Glossary   >  Abilene Paradox

Abilene Paradox

The Abilene Paradox is a state wherein a collective decision is made by a group that contradicts the thoughts and feelings of its individual members. It occurs because of the individuals who don't wish to ‘rock the boat,’ although their perceptions regarding the other members’ thoughts aren’t always right.

A group enters Abilene state when one of its members proposes a particular action for which none of the groupmates disagree. Even though the teammates believe that the proposal isn’t a good fit, they don’t express their genuine opinions due to the fear of probable negative consequences or the desire to preserve the group’s harmony. This results in the team beginning to act on disagreements or inaccurate data instead of developing mutual understanding and honest communication. The teammate who proposed the action may be unsure if it is the right choice. However, when no other teammate expresses a difference in opinion, it leads to poor decision-making.

Schedule Demo