Testing the Incremental Validity of the Vroom±Jago Versus Vroom±Yetton Models of Participation in Decision Making

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Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Vol. 11, 251±261 (1998)

Testing the Incremental Validity of the Vroom±Jago Versus Vroom±Yetton Models of Participation in Decision Making RICHARD H. G. FIELD* and J. P. ANDREWS
University of Alberta, Canada

ABSTRACT In three samples of manager-reported decisions the Vroom±Jago model's predictions were supported. Decisions that more closely ®t the recommended decision method were rated as higher in e€ectiveness. The model was also found to account for more variance in decision e€ectiveness than the prior Vroom± Yetton model. It was also found that the Vroom±Jago model's greater precision in situational assessment and derived prescriptions allow for greater discrimination in choice of decision method across all situations. # 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 11: 251±261 (1998)

KEY WORDS

Vroom±Yetton; Vroom±Jago; participation; participatory management; leadership

Since Tannenbaum and Schmidt's classic 1958 article titled `How to Choose a Leadership Pattern' made explicit that di€erent decision methods vary in the amount of participation allowed subordinates, organizational scholars have considered how subordinate decision participation is related to decision e€ectiveness. At the forefront of this line of inquiry have been the normative models of Vroom and Yetton (1973) and Vroom and Jago (1988a, 1995). The model of Vroom and Yetton took both a situational and a prescriptive stance. In their role as organizational decision makers, leaders were advised to examine the characteristics of each decision situation before making a predecision (Wedley and Field, 1984) of what decision method to select for solving the problem. In its prescriptive form as a decision tree, the Vroom±Yetton model is familiar to most organizational behavior teachers and researchers. In addition to the initial presentation in Vroom and Yetton's book, the model has been tested and studied many times and has been widely reproduced in introductory management and organizational behavior textbooks. Many managers have also become aware of the Vroom±Yetton model through articles in management journals (e.g. Biggs, 1978; Vroom, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1984) and via decision making and leadership workshops (see descriptions in Vroom, 1976; Vroom and Jago, 1988b). * Correspondence to: Richard H. G. Field, Faculty of Business Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6, Canada. E-mail: Richard. Field@ualberta.ca

CCC 0894±3257/98/040251±11$17.50 # 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Accepted 20 April 1998

252

Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

Vol. 11, Iss. No. 4

Exhibit 1. Attribute questions of the Vroom±Yetton and Vroom±Jago models QR: CR: LI: ST: CP: GC: CO: SI: TC: GD: MT: MD: How important is the technical quality of this decision? How important is subordinate commitment to the decision? Do you have sucient information to make a high-quality decision? Is the problem well structured? If you were to make the decision by yourself, is it reasonably certain that your subordinates would be committed to the decision? Do subordinates share the organizational goals to be attained in solving this problem? Is con¯ict among subordinates over preferred solutions likely? Do subordinates have sucient information to make a high quality decision? Does a critically severe time constraint limit your ability to involve subordinates? Are the costs involved in bringing together geographically dispersed subordinates prohibitive? How important is it to you to minimize the time it takes to make the decision? How important is it to you to maximize the opportunities for subordinate development?

Source: Adapted from Vroom and Jago (1988a, pp. 111±112; 229±230). Note: Attributes SI, TC, GD, MT and MD were added to the seven attributes of the Vroom±Yetton model.

Exhibit 2. Decision methods AI AII You make the decision yourself using the information available to you at the...
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