Decision Making

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Quick Facts

14th November 2022

  • Decision making is the conscious act of choosing from a set of alternative options. Decision Making Defined

  • Decisions can be operational, strategic or executive. Types of Decisions

  • Decisions can be made by individuals such as managers or supervisors, or by groups of people such as the senior management team or committees. Decision Makers

  • Rational decision making follows a seven-step process: define the problem; gather the facts; identify alternative solutions; evaluate the different solutions; select the best alternative; identify possible consequences of the decision; and implement the decision. The Decision-making Process

  • Good practice in decision making can be summarised by the five Cs: Consider; Consult; Commit; Communicate; and Check. The Decision-making Process

  • There are different conditions in which decisions must be made. Virtually all decisions are made in a situation of at least some uncertainty. However, the degree will vary from relative certainty, when managers have an almost perfect understanding of conditions surrounding a decision, to great uncertainty when they have few clues about those conditions. Decision-making Conditions

  • For decision making to be effective, the provision of relevant and meaningful information is required. This is particularly important where decisions are risky and complex. There are a number of techniques available that help management gather the required information, and they range from simple processes such as brainstorming to complex mathematical models such as decision trees and critical path analysis. Decision-making Techniques

  • All decisions, whether successful or otherwise, should be evaluated and reviewed to establish the reasons why success was achieved or why the expected outcomes did not materialise. The extent of the review will depend on the nature and complexity of the decision. Evaluating Decision Making

Summary

This topic looks at the different approaches that can be adopted at any level of an organisation when a decision has to be made. The decision-making process is detailed along with the various decision-making techniques, such as brainstorming and critical path analysis, that can help decision makers clearly identify the range of options available.

Employers' Duties

There are no legal obligations attached to the decision making process. However, best practice would suggest that employers ensure that:

  • there is an open communication process within the organisation allowing managers to make informed decisions based on accurate information

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This topic looks at the different approaches that can be adopted at any level of an organisation when a decision has to be made. The decision-making process is detailed along with the various decision-making techniques, such as brainstorming and critical path analysis, that can help decision makers clearly identify the range of options available.

Quick Facts

In-depth