One Day

Topics: Decision making, Decision theory, Critical thinking Pages: 8 (2115 words) Published: January 22, 2013
A manager needs a specific set of skills to effectively and efficiently accomplish their organization’s objectives and perform the roles expected of them in their organization. One of the skills that a manager will need is the skill of decision making. Decision making can be considered as a cognitive process which results to choosing something from two or more alternatives. A final choice or verdict is produced after every decision making process. The result can be an action or an opinion. When trying to make a good decision, a person needs to weight and prioritize the pros and cons of each option and only then, can he or she consider the alternatives. It is a primary function of management and it is a must in modern management. The major job of a manager in an organization is rational decision making. They make dozens of decisions daily consciously and subconsciously. It is the main part of a manager’s activity. Decision making is very important because it determine both managerial and organizational actions.

1) Identifying A Problem
The decision making process begins when a problem arises from an organization and the manager takes action to identify the problem. A problem is distinguished between an existing state and a desired state of affairs. In this step, the problem is analyzed thoroughly. It is said that if a problem is well defined, the problem will be already half solved. In the other hand, if the problem is inaccurately defined, every step in the decision making process made by the manager will be based on an incorrect starting point, eventually making the problem bigger. All information regarding to the problem must be gathered, not leaving out even a single relevant information so that critical and thorough analysis can be made to identify the problem. In order to accurately identify a problem, the manager should be able to differentiate the problem from its symptoms. Most organizations which have problems usually suffer from the symptoms such as low profit, high costs, low morale, high employee turnover or high rate of absenteeism. All these symptoms indicate that something is wrong within the said organization but they do not specify the root of these problems. While identifying the real problem, a manager should consider the causes and also find out whether it is controllable or uncontrollable. The manager must have authority and resources to take action. The questions that managers usually face in this step of the decision making process is “what exactly is the problem?”, “why the problem should be solved?”, “who are the affected parties of the problem?”, and “does the problem has a deadline or specific time line?”. For this step, managers can use a group decision making method known as the Devil’s Advocacy Technique.

Devil’s Advocacy Technique
It is a technique where members of the group appoint an individual or a small group to evaluate a planned course of action and identify problems to consider before the decision is final.

For example, John is a sales representative of Company A. Recently, John was not able to hit his sales target, resulting to Company A’s drop of sales and profit. As a manager of Company A, Marcus will have to use his decision making skills to identify the cause of the problem from this symptom. After gathering information and using critical thinking skills, the cause of the sales drop was because John was not doing a good job as a sales representative of the company. After defining the cause, the manager has to decide which action to take to counter this problem. The most realistic option in this situation is to hire a new sales representative. So, the problem identified in this situation is, Company A needs a new sales representative.

2) Identifying Decision Criteria
Identifying the decision criteria is second step of the decision making process. The decision criteria are criteria that define what is relevant in a decision and is the proper choice....
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