Archive for Decision Making

What is Decision Making ?

Posted in Management with tags on December 18, 2011 by Consultant
Decision-making is an integral part of modern management. Essentially, Rational or sound decision making is taken as primary function of management. Every manager takes hundreds and hundreds of decisions subconsciously or consciously making it as the key component in the role of a manager. Decisions play important roles as they determine both organizational and managerial activities. A decision can be defined as a course of action purposely chosen from a set of alternatives to achieve organizational or managerial objectives or goals. Decision making process is continuous and indispensable component of managing any organization or business activities. Decisions are made to sustain the activities of all business activities and organizational functioning.

Decisions are made at every level of management to ensure organizational or business goals are achieved. Further, the decisions make up one of core functional values that every organization adopts and implements to ensure optimum growth and drivability in terms of services and or products offered.

As such, decision making process can be further exemplified in the backdrop of the following definitions.

Definition of Decision Making

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary the term decision making means – the process of deciding about something important, especially in a group of people or in an organization.

Trewatha & Newport defines decision making process as follows:, “Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem”.

As evidenced by the foregone definitions, decision making process is a consultative affair done by a comity of professionals to drive better functioning of any organization. Thereby, it is a continuous and dynamic activity that pervades all other activities pertaining to the organization. Since it is an ongoing activity, decision making process plays vital importance in the functioning of an organization. Since intellectual minds are involved in the process of decision making, it requires solid scientific knowledge coupled with skills and experience in addition to mental maturity.

Further, decision making process can be regarded as check and balance system that keeps the organisation growing both in vertical and linear directions. It means that decision making process seeks a goal. The goals are pre-set business objectives, company missions and its vision. To achieve these goals, company may face lot of obstacles in administrative, operational, marketing wings and operational domains. Such problems are sorted out through comprehensive decision making process. No decision comes as end in itself, since in may evolve new problems to solve. When one problem is solved another arises and so on, such that decision making process, as said earlier, is a continuous and dynamic.

A lot of time is consumed while decisions are taken. In a management setting, decision cannot be taken abruptly. It should follow the steps such as

  1. Defining the problem
  2. Gathering information and collecting data
  3. Developing and weighing the options
  4. Choosing best possible option
  5. Plan and execute
  6. Take follow up action

Since decision making process follows the above sequential steps, a lot of time is spent in this process. This is the case with every decision taken to solve management and administrative problems in a business setting. Though the whole process is time consuming, the result of such process in a professional organization is magnanimous.