Decision Making Process | Steps in Decision Making
The word decision has been derived from the Latin word “decidere” which means “cutting off”. Thus, decision involves cutting off of alternatives between those that are desirable and those that are not desirable.
In the words of George R. Terry, “Decision-making is the selection based on some criteria from two or more possible alternatives”.
DECISION MAKING PROCESS
The decision making process is presented in the figure below
1. Specific Objective:
The need for decision making arises in order to achieve certain specific objectives. The starting point in any analysis of decision making involves the determination of whether a decision needs to be made.
2. Problem Identification:
A problem is a felt need, a question which needs a solution. In the words of Joseph L Massie “A good decision is dependent upon the recognition of the right problem”. The objective of problem identification is that if the problem is precisely and specifically identifies, it will provide a clue in finding a possible solution. A problem can be identified clearly, if managers go through diagnosis and analysis of the problem.
Diagnosis is the process of identifying a problem from its signs and symptoms. A symptom is a condition or set of conditions that indicates the existence of a problem. Diagnosing the real problem implies knowing the gap between what is and what ought to be, identifying the reasons for the gap and understanding the problem in relation to higher objectives of the organization.
Diagnosis gives rise to analysis. Analysis of a problem requires:
• Who would make decision?
• What information would be needed?
• From where the information is available?
Analysis helps managers to gain an insight into the problem.
3. Search for Alternatives:
A problem can be solved in several ways; however, all the ways cannot be equally satisfying. Therefore, the decision maker must try to find out the various alternatives available in order to get the most satisfactory result of a decision. A decision maker can use several sources for identifying alternatives:
• His own past experiences
• Practices followed by others and
• Using creative techniques.
4. Evaluation of Alternatives:
After the various alternatives are identified, the next step is to evaluate them and select the one that will meet the choice criteria. /the decision maker must check proposed alternatives against limits, and if an alternative does not meet them, he can discard it. Having narrowed down the alternatives which require serious consideration, the decision maker will go for evaluating how each alternative may contribute towards the objective supposed to be achieved by implementing the decision.
5. Choice of Alternative:
The evaluation of various alternatives presents a clear picture as to how each one of them contribute to the objectives under question. A comparison is made among the likely outcomes of various alternatives and the best one is chosen.
Once the alternative is selected, it is put into action. The actual process of decision making ends with the choice of an alternative through which the objectives can be achieved.
When the decision is put into action, it brings certain results. These results must correspond with objectives, the starting point of decision process, if good decision has been made and implemented properly. Thus, results provide indication whether decision making and its implementation is proper.
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