to the needs and differences of others. A task of a group leader is to avoid the group from coming to a conclusion too soon, or from getting stuck in endless debate. (Saaty, 2013) In the first voting, the architect was the only person who voted for not guilty,

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