The element is classified as an instruction.
Decisions that are based on a foundation of knowledge and sound reasoning can lead the company into long-term prosperity; conversely, decisions that are made on the basis of flawed logic, emotionalism, or incomplete information can quickly put a small business out of commission indeed, bad decisions can cripple even big, capital-rich corporations over time.
All businesspeople recognize the painful necessity of choice. Furthermore, making these choices must be done in a timely fashion, for as most people recognize, indecision is in essence a choice in and of itself—a choice to take no action.
Ultimately, what drives business success is the quality of decisions, and their implementation. Good decisions mean good business. The concept of decision making has a long history; choosing among alternatives has always been a part of life. But sustained research attention to business decision making has developed only in recent years.
Contemporary advances in the field include progress in such elements of decision making as the problem context; the processes of problem finding, problem solving, and legitimation; and procedural and technical aids.
The macrocontext draws attention to global issues exchange rates, for examplenational concerns the cultural orientations toward decision processes of different countriesand provincial and state laws and cultures within nations.
The mesocontext attends to organizational cultures and structure. The microcontext addresses the immediate decision environment—the organization's employees, board, or office. Decision processes differ from company to company. But all companies need to take these three context levels into consideration when a decision needs to be made.
Fortunately, economical ways to obtain this information are available and keep the cost of preparing for decisions from becoming prohibitive. Organizations usually work in a "reactive" mode.
Problems are "found" only after the issue has begun to have a negative impact on the business. Nevertheless, processes of environmental scanning and strategic planning are designed to perform problem reconnaissance to alert business people to problems that will need attention down the line.
Proactivity can be a great strength in decision making, but it requires a decision intelligence process that is absent from many organizations.
Moreover, problem identification is of limited use if the business is slow to heed or resolve the issue. Once a problem has been identified, information is needed about the exact nature of the problem and potential actions that can be taken to rectify it.
Unfortunately, small business owners and other key decision makers too often rely on information sources that "edit" the data—either intentionally or unintentionally—in misleading fashion.
Information from business managers and other employees, vendors, and customers alike has to be regarded with a discerning eye, then. Another kind of information gathering reflects the array and priority of solution preferences.
What is selected as possible or not possible, acceptable or unacceptable, negotiable or non-negotiable depends upon the culture of the firm itself and its environment. A third area of information gathering involves determining the possible scope and impact that the problem and its consequent decision might have.
Knowledge about impact may alter the decision preferences. To some extent, knowledge about scope dictates who will need to be involved in the decision process.
The process of problem solving is predicated on the existence of a system designed to address issues as they crop up. In many organizations, there does not seem to be any system.
In such businesses, owners, executives, and managers are apparently content to operate with an ultimately fatalistic philosophy—what happens, happens. Business experts contend that such an attitude is simply unacceptable, especially for smaller businesses that wish to expand, let alone survive.
The second part of the problem management equation is the decision, or choice, itself. Several sets of elements need to be considered in looking at the decision process. One set refers to the rationales used for decisions. Others emphasize the setting, the scope and level of the decision, and the use of procedural and technical aids.
For example, some business leaders embrace processes wherein every conceivable response to an issue is examined before settling on a final response, while others adopt more flexible philosophies.
The legitimacy of each style varies in accordance with individual business realities in such realms as market competitiveness, business owner personality, acuteness of the problem, etc.
The latter owners will be much more likely to include findings of meetings, task forces, and other information gathering efforts in their decision making process. Of course, even a business owner who has no partners or employees may find it useful to seek information from outside sources accountants, fellow businesspeople, attorneys, etc.
As a result, they generally do not have the experience needed to make well-informed decisions in the areas with which they are unfamiliar. It is best to find out your weaknesses early, so you can develop expertise or get help in these areas.
Problems of large scope need to be dealt with by top levels of the organization. Similarly, problems of smaller scope can be handled by lower levels of the organization.Abstract ¶.
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