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Decision-making processes - introduction

Managing a business successfully involves effective decision-making.
Decisions can be based on:

  • Scientific data or facts.
  • Experience
  • Intuition or 'gut feeling'

Most decisions combine aspects of all three factors. A very experienced manager may make faster, but effective decisions based on knowledge, acquired from previous, successful business actions. Less experienced managers may feel more secure if they gather more data to support a chosen course of action.

Decision making process

The model on the left shows a typical systematic decision making process and can be referred to as the 6I model.

The decision making tools identified as important by the IB syllabus:

  • fishbone diagram
  • decision tree
  • force field analysis
  • Gantt chart

Are all scientific approaches to Identifying the problem, information processin and Identifying options from then on it is up to the manager to Isolate a choce of action, implement and check on improvements made. These steps could be less scientific, based on experience and intuition.

It must always be remembered that the business environment is dynamic and complex and a previously successful decision may not prove so successful at a later time. Managers must regularly review their decisions in the light of events and make new judgments if evidence suggests they should.