Project Management

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4-1Give some examples of each of the three “occasions for decision” cited by Chester Barnard. Explain in your own words why Barnard thought the third category was most important.

1) Required by superior authority
2) Requested by subordinates
3) Self-initiated

The third category is the most important because it gives the executive the opportunity to demonstrate his or her initiative and self motivation. They have the ability to make a difference through decisions that were not required. The disadvantage to self-initiated decisions is that the executive has full responsibility if the decision does not produce a desired outcome.

4-2 a) Explain the difference between “optimizing” and “sufficing.” b) Distinguish between routine and non-routine decisions.

a) Optimizing is studying the outcomes of all possible alternatives and selecting the single best. Sufficing involves looking at a few important factors that are relevant and adopting an alternative that will be satisfactory. The alternative selected by sufficing may not be the absolute best, but it will allow the manager and those that he or she leads to continue with the job, rather than prolonged searching for the best alternative.

b) Routine decisions tend to be well-structured, with clear data and criteria. The alternatives for a routine decision are generally standard. Routine decisions can be delegated to subordinates or even computerized. Non-routine decisions tend to be unstructured, with unclear data and criteria and no clear set of alternatives. Non-routine decisions often require subjective judgment or intuition and are generally the most difficult decisions for engineers.

4-4 You operate a small wooden toy company making two products: alphabet blocks and toy trucks. Your profit is #30 per box of blocks and $40 per box of trucks. Producing a box of blocks requires one hour of woodworking and two hours of painting; producing a box of trucks takes three hours of woodworking...
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