Choices in Decision Making
Decision making processes are influenced by different conditions and techniques. There are some situations or context that calls for a particular decision making technique where one method or style of decision making is suited for decisions attached to practice and strategy of an organization. There are other methods and styles of decision making processes suited for individual stakeholders and not to the entire organization. Decision making processes culminates to the cognitive processes attached to the course of action or to the belief involved in making a decision of the desired approach or style among alternative possibilities. This paper focus at rational/irrational, cognitive/emotional and theory based/intuitive decision making dichotomies.
Decision making processes focus at solving a particular problem within an organization. Emotional or reasoning processes can be irrational or rational and at the same time can be based on tacit assumptions or explicit assumptions. Decision making processes in organizations are related to cost benefit analysis (Foote et al., 2002). Rational choice theory argues that people in organizations try in maximizing the benefits while at the same time in minimizing the costs involved. It is argued that if leaders and managers are free and rational, then the decision making processes would be more connected to rational choice theory (Goll & Rasheed, 2005).
Rational choice theory supports that people in the society make decisions through defining the scope of the desired outcome (Hastie & Dawes, 2010). Taking an example within an organizational context, if the chance of winning one hundred dollars is sixty percent and at the same context the chance of winning fifty dollars is one hundred percent. More leaders and managers in the organization will choose the first option. The choice is shaped by the outcome.
Reality influence decision making processes in organizations, some issues and variables in organizations make people choose irrational decision making processes (Goll & Rasheed, 2005). One of the common variables identify with the availability bias where some items are easily reflected in the mind or memory more than other items, hence influencing the judging capabilities. A leader or a manager with a tendency of causing conflicts in the workplace may think that conflicts are ever present in organizations, which is a generalized assumption that may be false.
Decision making processes is part of the cognitive processes practiced by human beings in personal life and in the business context. In human beings, surveys have shown that there are thirty seven interacting cognitive processes. Decision making processes in human beings are geared towards solving a particular problem. Decision making processes are attached to comprehension process, qualification process, quantification process, search process, representation process and memorization process. Cognitive decision making processes are connected to fundamental artifacts, the objects are analyzed basing on characteristics and properties while relations defines the relationships and connections between attributes and objects, object to object and attribute to attribute (Foote et al., 2002).
Emotions affect cognition and decision making processes, while human beings are faced with different situations, the extent of the situation prompt human beings to act in a particular way depending on choices available. Human beings have a capability of changing the circumstances and details depending on the personal or business environment. In the traditional model of decision making processes, decision making has been connected to the ability of human beings to think and reason in the right way depending on the open alternatives (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). In the modern era, researchers argue that the decision making processes are greatly influenced by emotions, where the sensory stimuli is offered an emotional meaning.
High emotional intelligence influence decision making processes, high emotional thinkers are not swayed or influenced by their current emotional state. It is worth noting that emotions generate critical information, but the decisions are sometimes not related to the decisions in the context. Leaders and managers have the capability of engaging high emotional intelligence in the decision making processes (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).
Theory based decision making processes are attached to human beings making decisions in accordance to a particular trait, most of the leaders and managers in organizations use decision theory in identifying uncertainties, values and issues engaged in the decision making. Optimal decision and rationality are instrumental in the decision making processes (Hastie & Dawes, 2010). Theory based decision making is common with choice under uncertainty, inter-temporal choice, competing decision making and in complex decisions.
Intuition is prominent in decision making, where decision making is made deliberately (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). Intuition influences the judgment though cognition or emotions. Leaders and managers in a good mood move to intuitive styles of decision making processes, where leaders and managers in a bad mood lead to deliberate decision making (Hayashi, 2001). Most of the snap judgments in most cases are intuitive, considering that decision making is made in accordance with past experiences through the associated learning of an individual.
Decision making processes are critical in personal life and in the business context. Stages of decision making processes are connected to orientation, conflict, emergence and reinforcement. Decision making steps identify with establishing the target community, perceptions, interpretation, judgment, motivation and reflecting on the actions; decision making processes are influenced by rational/irrational processes, cognitive/emotional processes and theory based/intuitive processes.
Foote, N., Weiss, L., Matson, E. & Wenger, E. (2002). Leveraging group knowledge for high-performance decision-making. Organizational Dynamics , 280–295.
Goll, I. & Rasheed, A. A. (2005). The relationships between top management demographic characteristics, rational decision making, environmental munificence, and firm performance. Organization Studies , 854–883.
Hastie, R. K. & Dawes, R. M. (2010). Rational choice in an uncertain world . Washington, DC: Sage Publications.
Hayashi, A. M. (2001). When to trust your gut. Harvard Business Review , 59-65.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Director). (2011). Better decision making [Motion Picture].
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