Essay on Decision-Making and Strategy Development

Essay on Decision-Making and Strategy Development

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I. Introduction

Examining my lessons on how businesses and other similar entities traditionally developed their strategies, and comparing it with the way that some of today's more innovative firms have begun to plan, reminds me of the change in many companies' approach to quality decision-making. From what I have learned, quality was traditionally associated with inspectors assuring quality after the fact--after parts were made--rather than getting everyone down the line involved in building in quality in the first place, as eventually happened through the TQM (Total Quality Management) movement.
Indisputably, a similar trend is emerging in the fields of decision-making and strategy. Traditionally, many companies regarded strategy development as an exercise in which specialists "programmed" the right products and services into existing markets. According to what I have read, however, as global competition grows more complex and volatile, and as information technology revolutionizes organizational structure and decision making, responsive, flexible, and innovative organizational designs displace hierarchical, command-and-control structures. This is putting decision-making strategy as a 'planning-by-the-numbers' process on the same road to obsolescence as the notion that we can create quality by setting tolerance standards and manning inspection stations.

The impact of information technology on how organizations make change, make decisions, and develop has been nothing short of profound. Consider any aspect of the new technology-from the installation of desktop computers to automated inventory and customer support, computer-aided manufacturing, electronic mail, and videoconferencing. Each of these innovations has forever changed the nature of work, forcing old organizational structures into new configurations. To appreciate the impact on decision-making, one must take a deeper look at some of the changes that accompany a new technology. Through implementing information technology, organizations not only increase process efficiency, they also change the central point of knowledge. In the eyes of many managers, this equates to changing the focal point of power. If implemented in its most productive fashion, information technology provides line employees with important data to perform their jobs more effectively and make decisions on job changes.
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...w he/she should act. Finally, Silver characterizes decisional guidance as that intended for structuring versus executing the decision. Structuring decisional guidance affects how the user chooses which system operators to use and the order in which to invoke them whereas executing guidance affects how the decision maker performs the evaluative and predictive judgments necessary when executing the chosen operators.

Wilson (1989) expresses concerns regarding decisional guidance; one consideration deals with technology in supporting decision makers while the other concerns influencing them. A motive for supporting decision makers, i.e., supportive decisional guidance, is admirable in that designers might then be able to develop more supportive DSS, a DSS that assists users in exercising judgment as they interact with information technology through the DSS and cope with information technologies complex information. Silver suggests that the more complex a DSS and the less structured the task is in the mind of the decision maker, the greater the need for guidance. As I could infer from my reading, however, he also asserts that it serves as a vehicle for encouraging a given behavior.

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