As Dr. Ruggiero says, the urge
to conform can cripple thought. Groupthink is the phenomenon
where a group of people will go along with a bad idea and
agree that it is good.
For instance, John F.
Kennedy's plan to invade Cuba is widely recognized as a disastrous
plan. Yet many skilled, intelligent, and experienced military men
went along with this stupid plan. Many later admitted that they
knew it was a flawed plan, but went along with it anyway.
This often happens in the corporate environment. A bad line of
thinking gets out of hand for a time, and no one has the courage
to say it is a bad idea which should be changed. Maybe it's a product
line where much money has already been spent on research and development.
Perhaps it's a marketing strategy that isn't working. Most of the
people involved can see that things aren't going in the best way.
Why don't they say something? First, they are isolated. If no one
is saying anything, one may have the impression that they are the
only one who thinks this way. Second, there may be perceived danger
in taking a stand. They may not get a raise or promotion if the
boss takes offense to the objection. Third, they may fear rejection
by colleagues. So the cloak of silence becomes a breading ground
for collective bad thinking.