2011 Fall ENG 100 ENGLISH COMPOSITION
Starting your own small business
A decision is a free choice between alternatives, and it is made by a person or group who in fact has the authority to make such choice. This seems quite simple; and in the case of a single individual acting independently of others, there would be little need of pursuing the inquiry further. An individual, for example, makes a decision to establish his own business instead of remaining as a salaried employee; he conceives the idea, weighs the prospects, and decides upon his course of action. Having so started, he decides to add a new product to the line of goods to be manufactured or, if he is a merchant, to be sold. Here there is no problem of determining who the decision maker is and no practical need of determining what the process is. But when as is so often true in our modern economy, the business entity is a partnership or a corporation in which several individuals and levels of authority exist, we need to recognize that others than those who make the final choice play important parts in the process. There is the original conception of an idea that may well come from someone far removed from the authority level. Then the conception may be worked over and gradually take the form of a definite proposal. “These steps are important because the authority decides between alternatives, and there can be no real decision unless there are such alternatives” (web). Moreover, the decision will be made on the basis of the attractiveness of the alternatives, and that, in turn, depends on how they have been developed and presented. Consequently, the character of an organization and especially its progressive or nonprogressive qualities may be greatly influenced by the kind of people who man its ranks and minor supervisory positions. An alert salesman, for example, may detect a weakness in some product or a gap in the line of goods. He or his supervisor may conceive a remedy for the problem in the form of a new product. Other imaginative men may improve upon it from the point of view of possible production. Others may determine probable costs and how the funds could be provided. “At any stage, the project could be blocked by unimaginative or unco-operative employees; but if the whole organization is forward-looking and aggressive as well as hardheaded, it may proceed along the line until it finally comes to the seat of authority where it meets approval because the logic of the case is inescapable”. (Sims 32-39) NATURE OF BUSINESS DECISIONS
In such cases where the approval is given by an individual who possibly at the moment cannot think of a reason for saying "no," it may appear that the decision-making function has almost disappeared. Proceeding from this observation, the conclusion is suggested by some that the making of business decisions has been so subdivided and diffused that it proceeds in a virtually automatic fashion. “The decisions of a business according to that view have, like so many other activities of business, become standardized; and even the most vital function of the entrepreneur, innovation, can be handled by a bureaucracy”. (Stelzner 210-215. )It is argued, therefore, that the need for individual enterprise in order to maintain progress and expansion has virtually disappeared. In short, the conclusion of this line of reasoning is that progress itself has been or can be standardized. But a more valid view would seem to be that decision making includes the several steps of initiation, the weighing of alternatives and the final choice between them. The function is thus diffused in the large organization, but it is none the less personal and the incentives of all the people involved are still important. These incentives must be adequate to encourage individuals to take initiative and to assume the risks which are implied by sponsorship of a new project. Moreover, the process described by...
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