Steering committees provide guidance to management on company objectives and make strategic decisions. They're typically made up of significant stakeholders and internal company experts with diverse professional backgrounds. Steering committees often have a wider set of views and a larger scope of information. However, committees also have serious disadvantages that may lower decision-making quality.


Group decisions are more democratic, but usually take longer compared to executive decision-making. Steering committees generally are comprised of professional individuals with busy schedules, so it can be difficult for members to find the time to meet and discuss issues. Meetings with large groups are time consuming and it can take several sessions before members come to a consensus. It's difficult to estimate the time frame for a group decision, which could cause the company to miss time-sensitive opportunities.


Group pressure can lower the quality of decisions from steering committees. Even if members don't purposefully coerce others, some psychologists believe that individuals aren't as likely to thoroughly appraise alternate decisions in a group setting. Instead, members gravitate towards the group norm. Individuals who have doubts about the group consensus tend to stay silent, which increases an the appearance of unanimity. Without the subconscious pressure to conform to the group opinion, individual steering committee members might be more apt to engage in creative alternatives.


A group decision means diffused responsibility among members. Because no single steering committee member feels fully responsible for the decision, members are more likely to make rash decisions and put less effort into endeavors. If a large steering committee doesn't have clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each members, the group may have a harder time assigning tasks and accomplishing goals. A small group may be better able to coordinate and implement tasks.


Steering committees are often privvy to sensitive or confidential information. The larger the steering committee, the more likely it is that the company will experience an information leak. Because a large number of individuals are exposed to information, there's less accountability to keep information private, which could result in an inadvertent breach of confidentiality.