Decisionmaking-An art or science?


  • Author Ajay Pats
  • Published March 21, 2010
  • Word count 422

In business environment ,success is measured by tangible results .Results are achieved after performing certain actions. Actions are results of decisions made. Hence success in the corporate world depends upon quality of decision making process. Today Indian economy is more integrated with world economy. Competition is intense across sectors. In such a situation quality of decisions taken at different levels matters more than ever before.

Decision making is self dominated action. Some people may try to democratize the process. But ultimately it’s the individual who takes a decision. That decision becomes property of an individual. This particular individual experiences pain or gain based on results achieved. As decision making is self dominated action, organization must tolerate failures. This world is full of uncertainties .Every decision has some amount of risk element. Process of trial and error will help individuals hone skills of decision making.

Some say that decision making skill is inherent and cannot be taught. Others say that decision making skill can be sharpened through practice, training and experience. I feel that latter theory sounds good. Decision making process is structured. It involves certain steps.

First step is identification of problem. It is absolutely necessary to identify correct problem. Identification of correct problem is as good as half the problem solved. What is necessary at this stage is to separate problem from symptoms.

Next step is gathering information. There are various sources of information. One can gather information from publications, customers, competitors and employees. Process of gathering information must be organized scientifically because quality and accuracy of information will lead to right knowledge and wisdom.

Then comes generation and evaluation of alternatives. Generation of alternatives can be done through brainstorming. Evaluation of generated alternatives can be supported by various qualitative and quantitative techniques which leads to proper choice of alternative.

Some managers base their decisions on intuition. Intuition is personal wit applied in real life situation. But sound decisions can not be made solely on the basis of intuition. Decision making process is situation specific. And every situation is different. What worked in the past in specific situation may not work in another kind of situation. So intuition can be used only as a complimentary tool.

Failure of big corporations in recent times proves the importance of decision making skills. No decision is good or bad. Quality of decision making process can be judged only on the basis of results. Accuracy of decision making process to get better results can be ensured only by making it more systematic and scientific

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