Whose DECISION Is It, Anyway?

By Stead, Jerre L. | Management Review, January 1999 | Go to article overview

Whose DECISION Is It, Anyway?


Stead, Jerre L., Management Review


Name: Jerre L. Stead

Title: Chairman and CEO

Company: Ingram Micro Inc., Santa Ana, California

Line of Business: computer technology distributor

Number of Employees: 12,000

Revenues: $20 billion

Salespeople sell, administrators organize and engineers create, but executives decide. We decide to recruit new talent, open or close facilities, enter new lines of business or leave old ones.

Through our decisions, we influence other people's lives and spend other people's money. Our decisions determine our companies' fortunes. They also get us lionized and demonized.

So, if our decisions carry so much weight, why don't we make it easier on ourselves to make better decisions?

Effective decision making is rare in the corporate world, even though most companies contain the necessary elements.

Corporate infrastructures have drifted from their original purpose, which was to put decision making close to customers and resources. Now, our structures tend to move decision making so far up the corporate ladder that the person ultimately responsible has no direct knowledge of the situation. The lines of accountability also are blurred.

The limited accountability bred into many corporate structures encourages decision making without facts, the least effective brand. If people are not accountable for the quality of their decisions, then there is no incentive to ferret all the necessary facts. There are as many decision-making styles as there are golf swings, but aggressive fact finding and consideration are common to them all. I make decisions quickly because I've always felt that if I put events in motion as soon as possible, I can modify and reverse what doesn't work. Fast, however, is not synonymous with hasty. I don't proceed until I'm sure I've pursued and weighed all the pertinent facts. I expect the same diligence from my executive team.

This may sound like a luxurious approach to decision making. How, you might ask, can executives spend enough time gathering and weighing facts when they must have dozens of important decisions to make every week? Don't they have to rely on instinct some of the time?

No. Instinct and experience have their roles in decision making, but the process is incomplete without fact finding. My team and I have the time to consider the facts of every situation because we limit ourselves to few critical decisions each day. The rest of the decisions that keep our company thriving are made by the people closest to a situation-the ones who know its facts. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Whose DECISION Is It, Anyway?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.