This handbook on group decision-making for those wanting to operate in a consensus fashion stresses the advantages of informal, common sense approaches to working together. It describes how any group can put these approaches into practice, and relates numerous examples of situations in which such approaches have been applied.

Evaluating Consensus Building

Evaluating consensus building
Judith E.Innes

Consensus building is a comparatively new but increasingly popular way of making choices, addressing problems, and developing strategy in complex and controversial situations. It is often used as a supplement, or even an alternative, to decision making by legislatures, chief executives, bureaucracies, and courts. Consensus building has not yet, however, achieved the recognition or public acceptance enjoyed by these familiar institutions. Not many people understand how consensus building works, much less what it accomplishes when it is most effective. Evaluations of consensus building—evaluations that assess its strengths and weaknesses, help determine when it should be used, compare it with traditional decision-making procedures, and so forth—can help build public understanding of and trust in consensus-based processes.

Evaluations can also fulfill numerous ...

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