In reality all these functions are interrelated and the soundness of the decision rests on the degree of completion of each step; for example, without good objective setting, the generated alternatives won’t tackle the discrepancy found in the situation properly. There is also the dynamic side of decision making process, meaning that depending on the results of a certain function might require a change in another.
For example, through the follow-up and control function management found that reorganization is necessary for the implementation to work properly; or if the alternative is costly to implement a more realistic alternative must be chosen or generated. If the implementation isn’t possible a revision of objectives might be detrimental. Setting Managerial Objectives A good managerial objective is the cornerstone or base for any effective management to take place, because objectives clearly define the state or position we want to reach.
These objectives are not abstract but are very specific and measurable (Follow the SMART approach). Managerial objectives have many advantages; such as, enabling managers to plan, appraise their decision process and to act as a measurement for how effective the implementation is. In reality, an organization has many objectives and usually these objectives build on one another to reach the organizational goal; as a result, a form of hierarchy is formed between these objectives where an objective might be a mean or an end for another.
Finally, sound objectives have characteristics that make it so; a effective approach is to ensure the presence of certain qualities (Relevance, practicality, challenge, measurability, scheduling ability, balance, flexibility, timeliness, state of the art, growth, cost effectiveness and accountability). Searching for Alternatives Also called as Search or Search activity, this function is all about gathering information to for acceptable alternative. Note that there are many human errors that occur while gathering information; however we are under the assumption of semi-perfect information gathering where human error is reduced.
Information gathering is a parallel process and not a sequential one; moreover, information gathering in itself is not a continuous process. Search has different types as follows (Undirected viewing, Conditioned viewing, informal search, formal search). An organization usually screens the huge amounts of information into manageable proportions for top management to use in the decision making process. Again, the organization structure and how it gathers information is full of errors and the presented information is usually misleading.
The structure of information gathering can take several forms; however the manager should consider the value of additional information in relation to time and cost. Initial information is usually easy to obtain and usually not costly however, as more information is needed the marginal value decreases quickly while the cost increases. Most managers will not want to go beyond the point of optimality where information is cost effective. Comparing and Evaluating Alternatives After setting the objective, information is sought.
After sufficient information is sought a set of alternatives is produced. Now, a comparison and evaluation of those alternatives is in order. Each alternative will achieve the objective to a different degree; thus, criteria based evaluation of these alternatives will be conducted based on effectiveness, efficiency and possibility. Managers eliminate unlikely alternatives that are impossible or costly; then they will weigh the pros and cons of the remaining alternatives and finally choose the best course of action. When hoosing an alternative there is no “no”, “yes” approach however each alternative will give you more insight; however, alternatives have types (good, bland mixed, poor). The goal here is to make a choice from the most promising alternatives that will yield the most benefit with the least negative consequences. It is important to note that decision making is made by humans which make this part a subjective process where a human wants to reach the highest utility. Each alternative has an outcome that can be based on three things (certainty, uncertainty, risk).
Finally after evaluating the alternative and their outcomes an alternative or a combination of alternatives is the most likely to be chosen. The Act of Choice This is the essence of the decision making process but still not the process itself. In this stage a decision maker justifies his choice by a set of rules; however, an amount of uncertainty will be there, due to time constrains, imperfect information or any other factor. No choice is 100% accurate. Decision makers face many difficulties; for example, when you get two similarly attractive alternatives.
In the text, many choice models are presented (Linear, conjunctive, disjunctive, lexicographic, elimination-by-aspects) however the common ground is the focus on the outcomes of the alternatives. Implementing Decisions This function is very important, because if the choice is not adequately implemented the outcome will not be achieved. Implementation is one of the most difficult steps; because of the many constraints it faces from administration, resource allocation, physical and non-physical obstacles.
It is also the most function in decision making. In essence in this function the decision is converted to action. Follow-Up and Control This function is a self repair mechanism in decision making process; because, reaching the objective is still not guaranteed. This Function ensures that the results confirm with prediction made at the time of the decision. Follow-up and control involves three steps (establishing standards, measuring performance against those standards, correcting deviations from the standards).