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Management Assignment: Reflection on Decision Making & Problem Solving


Task: Management AssignmentContext:
Fast changing workplaces call for greater flexibility in the ways individuals and work teams make and implement decisions. Alongside the increasing rate of change are the demands for better decision making through understanding and mitigating personal preferences and biases.
It is designed for you to engage in the decision-making process and then reflectively analyse your decision-making process using only theories and concepts. You should include in your reflective report:

  • The decision-making problem detailed by your learning facilitator.
  • Analysis of your decision-making preferences .
  • Analysis and influence of your personality traits and the impact on your decision-making.
  • Details of the sources of data collected during the decision-making process and how this data was evaluated/analysed.
  • Analysis of the decision-making process using any of the models plus any of your further relevant readings .
  • Analysis of written feedback from at least 2 other people on your decision-making process in the topic nominated by your Learning Facilitator .
  • Visual interpretation of data / trends/ patterns .
  • As a reflective analysis you will present your analysis in the first person.


Introduction to the context of management assignment
For any organization, decision making is a very crucial process. The cost of the decision that is taken is evaluated by these tools, along with the probability of success and failure (Gombos et al, 2021). The availability of a vast range of decision-making tools allows the organization to choose the tool which is apt for their process. The range of decision-making tools helps the organizations to make the appropriate choice. The process of decision making is simplified with the utilization of these tools. In this paper, the various tools decision making tools will be identified, a specific tool will be chosen; the usefulness of these tools will be evaluated along with its limitations.

Analysis and evaluation
Decision making Styles

There are various decision making styles which are implemented by various organizations. One such style is Directive Decision Making. In this style, the decisions are made quickly using decisive thinking. The decision making process or person shows least tolerance towards ambiguous and unclear ideas. The directive decision making focuses on the main task. The decision makers use their own judgment and knowledge for reaching a conclusion. They consider minimal and selective inputs from others. Directive decision making is best suited for the short term decision making or when the organization is in need of immediate decision making (van Houwelingen et al, 2021).

The other style is that of Analytical Decision Making. I follow the analytical decision making style. The decision making following this style, facilitates analysis of data before drawing an inference. The analytical decision makers are adaptable and careful thinkers (Shorfuzzaman, 2017). They invest their time in reaching a conclusion. Like the directive decision makers, analytical decision makers are also task oriented. However, unlike the former, the latter is highly tolerant towards new ideas and ambiguity. Analytical decision making is my preferred style as it takes adequate time for decision making, avoids chances of errors and considers every detail.

As per Smeets,Roetzel&Ostendorf(2021), Conceptual Decision Makingstylerefers to decision making which is based on concepts. These decision makers are risk takers. They are big thinkers. The various options are evaluated by these decision makers. They explore every possibility, showing high tolerance towards ambiguity. The decision makers following this style take time to consider the creative solutions. They are mostly social oriented. Their decisions are based on visualisation of the situation when the decision is implemented. Thus, this style is appropriate for long term decisions.

TheBehavioral Decision Making styleaccording to Sahu, Padhy&Dhir(2020),focusesmore on the relationships rather than the task. The feelings of all parties are considered during decision making. They have minimal tolerance for ambiguity. They usually have a social focus while evaluating solutions. These decisions consider how the decision will affect the relationships.

Decision making tools
As per Heen et al (2021), decision making tools are the software applications which enable an organization to map out the various alternatives of the chosen decision. It is very important to estimate the cost to understand the feasibility of application of a specific tool. The chances of failure or success of a tool should also be considered. As these decision-making tools aim at simplifying the process of taking a decision, it is important to choose the tool which is simple to use, easy to understand and effective in yielding the desired outcome.

I prefer using the Strategy maps for decision making. The strategy maps are diagrams which facilitate documenting the strategic goals of a business. During the process of business planning, these strategy maps are created. These strategy maps are used as the primary materials for checking-in and reviewing meetings.

The Cascade Strategy is a tool for decision making and creating strategy maps. This tool provides the user with an interface of drag and drop which fosters building of effective strategy maps. The reason for using Cascade Strategy is that it supports a vast range of frameworks. This is also one of the most effective and best tools that can be utilised for decision making at an organisation. The strategy map prepared by Cascade Strategy allows the map to be exported in the PDF file format (Licursi et al, 2018).

There are many other decision-making tools that are available. These include the SWOT diagram which is prepared with Creately, decision matrix with Mindtools, decision making diagram using Lucidchart, Pareto analysis with Visual Paradigm, Break-even analysis with the Good Calculators and Force Field Analysis using the SmartDraw (Bieber et al, 2018). Each of these tools has their own pros and cons.

For instance, the SWOT analysis does not take into accounts the strengths or weaknesses of the rivals which might affect an organization’s business. On the other hand, the decision matrix has its own limitation because the criteria list is quite arbitrary. The Pareto analysis has certain drawbacks. The main root cause analysis cannot be conducted under Pareto analysis. The severity of any crisis is not considered in Pareto, it only emphasizes on the data from the past. The break-even analysis on the other hand is quite unrealistic in the assumptions it makes. For instance, considering that the business organization will sell off all the stocks at the same price.

Thus, it is clear that every decision-making tool has its own drawbacks. Similarly, every tool also has its advantages of use. However, I find the strategy map more effective than the other tools as the illustration of this tool gives a very clear picture to the business organisations. The strategy maps have been chosen because they are efficient and effective means of explaining to an organization how it operates and what key activities of business would drive them towards their strategic growth. These strategic maps would facilitate the conversations which are significant for the future. It will also suggest to the organization the changes that it requires for sustaining in the market in the long run and ensuring growth (Ishizaka&Siraj, 2018).

Usefulness of Decision-Making Tools
Decision making as per Esch, Schnellbächer& Wald(2019), is a very crucial process within an organization. The organizations need to consider the past data along with the present performance. This will help the organization to see where they are deviating from their focus of meeting upon the needs of their consumers. For every environment, where an organization operates the strategies that are to be implemented differ. While taking a decision, the changing market scenario must be considered. The strategies of the organisation have to be reviewed from time to time and revised as per the changes in the market scenario and change in competitor’s actions. For making effective decision based on appropriate strategies, the organisation has to collect relevant data.

Impact on Data on Decision Making
As opined by Visscher(2021), the data plays a very important role in strategic planning, mapping and subsequent decision-making. The data regarding the organization’s performance needs to be collected. The organization makes its decisions based on the data analysis. The tactics and the strategies are planned based on the results derived after data analysis. The data changes on daily basis and so does the analysis. Thus, the organisations need to be updated with the latest data so that they can plan the best suited strategies. The data is highly influential in case of decision making.

The decisions which are made on the basis of the data which is collected by the organization will foster better organizational performance. The organization will be able to overcome its challenges or loopholes which have been associated with the faulty understanding or false assumptions. The wrong decisions that are made without proper data analysis lead to undesirable organizational performance. The majority of the organizations today are dependent and driven by data-based decisions. The top-level managers are facilitated by these data analyses. The managers are able to identify the needs of the target customers. The data based on customer feedback to market study is researched and analysed by organisations. These help the organizations to serve their customers better.

Limitation of Decision-Making
There are various drawbacks of the decision making process. Keeping aside the specific drawbacks of the analytical style of decision making and the strategy map tool of decision making, the other limitations include the cost of conducting the entire process of decision making. The process is not only costly but also quite time consuming. In an organization everyone is not treated equally. This gives the power of domination to few individuals. These influential individuals then start dominating the decision making process. When the decisions are being taken at the organizational level rather than individual level, there arises lack of responsibility. This is a drawback of the decision making process, irrespective of the style adopted. The individuals lack accountability towards the organization and the decision taken. The unavailability of reliable data or misinformation could lead to faulty decision making (Ma, Luo& Jiang, 2017).

Decision making is an essential and core aspect of the organizational operations. Thus, the top-level management needs to consider this process of decision making more seriously. The various styles of decision making should be considered. The most appropriate style should be implemented considering the need of the organization. On the other hand, out of the various decision making tools or software applications, the most effective one, suiting the purpose or operations of the organization must be implemented. The data is more valuable than gold today as every decision is data oriented. Thus, data collected and analysis should be efficiently handled by organizations for enhancing organizational performance and reducing the drawbacks of decision making.

Bieber, N., Ker, J. H., Wang, X., Triantafyllidis, C., van Dam, K. H., Koppelaar, R. H., & Shah, N. (2018). Sustainable planning of the energy-water-food nexus using decision making tools. Energy Policy, 113, 584-607.

Esch, M., Schnellbächer, B., & Wald, A. (2019). Does integrated reporting information influence internal decision making? An experimental study of investment behavior.

Business Strategy and the Environment, 28(4), 599-610.

Gombos, K., Herczeg, R., Er?ss, B., Kovács, S. Z., Uzzoli, A., Nagy, T., ...& KETLAK consortium. (2021). Translating scientific knowledge to government decision makers has crucial importance in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Population Health Management, 24(1), 35-45.

Heen, A. F., Vandvik, P. O., Brandt, L., Montori, V. M., Lytvyn, L., Guyatt, G., ...&Agoritsas, T. (2021). A framework for practical issues was developed to inform shared decision-making tools and clinical guidelines. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 129, 104-113.

Ishizaka, A., &Siraj, S. (2018). Are multi-criteria decision-making tools useful? An experimental comparative study of three methods. European Journal of Operational Research, 264(2), 462-471.

Licursi, D., Antonetti, C., Fulignati, S., Giannoni, M., &RaspolliGalletti, A. M. (2018).Cascade strategy for the tunable catalytic valorization of levulinic acid and ?-valerolactone to 2-methyltetrahydrofuran and alcohols. Management assignmentCatalysts, 8(7), 277.

Ma, W., Luo, X., & Jiang, Y. (2017).Multicriteria Decision Making with Cognitive Limitations: A DS/AHP?Based Approach. International Journal of Intelligent Systems, 32(7), 686-721.

Sahu, A. K., Padhy, R. K., &Dhir, A. (2020).Envisioning the future of behavioral decision-making: A systematic literature review of behavioral reasoning theory.

Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 28(4), 145-159.
Shorfuzzaman, M. (2017). Leveraging cloud based big data analytics in knowledge management for enhanced decision making in organizations. arXiv preprint arXiv:1702.04474.

Smeets, M. R., Roetzel, P. G., &Ostendorf, R. J. (2021). AI and its Opportunities for Decision-Making in Organizations: A Systematic Review of the Influencing Factors on the Intention to use AI. Die Unternehmung, 75(3), 432-460.

vanHouwelingen, G., van Dijke, M., van Hiel, A., & De Cremer, D. (2021). Cognitive foundations of impartial punitive decision making in organizations: Attribution and abstraction. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 42(6), 726-740.

Visscher, A. J. (2021). On the value of data-based decision making in education: The evidence from six intervention studies. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 69, 100899.


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