Decision Making

Decision Making
Decision-making models, or the path that one would choose in his or her decision-making, is heavily relied on the information one has received. By having all the correct information available, decision-making becomes an easier task. The model in which one would base his or her decision-making upon can be analyzed into six different factors: the problem at hand, the goals that want to be reached, alternatives, pros and cons, decision(s), and reason(s) behind the decision(s).
According to Richard W. Scholl (1999), there are three components of every decision. The standards in which decision makers assess alternatives, or the criteria. The specific courses of action or options being considered are the alternatives. The cause and effect beliefs of Scholl?s system are observations linking alternatives to criteria. Lunenburg and Ornstein (2004) believe that the decision-making is a rational process where decision-makers want to maximize the chances of reaching their objectives by factoring in all alternatives, consequences for those alternatives and reaching the final decision. Lunenburg and Ornstein?s decision-making model is based completely on the concept of rationality. According to the model, the decision-making process can be broken down into six logical steps: identifying the problem, generating, evaluating, and choosing alternatives, and implementing and evaluating the decision.
The first step in Lunenburg and Ornstein?s decision-making process is identifying the problem. If there is no problem, there is no need to make a decision. Next, after identifying and defining the problem, one should generate but not evaluate a list of all possible alternatives, no matter how ridiculous the alternative may be. By eliminating alternatives from the list early, the ability of choosing the best option decreases. In evaluating alternatives, an additional search should be done in order to have correct and accurate information. Approximating the possibility of each outcome prepares the decision maker to assess and evaluate alternatives. The next step in the decision-making process is choosing the alternative that the decision maker considers most effective, that is, the one who allows the opportunity to solve the problem and accomplish all necessary objectives. This choice can be hard even when results have been evaluated based on comparable criteria. Once a decision has been made to choose an alternative solution, that decision must be implemented. The decision maker will have considered all imaginable problems that may be connected with the implementation of the solution. However, the decision-making process does not end when the decision is implemented. The decision maker must evaluate the decision to the extent to which the solution achieved the necessary objectives.
In professional decisions that I have made in my workplace, I tend to lean more toward the pros and cons, or the cause and effect principles. Recently, I was asked to research a new networking and accounting system for the company, and to choose the best one, as we would be implementing the network into our company. As I researched, I took note of the pros and cons as they came up. The new network was certainly going to streamline our everyday work process as well as alleviate any double entry, which would also reduce errors dramatically. The cons added up just as fast though. On top of the new system being very expensive, employees would also have to learn new software, and company time would be lost in training. Furthermore, as the company has used the same networking company for years, there was some uncertainty of hiring a new company that we knew almost nothing about.

The first thing I did before making a final decision was ask the employees for their opinion. The result was that if a change in technology makes the job easier, employees are more than willing to participate. I started a spreadsheet that listed the pros and cons, and emailed the list to my colleagues for their input. As I browsed through the different systems that we could use, I found many that would work but were kind of ?bottom of the barrel.? Of course, I want to be as cost-efficient as possible, without using the most high-tech equipment on the market. By choosing a system from the middle, I relieve the company of problems in the future, plus a little extra to make everything run smoothly. I also noticed that the more expensive products come with more technicalities. For the new accounting program, I used the same principle of choosing from the middle. This will not only be easier on the employees during training but also cut down the training time drastically.

When I turned in my decision to my employer, I gave him the spreadsheet with the pros and cons so that he could see exactly what the employees wanted and what I based my decision on. The green light is on, and now the company is implementing the network and accounting systems that I chose, based on my own personal decision-making model.

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