Problem Formulation and Identification

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IntroductionNo matter what industry is discussed, each organization applies a specific decision making process that can be summarized in simple decision making steps: identify the purpose of the decision, gather information, identify the principles to judge the alternatives, brainstorm and list different possible choices, evaluate each choice in terms of its consequences, determine the best alternative, put the decision into action, evaluate the outcome of the decision and action steps (Time-Management-Guide.com, n.d.). The decision-making processes are based on various problem identification and formulation styles. In problem formulation and identification, understanding the causes of a problem is necessary to finding workable solutions which is framing the problem. Framing the problem and determining its causes will open the critical thinking process to exploring possible solutions to the problem using effective decision making styles. Four decision making styles are used in this paper for problem identification and formulation; collective participative, democratic, consensus, and autocratic. Each team member's organization depicts a decision making style which shows the varying decision-making processes in each organizations. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of each style used will be identified as well as comparing and contrasting of each style will be discussed.

Comparing and Contrasting the FindingsSome organizations discussed in this paper represented direct-to-customer service type of organizations; Rita's employer, a tribal casino, and Rachel's employer, a university, use similar decision making styles. The casino uses Collective Participative style for its decision making process backed with using "strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats" (SWOT) as a problem solving technique. Similarly, the university also represents an organization who provides direct services to their consumers also uses the Collective Participative style in which the leader involves the members of the organization and proceeds through the entire decision making process. The group defines the problem and performs all other functions as a group (Decide Guide, 15 May, 2009) Another customer oriented organization, Geithel's employer, JetBlue airlines, uses Consensus decision making style backed with using the Ansoff Matrix problem solving technique which determines four possible product/market combinations: market share, product development, marketing, and diversification (Manktelow).

Two other organizations are government organizations which are Shirley's employer, Pierce County Council, a county government, and Lisa's employer, the U S Army. These organizations are dissimilar in its decision making styles. The U S Army uses an Autocratic decision making style, whereas Pierce County Council uses a Democratic decision making style. Despite the diametrically opposed styles of these governmental entities, both are implemented by a set of laws representing the same constituents.

All in all, the differences in decision making styles and problem solving techniques are evident by the type of business conducted by each organization. Government agencies provide a different service to their constituents, whereas for profit organizations produce for not only their customers, but also shareholders. These differences are indicated in decision making styles and problem solving techniques.

Comparing and Contrasting the StylesAs each organization's decision making styles are identified, styles are compared and contrasted. Rita's employer, a tribal casino, and Rachel's employer, a university, both use the Collective Participative decision making style which is the most common style of decision making used by leaders. This style involves the leader gathering information, other perspectives from members of the organization, and knowledge. Other perspectives of the situation are discovered because the leader deliberately asks and...
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