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Critical Thinking Essay Exploring Self-Assessment Tools


Task: Your task is to write a critical thinking essay reflecting on the importance of decision making and critical thing using self-assessment tools.


Critical thinking is the process by which information is gathered in a methodical manner which helps in decision-making (Jung et. al., 2019). This critical thinking essayis a reflective study where the key concepts and the theories will be used to assess the impact of the theories on the students’ decision-making style. The student is a production worker at Maltra foods. For proper assessment of the decision-making styles of the students, two self-assessment tools will be used in this study, namely- the Kolb learning style questionnaires and the Decision- making style questionnaire which will help in assessing the type of learning style the student has.

Main Discussion
A critical review and key concepts learned in the modules from week 1 to week 8
The four concepts I selected from the modules from Week 1 to Week 8 are- the importance of self-awareness to decision making and critical thinking (Week 3) Sense-Making (Week 4), Managerial Decision making (Week 5), and the models of decision making from (Week 6)
Self Awareness to decision making: Self-awareness is synonymous to the term self-consciousness. Self-awareness needs personal analysis. The core aspects of self-awareness are values, attitudes, interpersonal needs, and cognitive style (Melovicet. al., 2020).

Appendix in critical thinking essay

Figure: Core Aspects to decision making
Source: Class notes

Self-awareness is an important element of decision-making as it makes a person proactive, and lets him see things from a different perspective. This helps the person in the process of better decision-making. Increasing self-awareness also helps in increasing the personal awareness of a person.

Appendix in critical thinking essay

Figure: The importance of Self-awareness and Personal awareness
Source: Class notes

Stereotyping and self-perception are a part of self-awareness. Stereotyping leads to deciding on the basis of one's judgments and self-perception is a way by which selective filters are used for absorbing and making sense of the inputs (Santos et. al., 2018). In the module of week 3, the different learning styles have also been discussed like Honey and Mumford's learning style which reflects four types of learning styles of an individual they are Activist, Pragmatist, Theorist, and reflector (Triono et. al., 2020). In the Kolb’s learning style the individuals are classifiedinto four categories- diverges, assimilators, converges, and accommodators.

Sense-Making: In the Week 4 module I learnt about the concept of sense-making. Sense-making is a process by which I can interpret the world around me. It would help one to find out the meaning of whatever one interprets. Sense-making is an important component of decision-making as it helps to understand the situations and make good decisions (Freelanceindia, 2021). The characteristics of sense-making are: Ongoing: The process of sense-making is ongoing as the understanding of our surroundings is upgrading incessantly. Retrospective: people tend to make guesses about the future from their past experiences.

Plausible: Our understanding of the situation or the surrounding around us is never perfect but they are still convincing to us.

Images: We tend to link our experiences with the mental image which we have and this makes us judge the situation in that particular way.

Rationalize: For making sense out of a situation that is unclear to us we tend to make use our understanding of the situation and start interpreting (Seidl and Werle, 2018).

People: making sense out of the situation is influenced most of the times by the peer groups, it does not happen on its own.

Doing:Sense-making also takes place by observation of a situation; it does not always happen due to thinking or by doing.

Managerial Decision making- The concept of managerial decision making is all about how a manager of an organization successfully identifies the problem and with his intuition or judgment he makes a decision for the betterment of the organization (Selyutina, 2018). Decision-making is a complex process mostly because the manager remains uncertain about the situation. The decision is made based on prediction.

To become an effective decision maker, it is necessary to be an effective thinker. Failure to make decisions happens for two reasons, due to unrealistic and narrow thinking.

For becoming an effective thinker the problem-solving phases must be considered. It is a six step process that comprises of identification of the problem in the 1st step, then generating the solution in step 2. Evaluating the solution in step 3, then comes implementation and planning the steps and lastly the actions for implementation of selected solution.

The models of decision making: The two primary models of decision making are the rational decision-making model and the irrational decision-making model. The rational decision-making model is that where the manager makes a rational decision and in the irrational decision-making model we see that it becomes difficult for the managers to make any decision due to several limitations i.e. gathering and processing information (Zhu and Rutherford, 2019).

Managers need a lot of time for making a decision rationally. They also need a lot of information. In order to involve in rational decision making the manager must have accurate information about the event. An important theory of rational decision-making is the Rational Choice Theory (RCT). Here the agent who is responsible for making a decision tries to identify the alternate actions that are unambiguous. The manager chooses by selecting that alternative that is of maximum value and utility.

2. A reflection on the concepts and theories and the impact on the student's decision-making styles. The concepts that have been discussed in the previous section are to be found in the modules of weeks 1 to 8. I have selected four topics, self-awareness to decision-making from week 2 module, the concept of sense-making from week 4, managerial decision making from week 5 and models of decision making from week 6. Detailed study of all these concepts has helped me to understand the importance of the each of these concepts in the process of decision making.

The concept of Self Awareness in decision-makinghas helped me in understanding that an individual who has self-awareness can make decisions in a better way that is so because a self-aware person is proactive and he sees things from a different perspective (Triono et. al., 2020). Therefore, it is very important to be self-aware to be a good decision-maker. Sense-making is also an important concept and it plays a very important role in decision-making. Sense-making is a process by which an individual makes sense of a situation and tries to analyse the future and he takes a decision (Vlaev, 2018). At my workplace, as a production worker at Maltra foods, there had been situations where I had to make decisions by assuming the future outcome. The detailed study of this concept has helped me to understand how in such vague situations I can make decisions. Critical thinking is very important before making any decisions. All these concepts have emphasized critical thinking. Critical thinking helps in gaining better outputs.

For gaining success in the workplace Managerial decision making can help me take better decisions in the workplace as the concept of managerial decision making can help a manager to think efficiently, also the Rational Choice Theory can help me in taking decision rationally. All these concepts can be helpful for me as this will enhance my capability to take decisions in a much better way. Decision-making skills are always appreciated in every organization. So, an understanding of these concepts will help me in my professional learning.

I completed two diagnostic tools. One on the decision-making questionnaires and other on the type of learning style I have. According to the results of the decision-making questionnaire I have a systematic decision-making style which means like to make decisions calmly and slowly and carefully and I tend collecting facts before making a decision. The second diagnostic tool was on the learning styles which results of which has helped me to understand that I have a pragmatic learning style which means I have a creative and innovative learning style. These results have helped me to understand that I take decisions more practically and I don’t easily get swayed away by situations and this is preferred by the every company.

3. Insights gained about oneself as a result of learning the unit
On learning the unit and taking the tests of the diagnostic tools I understood that I have a systematic style of decision making and a pragmatic style of learning which can help me to think creatively and innovatively. I can also decide in more and composed manner. This assessment can help me to develop in future and enhance my decision-making skills. Every company looks for candidates who are good at decision-making, as they can save the company in difficult situations and make quick decisions.

In the modules from Week 1 to week 8 have helped me in learning various concepts and theories that are help can help an individual to decide in a calm and composed manner. The module from week 5, Managerial decision making, has influenced my skill of decision-making as in that part I was able to learn the techniques through which a manager can become efficient in decision making. The module from week 6, which talks about the decision making models have also inspired my thinking and introduced me to the Rational Choice Theory, through which I learned how to make decisions more rationally.

This study is a reflective essay which talks about the different concepts on decision making. The importance of decision-making and critical thinking have been assessed in this study and the with the help of self-assessment tools the decision making and learning styles have been identified which can help the student in his job role in future to make decisions more efficiently and also will help him to think critically in every situation.

Jung, H., Kim, J. and Shin, K., 2019. Importance analysis of decision making factors for selecting international freight transportation mode. The Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics, 35(1), pp.55-62.

Melovic, B., Veljkovic, S.M., Cirovic, D. and Radojicic, I.D., 2020. Managerial Decision-Making Process in the Modern Business Conditions in the EU: Importance of Cultural Influence. In Handbook of Research on Social and Economic Development in the European Union (pp. 324-348). IGI Global.

Santos, J.P.F.D., Pires, A.M.M. and Fernandes, P.O., 2018. The importance to financial information in the decision-making process in company's family structure. Critical thinking essayContaduría y administración, 63(SPE2), pp.1091-1113.

Seidl, D. and Werle, F., 2018.

Inter?organizational sensemaking in the face of strategic meta?problems: Requisite variety and dynamics of participation. Strategic Management Journal, 39(3), pp.830-858.

Zhu, L. and Rutherford, A., 2019. Managing the gaps: How performance gaps shape managerial decision making. Public Performance & Management Review, 42(5), pp.1029-1061.

Selyutina, L.G., 2018. Innovative approach to managerial decision-making in construction business. In Materials Science Forum (Vol. 931, pp. 1113-1117). Trans Tech Publications Ltd.

Triono, M.A.A., Harahap, S.C. and Sihombing, H., 2020. Identification Finance Students Learning Style through Honey and Mumford Theory in Disruptive Era. Vlaev, I., 2018. Local choices: Rationality and the contextuality of decision-making. Brain sciences, 8(1), p.8. .


Appendix in critical thinking essay

Appendix in critical thinking essay


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