HBR Article Review:
Davenport, T. H. (2009). Make Better Decisions.
Harvard Business Review, 87 (11), 117-123
That the current era of economic uncertainty may have been ushered in through a series of poor government and corporate decisions is implied through the rear view mirror. Could some of the events that shaped todays crises have been avoided through better decision making processes? Thomas Davenport (2009, p. 117) presents examples of “decision making disorder” evident in both the public and private sectors and offers a framework to guide managers in making better decisions in the future. His premise lies in the ineffectiveness of the individual decision-making process resulting in dire consequences for the organization. Davenport provides a framework to guide managers in adopting a more analytical and systematic approach, resulting in greater effectiveness. He posits that the use of data, especially analytics embedded in automated systems can be powerful tools when balanced with informed human judgment. Davenport presents no new information entailing the decision making process. He does, however, raise the question of why the majority of organizations continue to rely on intuition and ignore proven tools and methods without regard for the evidence pointing to their effectiveness. The author warns that without proper prioritization and systematic review of the decision making process, success remains a gamble.
According to Davenport (2009), allowing individual managers to make decisions without a systematic analysis has severe consequences that result in languishing profit margins. In spite of the resources available, most organizations fail to implement the recommendations that would help managers employ better decision making processes. The author notes that while these processes do not guarantee better outcomes, they certainly increase the potential (p. 118)....
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