What is Decision Making?

Essay by raddieUniversity, Bachelor's September 2005

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Decision-making may be defined as the act of choosing among two or more alternatives, the outcome of which is not perfectly known, for the purpose of solving a problem. The success or failure of most business concerns has to do with the quality of decisions made or not made.

Decision makers are often faced with various opportunities or problems that require that a decision must be made. Decision-making is often a great test of the managerial capabilities of managers and how effective they have been in their managerial positions.

Decision-making today places a premium on speed to a degree unprecedented in world history. The need to act in e-time is testing the limits of the command-and-control model that has dominated commercial and military leadership for generations. To maintain a bias for action and stay centered on the appropriate goals both realms are coalescing around and emerging leadership model that rebalances traditional attitudes toward two crucial decision factors: risk and control.

In the corporate world today, decision makers need to have a higher tolerance for, and comfort level with risk. Multi month task forces are the buggy whips of leadership. Today, failure to decide and act quickly can pre-empt options altogether.

However, business decisions are frequently made on input information that are either biased or manipulated. Input bias is defined as the systematic misuse of input information in judgments of outcome quality. While researchers note that the quality of a decision is often "positively related" to the quantity of the inputs used to make that decision, the relationship between input quantity and output quality is not automatic. In many cases, inputs are misused, misrepresented or even negatively related to outcome quality.

Other common flaws noticeable in decision making include:

a) Poor Framing: This involves allowing a decision to be "framed" by...