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Decision Making Assignment: Problem Solving of International Student



This assignment is designed for you to critically reflect on key themes for this subject: individual and group decision-making processes; sources of data and analysis, including usage of data analytics for organisational decision-making, and the influence of bias in effective decision-making. In doing so, you should consider a meaningful work challenge – a project that requires many decisions to be made- that is relevant for you- in your current, or recent workplace.


Executive Summary
The purpose of the report on decision making assignment is to analyse the decision making process of the challenge given to me using different decision making models. My challenge was to form a decision regarding the problem I have faced while coming to Australia as an international Indian student.

Methods of analysis include qualitative analysis process including both secondary and primary data. Moreover, it made use of rational decision making model to reach the decision regarding the problems I have faced while coming to Australia as international student.

The result obtained from the analysis on decision making assignment shows that the rational model helped in reaching the decision that I have faced three problems such as financial, cultural and visa issues. However, there are other models too that would help in reaching better decisions such as intuitive model and Recognition Primed DM models. It helps in making decision based on intuition and emotions.

Therefore it can be concluded in the decision making assignment that decision making is a complex process and need careful consideration of other factors.

The concept of decision making discussed in the decision making assignment is termed as a process to make certain choices by analysing the information collected and assessing the alternative solutions available. Decision making is a complex process and includes number of processes and factors to be considered to reach an effective decision. As mentioned in the decision making assignment, the company I am working in currently is planning to expand in the international areas for better profit and development. This has made it important to take decisions for the organisation about the place the organisation should enter (Sanayei, Mousavi & Yazdankhah, 2010, 26). Based on this the company developed a work challenge for its employees to determine the factors to be considered while moving overseas.

The decision making assignment analyses decision making process or model that is suggested for accomplishing the challenge and the sources of data that is used to identify the pattern and form the basis for decision making.

My challenge that I got from my work was that “I had to analyse the problems that I have faced while coming to Australia as an international student from India”.

Thus, the scope of the project on decision making assignment is to make a decision around this challenge and the techniques that can be the best in reaching the decision.

Analysis of Ancillary Decisions
Other than the main decision that needs to be taken such as the major challenges faced while coming to Australia are cultural differences problem, Financial problem and visa problem, I also had to make other ancillary decisions or secondary decision. Some of the secondary decisions that need to be made are where to live, what the expenses are, which university to try and which state to study. This shows that along with the problems that I faced when coming to Australia as international student I also had to take decisions regarding the things I should do or consider after I came to Australia.

Where to live? - This is the most important decision noted in the decision making assignment to be made in the challenge that is to decide the place where I can live as an international student in Australia and work from there.

What are the expenses? - Expenses is the core to the decision making after I have made decisions regarding my finances. Based on my financial ability I will have to decide on my expenses as well while staying in Australia.

Which university to try? – There are number of good universities in Australia and deciding the one that will be good for me was the other secondary decision I had to make after I had analysed the challenges I would face while coming to Australia.

Which state to study? - choosing the university is not enough, it also requires the state I should choose the university from. This is because it should help me solve my primary decision making as well cultural support, finances and others. The state should be the one where I can adjust easily even after being an international student.

Analysis of Data
It is stated in the decision making assignment that qualitative data was collected and analysed to reach to a decision regarding the challenge that I received. The qualitative data included scholarly papers and articles collected from secondary sources and primary data collected from own experiences (Hamilton & Finley, 2019, 112516). It helped in deciding on the problems that I faced as an international student in Australia.

The decision making assignment examines the readings of King & Sondhi (2018, 180) that there are an increase in the number of international students from developing countries like India to the developed countries like Australia. The students coming from abroad have to acquire a visa for studying abroad. There are number of students arriving in Australia with visa category. However, getting a visa is a problem because the number of visa being granted in a year is limited. Further, Singh (2011, 675) is of the view that the export of education also need cultural understanding between countries. The overseas students need to hold cultural understanding of the country they are travelling for educational needs. Moreover, the Indian parents consider greater cultural risks when sending their daughter to Australia compared to their sons. There are risks that their daughters will get exposed to western values and way of living. This further determines the potentiality of a student to travel abroad. There is huge challenge for multiculturalism between international students and the international country they are planning to travel for education. According to Baklashova & Kazakov (2016, 1825), Indian students are faced with the problem of racism and this becomes challenging for Indian students to survive abroad and be a part of the international educational institutions.

The words of King & Sondhi (2018) considered in this segment of decision making assignment has pointed out that Indian families are always worried about the amount of expenses they need to incur for the international education of their children. In 2010 Indian families contributed a$2.9 billion for the international studies of their children in Australia including fees, living expenses and tourism. The Indian international students belong to middle income countries and it is important for them to take into the financial considerations. Indian students are thus faced with these challenges when travelling abroad.

Decision Path


Progress Chart
The progress chart provided in the decision making assignment clearly shows the time taken to complete each step to reach the actual decision on the problems that I have faced while studying in Australia as international students.


1 July

8 July 

15 July

22 July 

30 July

5 August




Secondary Information Analysis




Meeting with team and Visa Office




Analysis of gathered information using three models




Reflecting on the information collected 




Making a decision on problems I faced



What decisions are made using different decision making models discussed in this decision making assignment?
The three decision making models used to reach the decision are rational decision making model, bounded rationally decision making model and intuitive decision making model.

Decision Making Model 1
The decision was made using the six steps such as defining the challenge, identification of the criteria for reaching the solution, deciding the importance of the criteria, form alternatives, evaluate alternative and determination of solutions (Jelihovschi, Cardoso & Linhares, 2018, 2324). Each criteria was analysed by using secondary data and compared with certain alternatives to reach the best decision.

Pros and Cons of the Model
Rational decision making allows for an objective approach that involves step by step methodology to reach the decision. The model was useful for the challenge I face because it helped me identify the problem and criteria effectively and reach a solution in step wise manner. This means that the model helped in identifying that the challenge was international studying problems in a new country and the criteria to reach the solution was the cultural, visa and financial factors. There are many problems that might arise for international students, however, the model helped me to understand the importance of given criteria and manage the complex environment.

The model discussed in the decision making assignment faces problem of insufficient information and need alternative to reach a decision. Moreover, the six step process creates time limitations. While collecting information on problems of international students while going abroad there was limitation of clear information. Moreover, the differences of perspective of team members further increased the problem. Thus, I had to make use of other decision making tools to ensure the decision we made in a group for the three problems faced was correct or not.

Biases and Blind Spots
The blind spots or biases that I faced while making the decision was to consider my own problems that I faced while coming to Australia. I biased my decision according to the constrained perspective that I am financially backed and lacks cultural ideas. The blind spots and bias led to conflict among members and the decision failed to consider other problems that might be important for international students.

Decision Making Model 2
Intuitive decision making model allowed to take a quick decision within time constraint. The decision would have been different under this model because time constraint would have been eliminated (Collins, Collins & Carson, 2016, 504).

Pros and Cons
The intuitive model discussed in the decision making assignment would have allowed to take decision based on own emotions and positive feelings. In this the emotions are used as their advantage. The challenge will be seen in a bigger picture and integrate piece of isolated data (Collins, Collins & Carson, 2016, 504). In relation to the present challenge by using the intuitive model it would have been beneficial to integrate the feelings of every team members together about the problems they faced while coming to Australia as Indian international student and them choose the problems that are faced by most of them. This would have given a cohesive vision rather than a structured and long method of rational model that also led to conflicts.

Even though intuitive model allow making decisions on personal judgement, yet sometimes it leads to impulsive decisions due to insufficient and experience. This is because it is difficult to quantify the feelings and a fair share of feelings is missed out. While making decision for this challenge it would happen that everyone shares only bad experiences even if they had insufficient experience of it or by listening to other, while some share true experience. Measure true and false experience will become difficult.

Decision Making Model 3
The third model undertaken in this report on decision making assignment is Recognition Primed DM model where the decision is made using both intuition and rational ways. An experienced based decision is made, which is developed both recognised pattern and comparing it with data (Yang et al., 2020, 1190). In this model the decision was made based on present experience of the students such as financial issues they are facing, cultural barriers they are facing and other issues they are facing while their stay in Australia. This is then compared with the secondary data that is being collected from different sources. This helped in giving an accurate action script and experience decision making.

Pros and Cons
In this model both rational and intuitive reasoning is used and this gives way to accurate decisions by preventing problems (MACQUET & PELLEGRIN, 2017, 118). This means that the challenge of making decision regarding the problems I have faced while coming to Australia as international students can be made managed carefully with both emotions as well as logic.

The model illustrated in the decision making assignment faces the drawback that inexperienced individuals are inexperienced then the trial and error approach might lead to error and time consuming. In relation to this challenge also it is seen in the decision making assignment that my experience of comparing and analysing experiences with other data would lead to inaccurate results.

Key Themes
There are number of themes that I have learned in my class and would have helped me make better decision when deciding on the problems I have faced while coming to Australia as student. There are number of themes that are relevant to my challenge.

Theme 1- Making use of Recognition Primed DM models to reach the decision.

This model would have helped in reaching decision in a balanced manner backed by evidence.

Theme 2- individual decision making

This would have helped in reducing chances of conflict and eliminate potential errors.

Theme 3- ethics and morals in decision making

This will help in making the right decisions by resorting to intuitions and heuristics (Schwartz, 2016, 760).

From the above analysis on decision making assignment it can therefore be said that decision making is a complex process and the decision made for the present challenge could have been done better by making use of three different themes. The decision was made using rational six step decision making model and led to the decision that three problems was faced by me as an international student coming to Australia. However, analysing other models and their advantages and disadvantages in the above context of decision making assignment it was clear that there are other models too that could lead to better decisions in short time. Moreover, decision based on emotions was not used, however, with analysis of other models it is seen that emotions and intuitions aligned with data lead to better decisions. In addition to this, it is seen in the decision making assignment that ethics and morals should be a part of decision making because it helps in making right choices. This shows that rational model of decision making allowed me to take decision in a structured manner, however, the decision making process would have been short and accurate using other models as well. Moreover, answering ancillary decisions will also be easy using the suggested three themes of decision making process


Baklashova, T. A., & Kazakov, A. V. (2016). Challenges of International Students' Adjustment to a Higher Education Institution. Decision making assignment International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 11(8), 1821-1832.

Collins, D., Collins, L., & Carson, H. J. (2016). “If it feels right, do it”: Intuitive decision making in a sample of high-level sport coaches. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 504.

Hamilton, A. B., & Finley, E. P. (2019). Qualitative methods in implementation research: an introduction. Psychiatry research, 280, 112516.

Jelihovschi, A. P., Cardoso, R. L., & Linhares, A. (2018). An analysis of the associations among cognitive impulsiveness, reasoning process, and rational decision making. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 2324.

King, R., & Sondhi, G. (2018). International student migration: a comparison of UK and Indian students’ motivations for studying abroad. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16(2), 176-191.

MACQUET, A. C., & PELLEGRIN, L. (2017). Putting the recognition-primed decision (RPD) model into perspective: The revisited RPD model. Decision making assignment Naturalistic Decision Making and Uncertainty., 118.

Sanayei, A., Mousavi, S. F., & Yazdankhah, A. (2010). Group decision making process for supplier selection with VIKOR under fuzzy environment. Expert Systems with Applications, 37(1), 24-30.

Schwartz, M. S. (2016). Ethical decision-making theory: An integrated approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 139(4), 755-776.

Singh, S. (2011). Indian students in Melbourne: Challenges to multiculturalism. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 32(6), 673-689.

Yang, Q., Sun, X., Liu, X., & Wang, J. (2020). Multi-Agent Simulation of Individuals’ Escape in the Urban Rainstorm Context Based on Dynamic Recognition-Primed Decision Model. Decision making assignment Water, 12(4), 1190.


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