Academic journal article Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences

Role of Demographic Factors on Decision-Making Styles of Indian Corporate Executives-Public and Private Sectors

Academic journal article Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences

Role of Demographic Factors on Decision-Making Styles of Indian Corporate Executives-Public and Private Sectors

Article excerpt


Every day, people are inundated with decisions, big and small. Decision making is a fundamental function in management and the success or failure of executives and the organisation mainly hinges upon the quality of decisions. Simon (1954) revealed that "decision making role" is the "heart of executive activities". Decision-making is the process of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values, preferences and beliefs of the decision-maker. These decisions often have personal, social, political, economic and environmental consequences. Decision-making is approached by managers in different ways-some managers make an extensive analysis via more information with an objective approach and some take decisions by intuition. Some of them make a decision independently and some wait for others' guidance. Some of them behave hasty in decision making process and some are too careful to the extent that they avoid making a decision.

Some executive copes with the stress and makes decision making depending on their age/maturity, experience, level of decision making and other factors. Economists and policymakers have observed that demographic factors both intrinsic as well as extrinsic like age, gender, marital status, qualifications, occupation, annual income, geographic location etc have an impact on the level of risk that investors take further based on their behavioral and decisionmaking aspect (Jain & Mandot, 2012).

The objectives of the study are to establish the existence or otherwise of the influence of the demographic factors in decision-making styles of corporate executives In this study, the influence of demographic factors on decision-making styles of Indian corporate executives has been studied empirically. Demographic factors such as age, gender, education, work experience, managerial level and income have been considered. The executives have been assessed for their decision-making styles by conflict theory model of decision making devised by Janis & Mann (1977). According to this model, executives adopt one of the three styles of decision-making when faced with conflicting situations. They are vigilance style, hyper vigilance style and defensive avoidance (procrastination, rationalisation and buck passing) style.

Understanding the influence of various factors in decision-making adds to the knowledge bank of existing research on decision-making and induces more research on the field. This also helps in recruitment of suitable executives to fit the company/s objectives, job assignment and training.


The process of decision-making is one of the most complex mechanisms of human thinking, as various factors and courses of action intervene in it, with different results. (Orasanu and Connolly (1993) define it as a series of cognitive operations performed consciously, which include the elements from the environment in a specific time and place. Narayan and CorcoranPerry (1997) consider decision making as the interaction between a problem that needs to be solved and a person who wishes to solve it within a specific environment.

A manager needs to make sound/rational decisions as a part of his regular activities and he makes hundreds of decisions on a regular basis in various situations. Decision-making is an essential component of the management and decision implies the end of deliberation and the beginning of action. Risk is an inevitable part of every decision. For most of the choices people make every day, the risks are small. But on a corporate scale, the implications (both upside and downside) can be enormous.

In decision-making, various alternatives are to be considered critically and the best one is to be selected. Here, the available business environment also needs careful consideration. The alternative selected may be correct or may not be correct and this will be decided in the future, as per the results available from the decision already taken. …

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