Critical Thinking and Business Decisions

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Critical Thinking and Business Decisions Our basic concept of critical thinking is, at root, simple. We could define it as the art of taking charge of your own mind. Its value is also at root simple: "if we can take charge of our own minds, we can take charge of our lives; we can improve them, bringing them under our "self-command" and direction (McCall and Kaplan, 1990)." Of course, this requires that we learn self-discipline and the art of self-examination. This involves becoming interested in how our minds work, how we can monitor, fine tune, and modify their operations for the better. It involves getting into the habit of reflectively examining our impulsive and accustomed ways of thinking and acting in every dimension of our lives and business. Many various "Forms of Thinking" affect the way we rationalize problems and situations. We could approach a problem by utilizing the forms such as in "a logical, scientific, persuasive, or creative fashion (University of Phoenix, 2000)." The way we approach a problem or situation can be and is very important. In addition, all that we do, we do based on some motivations or reasons that are forces which influence our ways of thinking. However, we rarely examine our motivations to see if they make sense. We rarely scrutinize our reasons critically to see if they are rationally justified. "Some of the forces that influence are thinking can be gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, race, economic status, ethics, etc (University of Phoenix, 2000)." As consumers, for example, we sometimes buy things impulsively and uncritically, without stopping to determine whether we really need what we are inclined to buy, whether we can afford it, whether its good for our health, or whether the price is competitive. As parents, we often respond to our children impulsively and uncritically, without stopping to determine whether our actions are consistent with how we want to act as parents, whether we are contributing to their self-esteem, whether we are discouraging them from thinking, or from taking responsibility for their own behavior. The two examples above, illustrate how we could have used a "scientific form of thinking" to come to a conclusion but the "force", whatever it may have been, that influenced that way of thinking, was very strong. The same remains true in business as it pertains to our manageria... ... middle of paper ... ...en seriously, it can transform every dimension of work life: how we formulate rules, how we relate to our employees, how we encourage them to relate to each other, how we cultivate their speaking and listening skills, as well as their decision making skills. Of course, we are likely to make "Critical Thinking" a basic value in work only insofar as we make it a basic value in our lives. "Therefore, to become adept at contemplating critical thinking, we must become committed to thinking critically and reflectively about our own lives and the lives of those around us (Shermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2000)." We must become active, daily, practitioners of critical thought. We must regularly model for our employees what it is to reflectively examine, critically assess, and effectively improve the way we live and think. References Morgan W. McCall Jr. and Robert E. Kaplan, (1990). "Whatever It Takes, Realities of Managerial Decision Making," (New Jersey: Prentice Hall) Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn. (2000). Organizational Behavior. 7th Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. University of Phoenix, (2000). Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making. (Module) MGT 350.

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