Critical Thinking Simulation Decision Making Tools and Techniques

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Abstract

Critical thinking—systematically evaluating information inputs—is an important managerial requirement in today’s dynamic world. A decision-maker is subjected to an information overload, each seeming to suggest a different problem and a different solution. This simulation requires a manager to differentiate between real problems and symptoms, devise alternate solutions, and measure the impact of those solutions. Our paper will provide details of the problem evaluation tools and techniques our team encountered in the simulation as well as the techniques utilized to evaluate the decision making process outcomes. Finally, our team will discuss what changes in the decision making techniques that could have generated better results.

Critical Thinking Simulation

“Now, more than ever, managerial decisions have far-reaching consequences in the way that organizations fail or succeed in bridging commerce and compassion, sustainability and profitability, and move from vision to effective strategic implementation. Solving problems, making decisions, and picking the courses of action are the most critical aspects of being in charge because it is risky and very difficult" (Safi and Burrell, 2007). A bad or unethical decision can be damaging to a company and a career. High level decisions usually require someone reviewing the companies overall goals and objectives to align the solution with the problem. Bad decisions are usually made when critical thinking is not a part of the decision-making process or other human factors such as personalities, assumptions and perceptions are used in the decision making process.

Critical Thinking in the Decision Making Process
“Critical thinkers: distinguish between fact and opinion; ask question; make detailed observations; uncover assumptions and define their terms; and make assertions based on sound logic and solid evidence” (Ellis, D. Becoming a Master Student, 1997). Critical thinking helps to ask the right questions, gather information and analyze the problem to make the best decision. Managers must apply experience-based and team-based decisions to solving a problem. “Critical thinking in leadership decision-making is about developing the ability to cut through the clutter of information, myths, assumptions, and buzz words to consider a variety of variables and possible scenarios” (Spitzer and Evans, 1997). Continuously asking questions will challenge team members during the decision making process to think creatively and avoid assumptions. Critical thinking helps develop a best case solution to a critical problem when using three critical steps. The three steps consist of framing the problem, making the decision and evaluating the decision. Many tools and techniques are generally used in making a decision. Managers may use one or more tools and techniques to make a decision.

Framing the problem
When framing the problem managers must identify the problem, define goals and objectives as well as evaluate the overall outcome of the problem on the company and determine if the problem is worth solving. Making the decision

Making the decision has more components than any of the other steps. Managers must first identify the cause of the problem, determine possible solutions and evaluate the impact as it relates to cost and customer satisfaction and finally determine a cost effective solution. When a manager challenges the team to identify the problem, they could look at sales data and customer trends to figure out the cause of the problem. Several tools and techniques can be utilized in making the decision.

Evaluating the decision

Evaluating the decision is the final step in using critical thinking in the decision making process. The decision is implemented based on the steps identified in making the decision. This step requires managers and teams to create an implementation plan. This implementation should include key issues, dates and...
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