Academic journal article Advances in Management

Case Study: Developing a Scale to Measure Decision Making Style

Academic journal article Advances in Management

Case Study: Developing a Scale to Measure Decision Making Style

Article excerpt

Abstract

The present research seeks to develop and validate a construct of decision making. First, in defining the construct, literature was reviewed and five factors were synthesized appearing in most of the studies. These factors are Directive, Thinking, Analytical, Impulsive and Rational. A questionnaire with 78 items on these factors was constructed. A sample of 161 associates working at different managerial levels in four different Sectors (Manufacturing, Service, Consumer Goods and Oil and Petroleum) was taken.

Factor Analysis was applied to validate the questionnaire and reliability score was calculated for each factor and the entire construct. On the basis of factor analysis a questionnaire containing 25 items was finalized. This 25 item questionnaire was then administered on a sample of 800 associates working at different managerial levels in four different Sectors (Manufacturing, Service, Consumer Goods and Oil and Petroleum) to define norms on the basis of which the associates can be categorized under Directive, Thinking, Analytical, Impulsive and Rational Decision makers.

Keywords: Decision Making, Directive, Thinking, Analytical, Impulsive and Rational.

Introduction

"Life is the sum of all your choices"-Albert Camus.

If we look at the history of decision making, we will come across the fact that since millennia (when human decisions were guided by interpretations of entrails, smoke, dreams, poetic wisdom and divination instructions) till today, decision making has played an important role in our personal and professional lives. Decision making is an essential activity for managers in today's dynamic world. Robbins" who is a leading author of management textbooks perceives decision making to be "the essence of the manager's job" and "a critical element of organizational life". Meanwhile, Herbert Simon17, the Nobel laureate, is of the view that decision making is synonymous with managing. In fact making decision in management has a significant role as Peter Drucker says 90 percent of management activities are decision making.

According to George and Jones13, decision making is the process by which organizational members choose specific course of action in response to threats and opportunities. Trewatha and Newport defined decision making as "a process of selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem". Good decisions result in courses of actions that help an individual, group or organization to be effective, the opposite is its reverse. Every organization grows, prospers or fails as a result of decisions made by its members and decision according to Daft8 can be risky and uncertain without any success. As per Habermas15, decision-making inside organizations is strategic action and oriented towards successful problem solving.

Styles are the tools for making decisions for individuals as well as teams. Kuzgun19 further added that individual's decision making style is comprised of his/her approach to the problem of decision making and the methods employed when making decisions. Greenberg14 defined decision making style as the difference between individuals with respect to their orientation towards decisions, it can also be defined as individual's typical model of interpreting and responding to decision-making tasks.10,16 Decision making styles explain the manager leadership attributes as well as the problem solving capacity of manager31.

Review of Literature

Nutt24 states that through decision-making style, we have a way to understand why a person while facing apparently identical situations, uses such different decision processes. According to behavioralist Isabel Briggs Myers, a person's decision-making style depends to a significant degree on how they think about and assess information, or what is called their cognitive style. While some are more comfortable with an objective analytical approach, others are confident in being guided by their feelings and emotions. …

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