Decision Making Processes

Decision Making
Chapter 8
One of the most critical activities in an
org. is the making of decisions
 How do you make a decision? Consider a
recent decision, and how did you make
that decision?
 Explore the role of comm. In
organizational decision making
– General models of decision-making process
– Discuss small group context
Models of decision
making process
Classical approach
Limited participation (consider contributions)
Define and identify the problem
Search for relevant information
Est. decision options
Evaluate based on criteria for decision
– Make optimal choice
Normative model (Nutt)
Formulation- compute needs and
desires of org. and individuals
 Concept development
 Detailing
 Evaluation
 Implementation
Alternatives to rational
Satisfying process vs. optimizing model
– Bounded Rationality
Limited cognitively
Limited by practical aspects
Got an example of each????
Intuitive process
 Garbage can model
– Process of elimination
– “we don’t need it now, so we will put it away for
Case in Point (p. 141) “Personal Finance Decisions”
Realize that…..
Very few organizational decision makers use
all the stages of the normative process
Most decision makers don’t want to re-invent
the wheel
Decision makers often don’t consider
rationale for decision (why or how)
DM often make decision and implement
before identifying other possibilities
Concept development is most overlooked
Performance equation
P = idea multiplied by implementation
Small group decision
Descriptive models of small group
decision making
–Fisher’s group phase model
Small group decision
making (cont.)
Multiple sequence model-multiple
decision paths-similar to “equifinality”
from systems theory (p. 144)
 Typology of small group decision paths
– Unitary sequence path
– Complex cyclic path
– Solution oriented
Effective small group
decision making
Groupthink: “the mode of thinking that
people engage in when they are deeply
involved in a cohesive in-group, when
the members’ striving for unanimity
overrides their motivation to realistically
appraise alternative courses of action”
 Symptoms of groupthink (p. 145)
 So, what do you do as a group member
or leader to deal with group think?
Effective small group decision making
How can a group improve its chances of
making effective decisions?
– Vigilant interaction
– Introduce the right kind of conflict
• Cognitive conflict
• Affective conflict
– Critical debate b/w co-groups
• Dialectical inquiry
• Devil’s advocacy
Media example-Clips at 12 Angry Men &
12 Angry Men
Functional Theory
Effective decision making depends on groups
attending to critical functions through group
Understanding the problem
Identifying alternatives
Determining criteria for alternatives
Brainstorming-Good or bad?
Role of technology (GDSS)-helpful? (p. 147)
Symbolic Convergence Theory
– role of communication in creating group identity
– Relational aspects of groups
– Consider “backstage” communication
Participation in decision
making (PDM)
Affects of participation in decision
– Participation in org. decisions would make
employees less resistant to change
– Participation is linked to job satisfaction
and performance
– Increase cognitive ability-better utilization
of information
Models of PDM
The Affective Model or Feel Good Model
(p. 148)
The Cognitive Model or Contribution Model
(p. 149)
Affective Model of PDM
Cognitive Model of PDM
applications in org.’s
Ranges-informal to formal
 Classification of program participation
(p. 151)
 Workplace democracy (p. 152)
– Encourage contribution
– Based on humanistic ideals
– Multiple stakeholders collaboration
– Not synonymous with “one person, one
Paradoxes of Participative
Paradox=something absurd or contradictory: a
statement, proposition, or situation that seems
to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or
may be true (http://encarta.msn)
Structure-design of org. democracy
 Agency-individual’s sense of resp.
 Identity-issues of inclusion in decision
 Power-issues of how control re exercised

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