Archives of Environmental Sciences and Environmental Toxicology (ISSN: 2688-948X)

Article / review article

"International Mind Grouping Technique for Decision Making on Environmental Sustainablity"

Kateryna Shumilina1, Wu Bo1, Ibrahim Hussein Ahmad2*, Mirza Babaur Baig3

1Department of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, China

2Department of Finance, Zhejiang Gongshang University, China

3Department Business School, University of Lahore, Pakistan

*Corresponding author: Ibrahim Hussein Ahmad, Department of Finance, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China. Email:

Received Date: 01 October, 2019; Accepted Date: 17 October, 2019; Published Date: 23 October, 2019


In addition to the quality and quantity of environmental apprehension, the element of innovation among alternatives is also an important factor which is sometimes missing in existing approaches of group discussion. There is no research on devising a discussion group technique to promote decision making regarding environmental sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a cross cultural grouping model aiding decision making through an international mind grouping technique. The overview of the mind sourcing techniques brings us to the novel research-aggregation of the hybrid mind grouping technique, combining their main fostering factors and ruling out the inhibiting ones. International mind grouping team can have different environmental skill sets and employee base, but they must have high Cultural intelligence (CQ) and Cross-cultural Learning Interest (CCLI), culturally and environmentally experienced members, herewith following the specific rules. At the same time, this technique is complemented and nourished with the findings of cross-cultural competence, decision making and cultural intelligence theories to meet the challenges of the cross-cultural team decision-making for environmental sustainability that would bring efficiency and synergy to the group discussion. The article not only proposes a cross cultural grouping model but also suggests an international mind grouping technique.


Cross Culture; Environmental Sustainability; Groups; Social Responsibility


There is a lot of discussion on crowdsourcing in previous literature. Crowdsourcing research has three main streams. The first one emphasizes the importance of members ‘expertise and is being correctly weighted by Davisstober, et al. [1]. It recommends “Best-member strategy”, relying entirely on the most knowledgeable member of a group to avoid process loss, though expert identification, and requires an ability to designate one person as the best, which is easy by Bonner, et al. [2]. The choice of experts is often misled by talkativeness, confidence, information asymmetries or other non-diagnostic cues to expertise by Budescu DV, et al. [3]. The choice depends upon the need of discussion. The discussions on environmental sustainability are most strategic in nature.

The second trend is small crowdsourcing, like select-crowd strategy (Mannes, Soll, & Larrick, 2014), it involves the crowdsourcing by the range of 3-8 judges, depending on environment and history, 5 is best. The expertise of Decision-makers can be measured by the cues of seniority, the degree of training, credential, confidence and past history of crowdsourcing, where 1-5 past performance observations are sufficient for selecting the decision makers. The third crowdsourcing strategy is “wisdom of crowds” by Surowiecki [4] when individual judgments are averaged together. It shows that the average opinion is typically more accurate than individual estimates and often exceeds the accuracy of the most knowledgeable individual in the group. It also shows that a model of cross cultural grouping can be made for effective decision making.

Working as a group is explained in translational research Krawczyk VJ, et al. [5], hence, combining team members’ expertise for discussing ideas, making decisions, and initiating change processes constitutes in organizational functioning by Kauffeld S, [6] and handling of Diversity-conflict relation by Puck JF, [7] is necessary. As companies are providing cross-cultural trainings for the success of expatriates [8] group environmental trainings may also be imparted for contribution to climate improvement. The chief aim of the first decision making stage is to come up with original and novel ideas to improve environmental keeping it in original form, where novelty can be defined objectively as low frequency ideas from the total pool of ideas by Dennis AR, et al. [9], when originality puts focus on innovation, which is important for decision makers because it helps them effectively produce good choice sets that, ideally, contain the best possible option [10]. Environmental and social issues need the involvement of employees as corporate social responsibility is not culture specific, its cross-cultural understanding is needful [11]. Since diversity and innovation are interlinked [12], we propose that the innovative ideas, methods, and techniques, emerged from efficient cross-cultural discussion increase the variety of options for actions of companies for atmospheric improvements including controlling the emission of carbon dioxide, purification of water and originality of air.

Competitiveness in decision-making of environmental matters

Operational commitment and Innovation

Defining operational commitment is generally separated in literature into components of organizational and individual level, but the fundamental idea of operational commitment is that perfect operations lead to perfect results. Innovation increases the amount and originality of alternates, which brings competitiveness in decision-making. The organizational level operational commitment focuses on commitment for environmental betterment and deeply rooted dedication wherein every member carries out a task of an organization and operational commitment is a commitment to doing every business, every time in the right way [13]. The entrepreneurs, who have to make the investment decisions for opening new business ventures, or for franchising, are now inclined to consider not only in financial perspective but also operational and strategic dimension of social and environmental perspectives by Farooq, et al. [14]. Based on this, the aim of operational commitment on the team level can be generally proposed as a dedication and commitment of the members to corporate social responsibility by Hao Y, et al. [15] to achieve exceptional performance, doing the right things in the right way, every time, focusing on needs of society and environment, collectively and individually in their own work practices, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Thus, our idea comes out to predict that the quality of group operational processes strongly influences the quality and effectiveness of the decisions made.

Operational commitment is positively related to effective decision making. Environmental flow process specifies which activities need to be executed and in which order (Aalst, Hofstede, Kiepuszewski, & Barros, 2003), this Business Process Management (BPM) culture is not only depedent but also predictor in the model. The BPM culture introduces instruments of how to do those right things in the best way. In team decision making, there is a number of team mind sourcing techniques, like brainstorming, crowdsourcing, roundtable discussion, and team meeting, and there are several studies elaborating specific rules or techniques for their environmental effects through BPM culture.

As an example, brainstorming research shows that groups have eventual capability to outperform individuals in environmental solution-oriented creative tasks, though positive effects of group cooperation may occur, when group members are a source of cognitive stimulation or motivation for each other by Dugosh KL, et al. [16], which is achieved by different accelerators as brainstorming rules, like Osborn’s rules (Osborn, 1957) and rules of Paulus and Putman [17] for interactive groups, exchanging ideas on computers or in writing by Dennis AR, et al. [18] even adding to the brainstorming rules “facilitator rules” has shown positive effects on number of ideas generated by Paulus PB, et al. [19], and rank-order the answers by Hollingshead [20]. Respectively, it is hinted from the extant research that the effective decision making for example to control the over emission of carbonmonooxide requires and depends on the BPM methods and techniques for the cultural groups creating, selecting and deciding on the solution from the pool of industrial ideas including attracting and retaining the talented employees from the industry. Employees are the internal customers and firms are expected to take technological decision keeping internal corporate social responsibility in view by Farooq Q, et al. [21]. These endeavors generate team decisions and action plans to expedite the environmental flow and processes which leads to improved BPM culture, innovation and operational commitment stemmed from the net effect of CQ, cultural distance and CCLI with the mediation of efficient discussion.

Efficient discussion

There is a positive correlation between efficient discussion and BPM culture. Most studies of group dynamics are based on the precondition that group behaviors and processes mediate group composition and group results by Shaw [22]. By Smith KG, et al. [23] proposed that group composition influences organizational outcomes primarily through group processes and that these processes directly impact organizational outcomes. If the discussion as a team process is highly efficient, it brings to the excellent decision making result, which is consensus decision, then the team members feel themselves a part of the decision-making process by West M, et al. [24] and it, in turn, encourages team cooperation in the implementation of such decisions thus influencing organizational performance by Amason, [25]. Operational commitment of a team is the combination of perfectly executed team processes, and the betterment of a discussion as one of the chief group processes is supposed to improve decision making. Efficiency of discussion is positively related to decision making and thus we propose cross cultural grouping model which is shown in Figure 1.

International mind grouping – A new Technique

A teamwork technique, omnipresent in most companies, is Environment-oriented team meeting, which brings the next proposition also supporting the previous proposition that effective discussion leads to innovation of ideas for environmental sustainability. On the basis of the research model and the analysis of brainstorming, crowdsourcing, and team meetings, we suggest a new mind sourcing technique. We name it “International mind grouping” to help representatives of different businesses or linear workers from different departments internationally to apply the synergetic power of cross-cultural viewpoints on any goal, task or problem for effective solution/decision-making process.

Several rules for the new technique stem from Osborn’s and Paulus-Putman rules with some variation and additions. Each member of the grouping must contribute. For this purpose, ideas or opinions are expressed by the members one by one in the anticlockwise order. The next speaker adds to previous ideas, talking in turns without interrupting each other, listening attentively to the one who is speaking at the moment, trying to feel him/her, to understand the culture and environment, to merge with the opinion. Each next speaker does not discuss previous ideas, only speaks out his own without detailed explanation. No criticizing of any ideas is allowed in order to control evaluation apprehension or downward comparisons. Offending statements or relationship conflicts counter productive for mind grouping process, which requires solidarity and releasing tension. Participants of the grouping must be informed about the topic/problem in advance for preliminary separate brainstorming of the ideas/solutions and should rank-order their answers for subsequent mind grouping, which will in turn decrease anchoring while grouping.


The expertise and roles are distributed in between the members, within an environmental /organizational context, including and being influenced by processes and competencies, cognitive and affective states, results and outcomes, and team member judgments and perceptions of the team effectiveness. The combination of all the elements in the theoretical model practically, including the people, who are culturally intelligent and experienced, having potential and desire for cross-cultural interaction and learning, with excellent operations and environmental flow acceleration techniques, grounded in this research is anticipated to be of use for the companies or entrepreneurs, demanding fresh ideas and viewpoints, willing to use cross-cultural creativity and synergetic diversity potential in elaboration of solutions to the problems and consensus decisions.

Figure 1: Cross-Cultural Grouping Model.


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Citation: Shumilina K, Bo W, Ahmad IH, Baig MB (2019) International Mind Grouping Technique for Decision Making on Environmental Sustainablity. Arch Environ Sci Environ Toxicol 2: 120. DOI: 10.29011/2688-948X.100120

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