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Chapter 14 Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Processes. Learning Goals. Understand the nature of decision making in organizations Describe several decision-making models and the perspectives they bring to the decision process

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learning goals
Learning Goals
  • Understand the nature of decision making in organizations
  • Describe several decision-making models and the perspectives they bring to the decision process
  • Distinguish between individual and group decision making and identify the situations for which they are best suited
learning goals cont
Learning Goals (Cont.)
  • Discuss how framing a decision affects the results of decision making
  • Understand the process of escalation of commitment to a losing course of action
  • Recognize groupthink and how to avoid it during group decision making
  • Explain several methods of improving decision processes in organizations
overview
Overview
  • Introduction
  • Types of Decision Strategies
  • The Decision-Making Process
  • Decision-Making Models
  • Assets and Liabilities of Group Decision Making
  • Choosing between Individual and Group Decision Making
overview cont
Overview (Cont.)
  • Framing Effects
  • Escalation of Commitment
  • Groupthink
  • International Aspects of Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Ethical Issues in Decision Making and Problem Solving
introduction
Introduction
  • Basic issue: pick the right decision from a set of alternatives
  • Decision-making process
    • Define decision problem
    • Create alternatives
    • Choose an alternative using decision criteria
introduction cont
Introduction (Cont.)
  • Problem solving versus decision making
    • Problem solving: finding the root cause of a deviation (cause analysis)
    • Decision making: choosing from alternative courses of action (choice analysis)

Problem solving

Decision making

introduction cont8
Introduction (Cont.)

Problemsolving

Decisionmaking

Overlap between problem solving and decision making.

introduction cont9
Introduction (Cont.)

Problem-solving process

Identify problem

Find root causes

Develop alternatives

Decision-making Process

introduction cont10
Introduction (Cont.)
  • Individual and group decision making
    • Individual decision making
      • Use for well-structured problems with several tightly coupled parts
      • Example: stop sign decision
    • Group decision making
      • Use for ill-defined problems with loosely coupled parts
      • Example: buying your mother-in-law’s birthday gift
    • Exceptions: individual’s dispositions and time
types of decision strategies
Types of Decision Strategies
  • Programmed decision strategies
  • Unprogrammed decision strategy
types of decision strategies12
Types of Decision Strategies
  • Programmed decision strategy
    • Routine, recurring, predictable decisions
    • Apply existing rules and standard procedures
    • Example: electric service to a new customer
types of decision strategies cont
Types of Decision Strategies (Cont.)
  • Unprogrammed decision strategy
    • Nonroutine, nonrecurring, unpredictable decisions
    • Events are novel and unusual
    • Decision makers often have not seen such events in the past
    • Do not have experience with them
types of decision strategies defined by three dimensions
Types of Decision Strategies Defined by Three Dimensions

Routine

Nonroutine

Non-

recurring

Unprogrammed

decisions

Recurring

Programmed

decisions

Certainty

Uncertainty

some common decisions
Some Common Decisions
  • Stop sign decision
  • Cereal decision
  • Supermarket checkout line decision
  • Potato chip decision
  • Pepperidge Farm cookie decision
some not so common decisions
Some Not So Common Decisions
  • Your mother-in-law’s birthday gift
  • Car purchase decision
  • Choosing a job after graduation
  • New apartment/house decision
  • Vacation decision
decision making models
Decision-Making Models

Rational

Bounded rationality

Decisionmaking

Unstructured

Garbage can

Political

decision making models cont
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • The Rational Model
    • Closed system
    • Maximizing or minimizing a goal
    • Knows alternatives, results, risks
    • Has preference ordering function
    • Applies that function to alternatives and decides
decision making models cont19
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • The Bounded Rationality Model
    • Human limitations constrain rationality in decision process
    • Does not try to maximize a goal
    • Does not know all alternatives
    • Features satisficing behavior
    • Open, dynamic, changes

Satisficing: “An example is the difference between searching a

haystack to find the sharpest needle in it and searching the haystack

to find a needle sharp enough to sew with.“

decision making models cont20
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • Unstructured decision-making models
    • Unprecedented, significant, complex decisions
    • Feature uncertainty and ambiguity
    • Break problems into manageable parts
    • Then apply more structured approaches
    • Uses satisficing behavior
    • Vulnerable to factors that disturb orderly movement
decision making models cont21
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • Unstructured decision-making models (Cont.)
    • Affected by political forces tryingto stop a decision
    • False starts; hit blank walls
    • Dynamic process
    • Can feature an emerging "implicitly favored" alternative
    • Perceptual processes operate while trying to confirm the "implicitly favored" choice
decision making models cont22
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • The Garbage Can Model of decision making
    • Decision making under high ambiguity
    • Meeting of four streams in a decision-making garbage can
    • Streams: problems, solutions, participants, choice opportunities
decision making models cont23
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • The Garbage Can Model of decision making (cont.)
    • Problem streams: issues or problems facing the organization at a particular time
    • Solutions streams: available solutions to a decision maker. Not always directly connected to present problem
    • Participant streams: decision makers and others who are available to decide
    • Choices streams: opportunities or chances to decide
decision making models cont24
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • The Garbage Can Model of decision making (cont.)
    • Streams constantly move through an organization
    • Confluence of streams results in a decision

Solutions look for problems to solve, anddecision makers make choices based onthe arbitrary mix of the four streamsin the garbage can.

decision making models cont25
Decision-Making Models (Cont.)
  • Political models of decision making
    • People and groups pursuing self-interests
    • Power-based and conflict-based process
    • Bargaining and compromise; conflict management
    • Especially true of resource allocation decisions
decision making models and decision strategies
Decision-Making Models and Decision Strategies

Unprogrammed

decisions

Political models

Programmed

decisions

Garbage

Can

Rational

Decision-making

process

Bounded

Rationality

Unstructured

Political models

assets and liabilities of group decision making
Assets and Liabilities ofGroup Decision Making
  • Assets
    • Increased information and knowledge
    • Acceptance of decision
    • Understanding the decision
    • Job satisfaction
    • Personal development
assets and liabilities of group decision making cont
Assets and Liabilities ofGroup Decision Making (Cont.)
  • Liabilities
    • Pressure for conformity
    • Dominant individual
    • Favored alternative
    • Winning the argument
    • More time to reach decision
choosing between individual and group decision making
Choosing Between Individual and Group Decision Making
  • Alternative social processes for decision making
    • “A” approaches: authoritative, decision maker decides a course of action
    • “C” approaches: consultative, decision maker gets information from others but decides a course of action
    • “G” approaches: group-based processes; consensus

See text book Table 14.1

choosing between individual and group decision making cont
Choosing Between Individual and Group Decision Making (Cont.)

Continuum of social processes of decision making

Individuals

Groups

Consensus

AI

AII

CI

CII

GII

More social interaction

Longer time to decision

Higher potential conflict

More information

Greater involvement in decision process

Increasing acceptance of decision

choosing between individual and group decision making cont31
Choosing Between Individual and Group Decision Making (Cont.)
  • The Vroom-Yetton Model
    • Normative model
    • Uses a set of rules
      • Protect the acceptance of the decision
      • Protect the quality of the decision
    • Selects one of the five decision approaches that satisfies the underlying rules
choosing between individual and group decision making cont32
Choosing Between Individual and Group Decision Making (Cont.)
  • Problem characteristics used by model
    • Information available to decision maker
    • Degree of structure of problem
    • Importance of subordinates’ acceptance of decision
    • Likelihood of acceptance
    • Subordinates’ acceptance of goals of organization and decision
    • Amount of conflict among subordinates during the decision process
contaminants of the decision making process
Contaminants of theDecision-Making Process

Framingeffects

Escalation of commitment

Decision

process

Groupthink

framing effects
Framing Effects
  • Differences in presentation or framing of problem can affect choices
    • Framed as gain: people prefer to avoid risks (risk-averse behavior)
    • Framed as loss: people prefer to take risks (risk-seeking behavior)
  • View decision problem from different frames
escalation of commitment
Escalation of Commitment
  • Abandon a losing course of action or
  • Increase commitment to it
    • Hope of recovering losses
    • Getting positive future results
  • People will likely commit more resources
  • Result: escalation of commitment to a losing course of action
  • Ignore sunk costs; use future costs and benefits
groupthink
Groupthink
  • Ugly disease that can infect cohesive decision-making groups
  • Excessive conformity to group norm that supports agreement among members
  • Such decision-making groups have lost the ability to critically assess alternatives
groupthink cont
Groupthink (Cont.)
  • Also have lost the ability to critically examine the effects of past decisions
  • Typically have little ethical concern for their decision’s effects
  • Groups that support critically examining alternatives will not suffer from groupthink
groupthink cont38
Groupthink (Cont.)
  • Preventing groupthink by a group leader
    • Encourage critical evaluation of issues, ideas, alternatives
    • Deliberately stimulate conflict during decision process
    • Assign one member to play a devil’s advocate role for each group meeting
    • Ask for outsider critique and comment about the group’s deliberations
methods of improving decision making in organizations
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations
  • Human-based methods
    • Generate more alternatives
    • Increase criticism of alternatives
    • Increase conflict: offset liabilities of decision-making groups
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Computer-based methods
    • Management information systems
    • Decision support systems
    • Expert systems
    • End-user computing
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont41
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Brainstorming
    • Spontaneously generate ideas
    • Deferring critical evaluation of ideas
    • Role in the decision process: create a set of alternatives, not select the final one
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont42
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Brainstorming (cont.)
    • Four rules
      • Freewheeling generation of ideas
      • No criticism of an idea
      • Desire many ideas. Assumption: some good ideas
      • Group members encouraged to suggest ways to combine or improve them
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont43
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Brainstorming (cont.)
    • Electronic brainstorming: a new approach
      • Lack of anonymity in face-to-face groups can inhibit some people
      • Computer linkage of people; do not interact directly
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont44
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Nominal Group Technique (NGT)
    • Procedure to generate, evaluate, and choose decision alternatives
      • Members of decision group do not interact during early stages
      • Write ideas about decision problem
      • After about 20 minutes, each person reads one idea from her or his list
      • Another person records ideas on a flip-chart
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont45
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Nominal Group Technique (cont.)
    • Procedure to generate, evaluate, and choose decision alternatives (cont.)
      • Each person presents one idea at a time until all ideas are recorded
      • No discussion during reading and recording phase
      • Group discusses ideas on flip-chart
      • After discussion, each member votes privately on ideas
      • Pool individual votes to arrive at decision
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont46
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Delphi Method
    • Structured technique for decisions surrounded by uncertainty or heavily value laden
    • Also used when group members are geographically scattered
    • Examples: forecasting future events and public policy questions
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont47
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Delphi Method (cont.)
    • Anonymous contributions to group's decision
      • Often by experts
      • No face-to-face interaction
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont48
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Delphi Method (cont.)
    • Interact through paper-and-pencil questionnaires or computers
    • Multiple step process
    • The Delphi manager statistically summarizes each step's result
    • Becomes the input to the next step
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont49
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Delphi Method (cont.)
    • Avoids some liabilities of group decision making
    • Lack of face-to-face interaction decreases chance of dominant individual
    • Controlled feedback helps ensure accuracy of information
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont50
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Devil's advocate technique
    • Person or group advocates a decision alternative; forcefully argues for it
    • Another person or group criticizes the alternative; argues for its rejection
    • Assumes a good decision alternative will withstand harsh criticism
    • Research evidence suggests the technique helps get high-quality decisions
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont51
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Dialectical inquiry
    • Structured, logical, analytical method of examining decision alternatives
      • Describe the favored decision alternative and data used to select it
      • Analyze assumptions held by decision makers when choosing the alternative
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont52
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Dialectical inquiry (cont.)
    • Structured, logical, analytical method of examining decision alternatives (cont.)
      • Pick another alternative for consideration; new one or one rejected earlier
      • Logically derive the assumptions underlying the choice of the counter alternative
      • Research evidence suggests this technique also helps get high-quality decisions
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont53
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Other human-based methods
    • Appreciative management and Technology of Participation
    • Recognize the increasing diversity of decision-making groups
    • Goals
      • Harness differences
      • Decrease dysfunctional conflict
      • Focus diverse members on organization's goals
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont54
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Computer-based methods
    • Management information systems
      • Information processing systems support daily operating activities and decision-making functions
      • Integrate different subsystems according to a general information management plan
      • Data conform to specifications of integrated system. Allow easy sharing
      • Multiple users access a wide range of data, decision models, and methods of querying databases
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont55
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Computer-based methods (cont.)
    • Decision support systems
      • Designed to aid human judgment
      • Support decision processes to help get better decisions
      • Dynamic systems that evolve as they are used
      • Can tailor to individual decision maker
      • Several systems for different decision makers and classes of decisions
methods of improving decision making in organizations cont56
Methods of Improving Decision Making in Organizations (Cont.)
  • Computer-based methods (cont.)
    • Expert systems
      • Simulates knowledge and decision process of experts
      • Example: medical diagnosis, a database of symptoms and a set of decision rules to guide a user through a diagnosis
      • Interactive systems using computer access
international aspects of decision making and problem solving
International Aspects of Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Decision process phases earlier apply mostly to the United States, Canada, and some European countries
  • Cultural variations in decision behavior
  • Difficulties in multi-cultural decision groups
international aspects of decision making and problem solving cont
International Aspects of Decision Making and Problem Solving (Cont.)
  • Differences in decision orientations
    • U.S. decision makers: attack and solve problems
    • Malaysian, Thai, Indonesian decision makers: adjust to problem; accept situation
international aspects of decision making and problem solving cont59
International Aspects of Decision Making and Problem Solving (Cont.)
  • Differences in decision-making behavior
    • Centralized: Philippine and Indian organizations
    • Decentralized: Swedish and Austrian organizations
    • Proceeds slowly in Egyptian organizations; quickly in U.S. organizations
    • Decision makers in Singapore and Denmark take bigger risks than decision makers in Portugal and Greece
international aspects of decision making and problem solving cont60
International Aspects of Decision Making and Problem Solving (Cont.)
  • Differences in decision-making behavior (cont.)
  • Decision makers in Japan and China usually consider all alternatives before choosing
  • Decision makers in the United States, Germany, and Canada
    • Typically use a serial process
    • Reject alternatives on the way to a final choice
ethical issues in decision making and problem solving cont
Ethical Issues in Decision Making and Problem Solving (Cont.)
  • Ethical decision maker
    • Open, fair dialogue with all parties potentially affected
    • Freely gives information
    • No deception during dialogue
    • Does not always know the ethical answer, but freely discusses all issues with affected parties
ethical issues in decision making and problem solving cont62
Ethical Issues in Decision Making and Problem Solving (Cont.)
  • Ethical decision-making model
    • Decision makers who face ethical issues proceed in two phases
      • Applies decision rule that states a minimum cutoff for each dimension
      • Example: reject any alternative that creates a conflict of interest
      • Assess the decision alternative's benefits or costs weighted by its importance
ethical issues in decision making and problem solving
Ethical Issues in Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Ethical decision-making model (cont.)
    • Decision makers consider the ethical dimension with other dimensions
    • Positive benefits of dimensions other than ethical one can overwhelm an undesirable ethical dimension
    • Ethical dimension can have negative effects with little likelihood of happening
      • Large fine but unlikely to be caught
      • Decision makers then pick an unethical decision