The Red Hill Creek Expressway is a proposed 7.5 kilometre highway that would run through the Red Hill Valley in the east end of Hamilton, Ontario. Recent external influences of provincial downloading and a federal environmental assessment have placed pressure on the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth to reconsider the decision to build this highway. Despite these new influences the region still plans to build the expressway. This paper questions whether groupthink is affecting the region's decision making process, preventing politicians from seeing the importance of the new external influences. In this paper the three components of groupthink (antecedent conditions, symptoms of groupthink and symptoms of defective decision making) are applied to the case. The groupthink framework helps to establish a base of understanding from which to consider changes that have confronted the regional politicians in this case and the continued support displayed for this project.

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Sprott School of Business

McKay, R. (2001). Groupthink in municipal infrastructure planning: Decision making behind the proposed Red Hill Creek Expressway. Environments, 29(2), 1–20.