The Executive Decisionmaking Process: Identifying Problems and Assessing Outcomes

The Executive Decisionmaking Process: Identifying Problems and Assessing Outcomes

The Executive Decisionmaking Process: Identifying Problems and Assessing Outcomes

The Executive Decisionmaking Process: Identifying Problems and Assessing Outcomes

Synopsis

Decisionmaking literature, which has emphasized the act of solving problems, has long neglected examining the identification of the problems themselves. This book argues that in solving problems, executives should abandon the attempt to predetermine objectives over time and adopt a "Problem Exchange Ratio" concept. This model assesses the severity of problems before and after executives employ solutions. New problems that may result from possible solutions can then be discovered and ameliorated. Combining theory and practical aspects of executive decisionmaking in both the public and private sectors, this book gives the reader a fuller understanding of the link between decisions and problems.

Excerpt

Almost every book on decisionmaking sooner or later discusses problem solving. Some time ago I heard a funny story about the impact of problems on the human's scheme of things. It has relevance for this volume.

A dispirited man was complaining bitterly to his friend about the terrible problems that he recently had experienced. "Three weeks ago my uninsured business burned down." His friend answered, "It could have been worse." the victim next told of his wife's death two weeks earlier. Again, the response was, "It could have been worse." Finally, the troubled man blurted out, "Last week the police jailed my son for selling drugs." He heard the same answer. "It could have been worse." Very irritated the complainant shouted, "I tell you about these terrible events and all you can say is, 'It could have been worse.' Tell me, what could have been worse?" His friend answered promptly, "It could have happened to me."

In their personal and professional lives, executives inevitably experience problems. They might wish these problems would affect only others but, as we know, life does not happen that way. Consequently, it is better that executives prepare to face those problems that affect both their decisions and their decisionmaking. in this book I examine the nature of problems and decisionmaking, including the impact of both on people who direct organizations. Furthermore, this work focuses on how executives respond to problems at the upper levels of organizations.

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