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Discussion On Critical Thinking And Managerial Decision Making


Task: The objectives of this reflective essay are for students to (1) summarize, critically review and reinforce key concepts and theories learned from week 1 to week 8 of this unit. (2) reflect on these concepts/theories’ potential impact on students’ decision making, and how these learning are being applied and could be applied in their current jobs, development of future career and/or their life generally. (3) reflect on new insights gained about oneself as a result of learning the unit and propose a plan for self-development.
Students are expected to reflect on the topics (week 1- week 8) this unit has covered and evaluate which topics have inspired their thinking or influenced their decision making. You must pick Four topics covered during the eight weeks. Each topic needs to contain a CONVINCING and PERSONAL justification of why these topics are chosen and how the mentioned topics have changed/might change the students’ thinking or the students’ decisions. For example, students could identify the topic of “automatic versus critical thinking” as a theme for one week’s reflection, and illustrate with personal examples how having learned about the differences has enabled him/her to be more effective in making a certain decision at work. Close to the end, the essay needs to reflect on selfknowledge and highlight implications for future self-development.
To successfully complete this assessment task, students should answer the following reflective essay questions:
School of Business and Law CQUniversity CRICOS Provider Code: 02219C
• Which concepts/theories from which week’s learning activities are significant or important to you?
• Why are these concepts/theories you have identified important or significant to you? (Theoretical review)
• How are the concepts/theories you have learned influencing/impacting your decisionmaking in relation to your current interpersonal relationships, professional workplaces and/or personal life? (Practical Application)
• What have you learned about yourself through the unit activities? What skills do you possess and what skills are you lacking? How are you going to improve your decisionmaking in the future? (Self-knowledge and self-development)
• You should tie all your arguments/insights together at the end of your paper, highlighting how you think you will be able to use your learning in your future career and in life generally.


In the present context of critical thinking and managerial decision making, Critical thinking is identified as an intellectually disciplined process of skillfully and actively conceptualizing, synthesizing, evaluating as well as analyzing information sustained from the particular phenomenon (Analoui and Danquah, 2017). One the other side, managerial decision making is all about mindset for considering opinion or judgment. Critical thinking and managerial decision making are interrelated as the ultimate purpose of decision making is to derive an actionable conclusion within which critical thinking suppresses an opinion whether the action or opinion is sound or not (Barberis, Mukherjee & Wang, 2016). The study signifies self-reflection on critical thinking and managerial decision-making while going over four core theories and concepts that were discussed in 8 weeks of lecture. The concepts are discussed in a theoretical manner, foremost explaining the significance of the selected concept, developing capability after analyzing those theories and then developing an action plan for enhancing cognitive and professional skills. 

Topic 1:
A critical review of the concept: In week 7, understanding of critical thinking and managerial decision making was discussed explaining the Theory of Games in aspects to economic behavior as well as the science of decision-making. As per these two theories, it is necessary for corporate associates to understand the behavioral approaches of competitors in a particular situation. As depicted by Bernheim and Sprenger (2019), economic behavior defines a study on the cognitive, social, cultural, emotional and psychological aspects as an influential factor in decision-making. The reason for focusing on this concept is because an ineffective manager is observed to lack organizational and employability skills like problem-solving and other relevant skills. Besides, analyzing these theories it is evaluated that corporate associates must not be egocentric rather than focusing on creating effective collaboration with its colleagues and workforce. Supporting the context of critical thinking and managerial decision making, Bernheim and Sprenger (2020), mentioned that the science of decision making helps corporate associates to endeavor success by emphasizing value appropriation and value creation for all the stakeholders of the corporation.

Impact of this concept on decision making
As explained by Blake (Blake 2018), in-depth understanding and knowledge of behavioral economics and science of decision-making processes adhere to developing commanding systematic techniques as well as specific lines of corporate activities and inquiries. This results in an effective and quick response in decision-making. I would be able to know and understand the necessary questions as well as consequences that can be encountered after the execution of the decision. Heidari and Ebrahimi, (2016), stated that getting acknowledgement of the science of decision-making helps in developing critical thinking and managerial skills which includes four basic patterns in thinking. As a manager, I would be able to clarify, impose order, clarify and assess in my critical thinking and managerial decision making process even in a confusing situation. As reflected by Hussein, Ow, Cheong & Thong, (2019), humans render an ability with which it can separate complex situations into components.

Reflection on new insights gained
I have to focus more on developing a situational appraisal and problem analysis aspects to improve or enhance my managerial skills. I would take active participation in management workshops that are organized within my corporation every Saturday. I would try to maintain equal collaboration and connectivity with all the stakeholders and ensure their active participation in corporate activities.

Topic 2:
A critical review of the concept
In week 5, discussion on conclusion and innovation that are formulated in five pillars of critical thinking and managerial decision making process is done. Assumption, facts, observation, experience and beliefs are identified as five pillars for conclusion and innovation. As depicted by Lane and Oswald (2016), the definition of creativity and innovation is based in the modification of the conclusion that renders positive outcomes, for instance, fresh products, a different manner of handling customers a different marketing approach. The reason for selecting this concept is only with the effective development of innovation and conclusion, it is possible to explore new ideas and solutions that would help in overcoming contemporary business issues and challenges. Besides, the concept also discusses the hierarchy of conclusion which includes impossible thinking, abductive thinking and thinking out-of-the-box. In the context of critical thinking and managerial decision making, Kitsantas, Baylor & Hiller, (2019), mentioned that the major purpose of developing innovative innovation skills is to differentiate solutions from the competitors which would help the company in achieving a competitive edge. 

Impact of this concept on decision making
From my previous professional rack records and academic background, it is evaluated that I possess accurate innovative and conclusion skills that help me in developing effective and different solutions to overcome my corporate issues. As opined by Kaddoura, Van Dyke & Yang, (2017), developing innovative and conclusive skills helps an individual in identifying different categories of decision-making processes like, simple, complicated, complex, chaotic and unclear. This would help me in improving my cognitive skills and soft skills of problem analysis by the time of the decision-making process. As opined by Jameson (2019), developing innovative and conclusion skills strengthen the professional capabilities of an individual in aspects to potential problem analysis which includes identifying uncertainty. 

Reflection on new insights gained
Developing skills in innovation and conclusion, I would be able to develop or outline business project plans while integrating strategic approaches that would ensure project success and growth. With the help of conclusion and innovation skills, I would be able to identify the vulnerable areas that would be rendered in undertaking operation, project, plan, event, or other such relevant situations. This would help me in enhancing my skills associated with problem-solving and problem analysis. Besides, I would be able to promote effective communication strategy so that flow of information is maintained between different departments of the corporation.

Topic 3:
A critical review of the concept
In regards to the critical thinking and managerial decision making, the concept of Self-awareness is of greater importance or significance for me that have been discussed in the lecture of Week 4. Self-awareness is defined as the practice to know oneself and it is the most empowering thing that can be achieved by a leader. According to Huang et al. (2017), self-awareness leaders can understand what are their weaknesses and unhealthy blind spots along with the identification of their own values and habits through self-reflection. In relation to critical thinking and managerial decision making, in week 4, the concept of self-awareness has been discussed with three major elements that are self-esteem, self-efficacy and Johari Window. I believe that this specific concept is important as self-awareness is significant for identifying my own boundaries, vision and purpose for the future and my own position.

Impact of this concept on decision making
The meaning of self-awareness relates to the identification of own strengths, motives, desires, feelings and attitude. As explained by Landström, (2020) the key areas of self-awareness are personal values, psychological needs, emotions, habits and traits. Therefore from the knowledge gained from Week 4, I have encountered that the identification of own strengths, weaknesses, boundaries and position is very important in order to make a strategic decision to step forward in personal life as well as in professional life. According to Widana et al. (2018), self-awareness can impact greatly on the decision making approaches of any individual. In order to create self-awareness, I have sought feedback from my friends, family members, peers and tutors so that I could make ideas regarding my own strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, I have also reflected upon my own feelings in certain situations and pointed out my own emotions. In making a decision I have utilized the knowledge that I have gained from analysing my own capabilities through self-awareness so that I can eliminate or prevent conflicts or any adverse events within the outcome of a decision.

Reflection on new insights gained
In the opinion of Lee, Abdullah, Subramanian, Bachmann & Ong (2017), self-efficacy is a major component of self-awareness. In a similar context of critical thinking and managerial decision making, Ma and Liu, (2017) have stated that individuals with greater self-efficacy can be more active in their daily lives and profession and are less threatened by the circumstances. However, I have witnessed that I possess a medium self-efficacy that prevents me from applying more efforts to complete specific tasks and taking up challenges in life. Therefore, I want to develop strong self-efficacy. Moreover, self-esteem is another lesson that I have learnt in this unit. I have felt that in some situations, I feel a lack of motivational skills that makes me feel fear for completing a few tasks. Therefore, developing high self-esteem is another aspect that I want to develop in the future. For developing high self-efficacy I would observe the success and endurance of other people surrounding me and surround myself among people who have faith in me. On the other hand, to develop positive self-esteem it is important to focus on developing motivational skills by identifying the issues and challenging my negative beliefs (Robinson, 2017). Moreover, the development of a positive relationship can also help me in developing self-esteem.

Topic 4:
A critical review of the concept
The concepts of Prospect theory and Psychological contract theory that have been covered in the lecture of Week 8 has been highly significant to me. As opined by McCabe and Phillimore, (2017), prospect theory relates to the analysis of decision under risks. In relation to critical thinking and managerial decision making, the concept has seemed to be important to me as it shows that people can make decisions on the basis of the values of potential gains and losses rather than focusing on the final output. The other theory that has been studied in this week, the psychological contract theory is defined as the beliefs that are reliant on promises that are implied or expressed for exchanging agreements between organization and individuals (McNamara, Sweetman, Connors Lofgren & Greene, 2019). It was important to reflect on this concept as psychological contracts are helpful in promoting success and can be an effective source of motivation.

Impact of this concept on decision making
The knowledge gained from the study of the prospect theory has helped me to understand how people make decisions. I have felt that most of the decisions are made on the basis of the gains and losses rather than concentrating on the actual result of a decision (Peng and Yang, 2017). This specific idea can be used in the future in making a decision regarding product and service offerings to customers as a leader in business. Moreover, currently, my critical thinking and managerial decision making has been highly influenced by the concepts of Psychological contract theory as I have gained the ideas regarding how to manage losses when a contract fails from the theory.

Reflection on new insights gained
Along the course of this unit, I have learnt that there is a lack of appropriate cognitive skills using which I can effectively differentiate between the losses and gains on the basis of the Prospect theory. Therefore, in order to make a decision in an effective way, it is important to understand the cognitive biases among people for which it is important to develop appropriate cognitive reasoning skills (Prajapati, Sharma & Sharma, 2017). For developing cognitive reasoning skills I would focus on reducing the level of stress and practice how to focus on things.

The above study has reflected upon the major concepts and theories relating to critical thinking and managerial decision making that have been learnt from this unit. The different concepts from Week 7, week 5, week 4 and week 8 on critical thinking and managerial decision making are emphasized in the study with proper reasons behind the choice. Theories such as games theory, prospect theory, self-awareness and innovation and conclusions are demonstrated along with their impact on decision making. The skills relating to these theories and concepts based on the critical thinking and managerial decision making that are lacking and must be developed are highlighted along with the possible way to achieve them.

Analoui, F., & Danquah, J. K. (2017). Conclusion: Current Thinking in Capacity Development, Vision and Implications. Critical thinking and managerial decision making In Critical Capacity Development (pp. 101-116). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Barberis, N., Mukherjee, A., & Wang, B. (2016). Prospect theory and stock returns: An empirical test. The Review of Financial Studies, 29(11), 3068-3107.

Bernheim, B. D., & Sprenger, C. (2019). Direct tests of cumulative prospect theory. Available at SSRN 3350196.

Bernheim, B. D., & Sprenger, C. (2020). On the Empirical Validity of Cumulative Prospect Theory: Experimental Evidence of Rank-Independent Probability Weighting. Econometrica.

Blake, K. A. (2018). Faculty Members' Perspectives-Using the Socratic Method in the Online Higher Education Classroom to Increase Cognitive Presence, Critical Thinking, and Decision-Making Skills: Implications for the Workplace (Doctoral dissertation, Baker College (Michigan)).

Heidari, M., & Ebrahimi, P. (2016). Examining the relationship between critical-thinking skills and decision-making ability of emergency medicine students. Indian journal of critical care medicine: peer-reviewed, official publication of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, 20(10), 581.

Huang, M. Y., Tu, H. Y., Wang, W. Y., Chen, J. F., Yu, Y. T., & Chou, C. C. (2017). Effects of cooperative learning and concept mapping intervention on critical thinking and basketball skills in elementary school. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 23, 207-216.

Hussein, M. H., Ow, S. H., Cheong, L. S., & Thong, M. K. (2019). A Digital Game-Based Learning Method to Improve Students’ Critical Thinking Skills in Elementary Science. IEEE Access, 7, 96309-96318.

Jameson, J. (2019). Conclusion: Critical leadership thinking for global challenges. critical thinking and managerial decision making In International Perspectives on Leadership in Higher Education (pp. 166-172). Routledge.

Kaddoura, M. A., Van Dyke, O., & Yang, Q. (2017). Correlation between critical thinking skills and national council licensure examination for registered nurses success in accelerated bachelor nursing students. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 12(1), 3-7.

Kitsantas, A., Baylor, A. L., & Hiller, S. E. (2019). Intelligent technologies to optimize performance: Augmenting cognitive capacity and supporting self-regulation of critical thinking skills in decision-making. Cognitive Systems Research, 58, 387-397.

Landström, C. (2020). Conclusion: Thinking Through Environmental Participation in Practice. In Environmental Participation (pp. 89-107). Palgrave Pivot, Cham.

Lane, D., & Oswald, F. L. (2016). Do 45% of college students lack critical thinking skills? Revisiting a central conclusion of academically adrift. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 35(3), 23-25.

Lee, D. S., Abdullah, K. L., Subramanian, P., Bachmann, R. T., & Ong, S. L. (2017). An integrated review of the correlation between critical thinking ability and clinical decision?making in nursing. Journal of clinical nursing, 26(23-24), 4065-4079.

Ma, H., & Liu, E. (2017). Conclusion and Further Thinking. In Traditional Chinese Leisure Culture and Economic Development (pp. 247-253). Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

McCabe, A., & Phillimore, J. (2017). Conclusion: thinking back and looking forward. Community groups in context: Local activities and actions, 281.

McNamara, J., Sweetman, S., Connors, P., Lofgren, I., & Greene, G. (2019). Using Interactive Nutrition Modules to Increase Critical Thinking Skills in College Courses. Journal of nutrition education and behavior.

Peng, X., & Yang, Y. (2017). Algorithms for interval-valued fuzzy soft sets in stochastic multi-criteria decision making based on regret theory and prospect theory with combined weight. Critical thinking and managerial decision making Applied Soft Computing, 54, 415-430.

Prajapati, R., Sharma, B., & Sharma, D. (2017). Significance of life skills education. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER), 10(1), 1-6.

Robinson, E. (2017). Conclusion: The Consequences of Progressive Thinking. In The Language of Progressive Politics in Modern Britain (pp. 285-290). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Widana, I. W., Parwata, I. M. Y., Parmithi, N. N., Jayantika, I. G. A. T., Sukendra, K., & Sumandya, I. W. (2018). Higher order thinking skills assessment towards critical thinking on mathematics lesson. International journal of social sciences and humanities, 2(1), 24-32.


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