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Can principles of Groupthink be applied to the Penn State scandal?

How can the theories associated with Groupthink be applied to the recent scandal at Penn State university?

Were the coaches, players and University leaders influenced by Groupthink principles?

asked Nov 18, 2011 in Theories of Leadership by anonymous

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2 Answers

answered Nov 19, 2011 by . (10,960 points)
reshown Sep 8, 2013 by .
It is interesting to note that there are many possible reasons for the Pen State scandal.  Some of the thinking of the people involved might be thought to suffer from "Nuremberg Syndrome" - they were only following the rules.  There has been a long history in which what goes on at a University is often seen as occurring outside of the world as a whole; the uiversity and college is a universe unto itself.  It is usually the seat of workers who see themselves as above the rest of society based on the fact that they have all shown that they are among one percent or less of the population in terms of intelligence.  Thus, they do not consider that they are likey to err.  However, society has been changing such that they do not believe that criminal behavior on the grounds of higher learning can be left to the jurisdiction and control of the university or college, and there have been many instances to show that this is the case.  Colleges and universities have decided in cases to protect their image as opposed to the rights of a victim.  However, despite this scenario, these particular people should have gone to enough training sessions, which should be mandatory for every employee as they are in state service, concerning the requirements of what to do for suspected abuse or sexual harassment.  Despite these people's abilities to coach sports, their actions show significant deficiencies in common sense.
answered Nov 19, 2011 by cavassi (4,270 points)