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Essay on Decision Making Skills in Business Environment

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Decision making can be defined as a mental process of making choices among possible alternatives to make a practical decision (Reason, 1990; Wang, 2000). From selecting what items to buy in a supermarket to deciding which television channel to watch, we often have to make decisions in different conditions, particularly when we are facing uncertainties and trade-offs. Admittedly, decision-making skills have become increasing important when it comes to the highly competitive and ever changing business world. In view of that, a variety of models have been developed by the scholars from all around the world in an attempt to conceptualise the decision making process and maximise its potential output. In this paper, we will look at the role of the Carnegie and the Incremental decision models in explaining the decision making process in the business environment and how they differ from each other.

Carnegie Model is the brainchild of several researchers associated with Carnegie-Mellon University, for which the model is named after. This model helped formulate the bounded rationality approach (an approach which states that managers are unable to follow ideal procedure in decision making) to individual decision making, as well as provide new insights about organisational decision (Daft, 2010). In this model, consensus is strongly emphasised through the formation of a “coalition” consists of interested parties like managers and stakeholders to decide on the final decision. For instance, when the goals for a certain task is ambiguous, different managers tend to have different priorities on which problem to be solved first. As such, they have to bargain about the problem and build a coalition to address the problem. Another reason for the e...


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...hen the solution is unclear, a trial-and-error solution may be adopted. Daft (2010) expounded that the Carnegie model can be a complement to the selection phase in the incremental model, particularly in the bargaining part.

Juxtaposing the Carnegie model and the incremental decision model, it is noticeable that both of them are very different but can be combined perfectly under certain conditions. In other words, contrasting these two models is like comparing an apple and an orange. Nevertheless, by understanding the two models thoroughly, managers can be well-equipped with necessary skills to make decision rationally and decisively. After all, it all boils down to the wise judgement and discretion of the managers to make the best choice amongst all alternatives for the good of his or her organisation to maximise the organisational efficiency and effectiveness.


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