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Decision Making

Research papers on decision making is most definitely a fundamental part of business and MBA managerial course work.  Research papers on the capability to make decisions is one of the most basic of a good business manager’s characteristics. Developing a decision making research paper is a multi-step process.  First, it requires that a manager must recognize that a problem exists. Next, the manager needs to realize that a solution is needed.  In order to arrive at a solution, the manager needs to analyze the specific situation – a process that requires the gathering and analysis of pertinent data.  As a result of such an analysis, the manager should arrive at one or more options that would allow for the problem to be resolved.  He must then select that course of action that seems optimal to him, and invest the resources necessary to implement the solution.  Finally, the manager must gather feedback and follow up to ensure that the problem had indeed been resolved in a satisfactory manner.

Decision Making

Research papers illustrate that there are three basic models of decision-making.  The rational model follows a logical, step-by-step approach that includes an in-depth analysis of every alternative that is identified, as well as a consideration of the consequences resulting from each course of action.  The bounded rationality model limits the number of alternatives considered, based on a recognition that the first satisfactory solution identified may be good enough, and that the benefit of additional analysis may not outweigh the costs incurred.  According to the third model, called the “garbage can model,” organizational decisions are random and unsystematic.  Problems, solutions, and opportunities share the same “decision space” and solutions are more-or-less hastily and randomly assigned to problems.

Organizational culture can have a critical role in the decision making process.  Typically, organizations adopt one of the three models described above.  In addition, different organizations tend to support a different degree of risk-taking – some organizations accept greater uncertainty and reward risk taking, while others make decisions only by consensus, and still others nurture an impotent environment where it becomes difficult for anyone to make or accept any decisions of any kind at all.  Often, team-based decision making processes deteriorate to “group think,” and creativity and innovation are held at bay.

Given the complexity inherent in the decision making process, and the organizational pressures that accompany such processes, decision making at anything more than the most trivial level is typically unsuitable for line employees.  Managers, on the other hand, are expected to have the leadership qualities and the analytical skills that enable them to effectively engage in the process of decision-making within the constraints of the organization in which they are employed.

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