Wisdom of group forecasts: Does role-playing play a role?
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Forecasting plays a special role in supply chain management with sales forecasts representing one of the key drivers for collaborative planning and decision making in the organisations involved. We review the important role played by judgemental forecasts in this area, focusing on group predictions. Noting the scarcity of research using group forecasts, we present the results of an experiment where consensus forecasts are elicited from structured groups with and without role-playing. Comparisons with groups without any assigned roles show that getting into tailored organisational roles does have a significant effect in the resultant forecasts. In particular, members of the role-playing groups show less agreement with consensus forecasts and display a strong commitment to their assumed roles and scripts. Furthermore, role-playing groups leave a higher percentage of model-based forecasts unadjusted and when they do make an adjustment, it is significantly less than the groups, whose members are not assigned roles. Differences between the role-playing conditions are interpreted as highlighting the importance of role framing on forecast adjustment and group forecasting behaviour. Future research directions are proposed to improve the accuracy and acceptance of group forecasts.