Running a successful business requires the ability to make good decision and the same is reflected in our day to day lives. One wrong decision the business takes can ruin the entire life term of growth for the business, the same applies in one’s personal life as well. Hence, it is pivotal for the business owners or the decision makers to weigh their decision on the basis of future ramification in order to improve their decision making (Phillips et. al., 2016). Normally while taking decision, one follows one out of the two styles or might use both in accordance to what suits them. Intuitive style of decision making is the ability of an individual to grasp a situation or understand the information without the need of reasoning, on the other side of intuition lays cognitive style of decision making. I personally take all my decision after evaluating facts, use analytics to evaluate the alternate solution and then step by step reach at a decision (Williams, 2017)The reflective analysis here will focus on the different decision making tools and reflect on my own decision making styles and compare it with other styles and determine the respective level of rationality and intuition realized. The reflective analysis will help the readers to gain a comprehensive understanding on the decision making tools and different styles people adopt while taking their decisions.
Decision Making Process
As mentioned earlier, I always stick to cognitive style of decision making, baring a few decisions which I have to take in haste. This made me gauge the books and module of decision making in detail and I came across the most important steps in making the decisions:
Establish a specific decision
One of the most important part of the decision making exercise is finding the right tool among plethora of alternatives to take the decision. Also, it is important that the decision should not be generalized and should be specific to a situation (Vohs, Baumeister & Schmeichel, 2018).
Collecting the details
Another important step in decision making is collecting all sort of information to arrive at the decision. Information from all the possible sources has to be gathered and verified to an authentic source before using the information. In order to collect the information one might use surveys, questionnaire, personal interview and many other methods to collect the information (Snyder & Diesing, 2015).
Looking for alternatives
It is extremely important to look beyond the obvious solution and always look out for alternatives before arriving at the decision. The decision has to be matched to the objectives of the organization or the personal objectives in order to determine the rationality of the solution (Pettigrew, 2014).
Weighing of all the factors
Critical factors are the factors which play an important role in decision making, thus it is important that all the critical factors are weighed before arriving at the decision, and also to check the feasibility of the decision in the context of the situation (Zsambok & Klein, 2014).
Picking the best option
After identifying all the possible solution after weighing down all the criteria, the solution has to be picked based on the feasibility of the situation and also after considering the all the pros and cons of all the situation. Plenty of tools can be used here to find the best possible solution relevant to the situation
Implement the option
This is where most of the decision makers go wrong; they pick the decision and move onto their next expedition. However, the need of the hour is to implement the solution and watch out for the change. Only then, one can clearly identify the ramification of the decision (Xu, 2015).
Evaluation of the picked option
Last, but one of the most important steps of decision making is evaluation of the decision being taken. It makes no sense for a person or a business to continue with the decision which is not able to achieve the objectives for the organization. Thus, evaluation of the options helps in looking at the decision in actual practical scenario and further tweaking the decision if the desired objectives are not attained (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015).
These are some of the most important steps which one takes while arriving at the decision, I too at the back of my mind try to make the decision after careful evaluation of all the pros and cons of the solution.
Decision making tools
After studying about intitule decision making style and cognitive decision making, and also how does one should arrive at a decision in a particular situation, the next part worth giving attention is to critically study the different tools of decision making, and under what circumstances they can be used. There is plethora of tools, out of which 7 tools will be discussed here:
More than a market tool, market research is the necessity to arrive at a decision. Market research not only helps to gather information related to a particular market, situation, competition, it also helps in understanding how the particular decision might impact the people. Market research helps to identify the pulse of the market and the consumers which helps the organizations in making a right decision (Ishizaka & Siraj, 2018).I practically used market research during my early days, when I wanted to design Printed T-shirts for my neighbourhood kids. I did a survey and studied if there is a demand for the printed shirt and basis of which I took the decision of printing t-shirts which earned me good pocket money during summers.
This tool allows to critically analysing all the possible options or alternatives to arrive at a particular decision. Decision matrix gives an opportunity to carefully look and evaluate all the factors which might affect the decision to a particular situation. It is best to make a chart, plot down all the contributing factors towards a particular decision and rank or give weights to all the factors. Based on the overall score or the ranking of the accumulation of all the factors, decision is arrived (Ryan et. al., 2014). An example of decision matrix will give a better understanding:
The table mentioned here shows which supplier has to be selected out of the given three suppliers. It can be clearly seen that supplier 1 gets the highest total by weighing the factors of Location, Price and Reliability. This way, organization can easily arrive at a decision on any situation.
Cost benefit analysis or CBA is one of the elementary tools of decision making used by the organization. As the name suggests, organization calculates and assesses all the cost which will be incurred with the decision and calculate the possible benefits which would be arrived in the end. Thus, towards the end, every person will focus on the arriving at a greater benefit, as business have the sole purpose of profit, thus the decision which will yield more profit is selected(Antunes, Zurita & Baloian, 2014).SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is one of the most important tools for decision making as well as the strategic planning. The tool which is divided into four parts focuses on the strengths and weakness which are internal to the organization or the human being and gives an overview of the possible threats and opportunity for the business organization or the individual. The aim here is to maximize the strength and leverage on the strength to take a decision. The same has great utility in personal and professional development as well, as it helps to understand the weakness, thus a plan is created to eliminate on the weakness and focus only on the strength. Thus, SWOT analysis is an important decision making model, the only criticism against the model is, it being descriptive in the nature as compared to the other models(Goetsch & Davis, 2014).
T-Chart however being one of the most important models of decision making tools is simple to use and has a great utility in comparative analysis. In the T-Chart pros and cons of various alternatives are being measured and identified in detail. Based on the judgement of pros and cons a decision is taken by the decision makers. The decision stands in the favour of the alternative which has more pros than cons (Siminoff & Sanderberg, 2015).Pareto Analysis
Pareto analysis is an extension of Pareto Principle, and is used by the organization which has to make huge decisions and the decisions are based on plethora of factors. Thus, according to the principles of Pareto, organization decision is prioritised towards 20% of the factors which contribute to 80% of the growth of the organization, those factors are given high priority and so does the decision. Thus, Pareto Principle helps in giving the decision based on the factors which have the highest level of impact top priority (Hair et. al., 2015). Below an example of Pareto analysis is shown for a clear understanding of the concept:Feasibility Study
Feasibility study or Feasibility analysis is used in the early or the nascent stage of the project that is at the launch of the project. Feasibility analysis assesses whether the project is feasible in realization or not, and would it be able to make profits for the business. Based on the profits the project can make and the possibility of the project to be feasible, decision is taken by the organization. Feasibility study or analysis is used by business organization on a frequent basis and holds significant importance in case of strategic planning as well (Drucker, 2017).
In addition to the 7 tools above mentioned, there are numerous tools which can be used in decision making; however these are the tools organizations use on a frequent basis to arrive at the decision. The important part here is to take a decision which is profitable and beneficial for everyone, the decision can also be arrived at by using a couple of decision making tools as well, and the important part here is to arrive at the right decision.
Styles of Decision making
As mentioned earlier, most of the times I am a rational person, and due to the tendency of being rational, I tend to make my decision after delving into a lot of thought process and evaluating every pro and con before arriving at a particular decision. This, philosophy has helped me a lot in taking decisions which have took me to places and got me success. This model of decision making is called as cognitive style, due to the underlying reason that a lot of analytics and calculations are used here in order to arrive at a particular decision. A person has to be rational, cogent and should have a clear understanding of the situation while making the decision. Organizations in general go forward with cognitive style of decision making, and do not take their decision in haste, or something which might affect them in the longer run (Goleman, 2017).
On the other hand of the decision making spectrum lays intuitive style of decision making, and as the name suggests individuals or organization take their decision based on their gut feeling or hunch. They fail to apply rationality, logic, science or analysis and follow their gut blindly. Such decision may or may not affect the organization, and might prove right for them, but it is still a very risky bet. Intuitive style of decision making is taken in the cases where the risk of a particular decision is low on the organization or the business (Macaulay, 2018).
My views on Decision making are filled with rationality and are based on the critical evaluation of the situation in hand. I tend to make my decision after a careful analysis of the pros and cons and the possible ramification the decision can have over me or the organization. Cognitive style of decision making is what I prefer over intuitive, which takes decision on the basis of intuition, gut or a hunch. There are numerous tools which are used while arriving at the decision making on the likes of Pareto Chart, SWOT analysis, T-Chart and so on. The important part here is to look for the best possible solution to arrive at in order to make a decision; this has to be obtained after evaluating and weighing down all the options at hand.
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