Examining The Implications Of Process And Choice For Strategic Decision Making Effectiveness

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Decision engineering Pages: 15 (8014 words) Published: January 26, 2015
International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, 2(3), 1-15, July-September 2010 1

Examining the Implications of
Process and choice for Strategic
decision Making Effectiveness
Paul L. Drnevich, The University of Alabama, USA
Thomas H. Brush, Purdue University, USA
Alok Chaturvedi, Purdue University, USA

Most strategic decision-making (SDM) approaches advocate the importance of decision-making processes and response choices for obtaining effective outcomes. Modern decision-making support system (DMSS) technology is often also needed for complex SDM, with recent research calling for more integrative DMSS approaches. However, scholars tend to take disintegrated approaches and disagree on whether rational or political decision-making processes result in more effective decision outcomes. In this study, the authors examine these issues by first exploring some of the competing theoretical arguments for the process-choice-effectiveness relationship, and then test these relationships empirically using data from a crisis response training exercise using an intelligent agent-based DMSS. In contrast to prior research, findings indicate that rational decision processes are not effective in crisis contexts, and that political decision processes may negatively influence both response choice and decision effectiveness. These results offer empirical evidence to confirm prior unsupported arguments that response choice is an important mediating factor between the decision-making process and its effectiveness. The authors conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings and the application of agent-based simulation DMSS technologies for academic research and practice. Keywords:

Agent Software, Agent Technology, Decision Support Systems (DSS), Distributed DecisionMaking Systems, Knowledge Management, Security Management, Strategic Planning

Strategic decision-making (SDM) involves
the methods and practices organizations use
to interpret opportunities and threats in the
environment and then make response decisions
(Shrivastava & Grant, 1985). Modern decisionmaking support system (DMSS) technology is DOI: 10.4018/jdsst.2010070101

often also needed for complex SDM, with recent
research calling for more integrative DMSS
approaches (Mora, Forgionne, Cervantes, Garrido, Gupta, & Gelman, 2005; Phillips-Wren, Mora, Forgionne, & Gupta, 2009). Such DMSS
technologies offer the type of rich and powerful research technology platforms with a high degree of external and internal validity as well
as reliability required for integrated decision
support (Mora et al., 2005; Liu, Duffy, Whit-

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2 International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, 2(3), 1-15, July-September 2010

field, Boyle, & McKenna, 2009; Linebarger, De
Spain, McDonald, Spencer, & Cloutier, 2009;
Mostashari & Sussman, 2009; Phillips-Wren
et al., 2009).
Conditions of uncertainty in highly turbulent environments (e.g., crisis response), by nature, further complicate the SDM process,
and may limit decision making effectiveness
(Ramirez-Marquez & Farr, 2009). At issue
is the presumed need for speed of response
where logic dictates that a satisfactory decision
that is made quickly is superior to an optimal
decision made too late. Two of the most commonly accepted, and widely employed decision making processes in these contexts are political
behavior and procedural rationality (Fredrickson & Mitchell, 1984; Hart, 1992; Eisenhardt & Zbaracki, 1992; Dean & Sharfman, 1993;
Hart & Banbury, 1994; Radner, 2000; Hough
& White, 2003; Elbana & Child, 2007). Prior
research advocates that ‘political’ processes
will be more effective in these contexts, and
that ‘rational’ decision processes will be less
effective in unstable environments (Fredrickson & Mitchell,...
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