The CAL Final Report: Organizational Decision-Making

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Decision Making

Decision-making in organizations is a vital process in ensuring that it improves its performance. Decision-making should be perceived as a process of intermediate stages between people’s thoughts and actions. Such decisions are regarded as vital precursors to behaviors. Lately, decision-making within organizations has become an area of concern due to various issues surrounding it (Becker, 1960). Some of these issues include challenges and distortions that come along with leadership and authorities. In most cases, managers need to include real options especially in making re-investment decisions. Thus, they need correct information that will enable them to make accurate investment choices. Moreover, psychological processes tend to affect investment and re-investment choices. With that in mind, there is a need to avoid the escalation or entrapment during the whole process. Negotiations have been named vital elements in decision-making since they enable parties to reach an agreement concerning a particular issue. It becomes even more complex when dealing with groupthink in an organization. In addition, heuristics as well as psychological barriers tend to affect the process. The current paper seeks to look into a workplace-related problem that is surrounded by major issues of decision-making. The paper identifies the approaches used in identifying the issues while at the same time reflecting upon them as well as planning to solve the problem.

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The Workplace Problem

The paper is focused on decision-making in organizations and all the aspects that surround the process. The problem discussed in this paper revolves around the issues of leadership and community. Furthermore, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company caused complexities in the organization by using traditional approach of leadership. He acted like a prince when running a family-owned business. Thus, he made decisions on his own without taking into consideration other employees` opinions. He failed to consider real options that are quite relevant especially in the process of making financial decisions. Most importantly, his decisions were not good that caused even more problems at the later stages of implementation. The main concern in the organization was that the CEO did not attempt to avoid personal bias since he was always making decisions alone without engaging other stakeholders in the decision-making process. Thus, it became evident that decisions that need cautious judgments can at times be influenced by personal judgment. That’s why there is a need to employ other methods of decision-making in order to improve the performance of the organization.

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The Iterative Process of Engaging Leadership and Community

It is vital for any company to take into consideration both a leader`s and other stakeholders` opinions when making a decision (Bowen, 1987). In this case, the organization ought to involve its stakeholders in the process of decision making in order to ensure that corrective decisions are made (Becker, 1960). Most importantly, it should be understood that the iterative constituents of any consultation process are vital. For any project to have positive environmental and social effects, consultations should be involved that tend to improve understanding of the interested parties. Understanding both leadership and community concerns regarding a decision will enable an organization to understand a project`s risks, effects, chances and mitigation procedures (Drummond, 2001). The workplace problem was solved by constant and rigid consultations with the organizational leaders and community. Thus, listening to the interested stakeholders was advised in order to receive feedback that was and will always be the valuable source of data that can be used to improve any project`s design and outcomes. In fact, the organization will now be able to better identify and mitigate external risks (Becker, 1960). The whole process of engaging leaders and community in decision making helps in acquiring complete information and educating staff of an organization on any project. It also assists in raising and solving their issues and concerns in regard to the project (Janney & Dess, 2004). Only when a company`s management knows its employees` opinions and concerns it considers them and respond to them.

Most importantly, solution of the problem led to a certain iterative process. The initial step was planning ahead before the start of a consultation process. That ensures that there is a correct approach especially in determining right individuals and teams to be consulted (Bowen, 1987). Planning ahead plays a vital role in reducing costs, saving time as well as acting according to the company’s expectations (Mechanic, 1962). In that case, the organization had to develop a stakeholder engagement plan that detailed the purpose for the whole decision making process. The planning was followed by a consultation to ensure that the entire consultation process was targeted, early enough, informed, meaningful, two-way, gender inclusive, localized, free from coercion, documented and reported with all the clarifications (Copeland & Keenan, 1998). The CEO was constantly involved in the process in order to monitor the success of a new leadership style that engages community and leaders.

Another step of the iterative process was the incorporation of feedback to ensure that the management is aware of all areas that require modification (Joni & Beyer, 2009). There was also a need to implement the process of documentation of the entire process in order to effectively manage the stakeholders` engagement process. The last step that was incorporated into the transformed organization was reporting feedback. Initially, there was no consultation meaning that the CEO could not report any responses. It became evident that communities within an organization tend to show their frustrations in some projects. Thus, reporting such feedback helps in arriving at corrective actions.

Steps Taken In Identifying, Reflecting Upon and Addressing the Problem

In the processes of identification, reflection upon and addressing the problem, several steps were undertaken. It was realized that the most common mistake done by most organization in solving problems is attempting to get solutions right away without considering certain aspects. For this problem, several steps were followed starting with identification of the issue. This is the first stage in the problem solving model that entails defining a problem (Rubin & Brockner, 1975). In order to do that the present conditions in the organization have to be reviewed; as a result it was found that the company applied wrong approach towards decision making (Drummond, 2001). It was at this stage that the stakeholders of the organization had to identify and discuss the issue. As a result, the problem was raised, reviewed and solved. The next step was to determine the main causes of the problem (Copeland & Keenan, 1998). Once the issue is recognized and a solution is agreed on, it is time to start collecting the relevant information with regard to the nature of the problem. In that case, Pareto analysis was put in place as a vital tool in examining root causes. When the problem was restated, it was then easy to define its main causes (Staw & Ross, 1987). It was found out that poor leadership of the CEO caused the problem along with the fear of personnel to raise concerns.

The next step was to develop alternative solutions to the problem. In that case, real options were applied after the problem had been defined. There was a need to examine a range of viable alternatives before finding a rigid solution to the problem. All similar and related alternatives were merged before coming with the final solution. That played a huge role in reducing redundancy as well as eliminating any chances that the alternatives could not be applicable in the organization (Becker, 1960). The next step was to select a solution. However, transformational leadership involving charisma was the only way. The solution was to engage all the stakeholders in any decision making process. The solution was found to be technically feasible and acceptable to all the members of the organization. The solution of transformational leadership that enhances consultation was to be implemented right after the meeting. The last step was to evaluate the ways in which the decision had been made. Positive feedback was to be expected from a large number of the organization`s employees. The transformational leadership is also expected to improved the organization`s performance especially due to the involvement of all stakeholders in decision making.

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Importance of Literature Review in Informing the Process

The literature review in the module played a huge role in informing the whole process of solving the problem. It helped in determining some of the major factors that contributed to poor decision making in the organization as well as in providing solutions. One of the major factors underlined by the literature review is overconfidence (Fisher & Ury, 2003). Overconfidence can lead to prejudgement that happens whenever a manager ignores other important employees of an organization (Whyte, 1986). It is due to overconfidence that the CEO tends to think that he can make final decisions without taking into consideration other employees` opinions. Most importantly, the literature review informed the entire process by revealing that over-control had a vital effect on wrong judgments. Another cause of poor decision making informed by the literature review was heuristics along with psychological obstacles (Sebenius, 2001). It became evident that there is a need to alter the processes of decision making in order to prevent obstacles as well as solve the complexities that managers face (Northcraft & Wolf, 1984).

The literature review also informed about red flag scenarios in decision making including self-interests, misleading memories and distorting links (Fisher & Ury, 2003). Most importantly, the literature review helped to inform about the traps encountered during the process, such as time. Another trap is unclear criterion. Other traps included lack of logical methodology, biasness and inadequate information (Copeland & Keenan, 1998). Furthermore, the literature review informed about the levels of decision making. That helped in understanding that effective decision making needs to follow continuous and well-structured levels (Leslie & Michaels, 1997). Thus, many ideas were drawn from the literature review since it was reliable considering that the authors had gathered enough facts regarding decision making. Therefore, the literature review played a great role in informing the entire process of decision making.

Importance of Learning Set Dialogue and Activities

Both dialogue and activities helped in informing the whole process as well. The stakeholders of the company took part in the dialogue and they also engaged in other activities such as recording and documentation of the whole process. There were also dialogues with the top executives of the organization including the CEO. It is through dialogue that different perspectives and reasoning were paid attention to by every member of the organization. Dialogue ensured that there was sharing of knowledge with the CEO and other stakeholders. Other activities included interviews with other top executives (apart from the CEO) in order to find out if they were quite happy with the type of the CEO`s leadership. It became evident that as much as they followed the CEO`s orders, they were dissatisfied with the decisions that he made alone. Most importantly, questionnaires were distributed to some employees in order to gather relevant information with regard to the leadership approach. It was surprising to get feedback stating that the CEO`s approach to decision making was unfair. The data collection procedures played a huge role in gathering of reliable information provided by the company`s employees as well as outsiders; that information was used in making a conclusion. There was also a discussion which played a huge role in gathering different thoughts regarding the organization’s situation. That can be related to gathering real options that are quite reliable in decision making (Ury, 1991).

Plan for Action

I am determined to pursue a career in business management and this module has played a huge role in strengthening my passion. Thus, I am required to follow an action plan that will assist me to perform my future roles. I am going to work as a change agent. I am going to implement the following approaches:

· Raise concerns whenever I find some issues in order to enhance early solving of problems in my area of practice.

· Engage others in the decision making process in order to gather relevant information and make final decisions.

· Engage in a constant research about leadership and community in my career sector.

· Follow the correct procedure of problem-solving in order to avoid leaving some things unattended.

· Ensure that I understand differences in individuals especially with regard to their leadership approaches.

· Ensure that I make rational decisions and especially biased ones.


In conclusion, the process of problem-solving has been informative. Moreover, the module has provided comprehensive information regarding the decision-making process. It has introduced many new ideas such as groupthink, illusion in decision-making, traps, heuristics, and many others that I was unfamiliar with. It has been deduced that certain factors should be considered in decision making especially by managers. The CEO of the organization in question was inconsiderate of other personnel. He failed to engage others in decision making which led to poor performance of the organization. There is a vital need to clear all traps that come along with the decision making process by ensuring that weak leadership is done away with. In fact, the main reason that is cited for getting a remedy for any decision-making trap is to enhance the effective running and performance of an organization. The module also informed that there are some moments that managers have to consider in their re-investment decisions in order to avoid poor decisions that can lead to failure of their re-investment decisions. Real options also ought to be involved in any decision-making process of an organization. In that case, real options assist in maximization of profits as well as minimization of costs. The whole module also informed us that there is a need for negotiations to solve conflicts. That should be enhanced by effective preparation followed by implementation of predetermined approaches.

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