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Techniques for Group Decision Making

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Managers within organizations make decisions and permeates everything an organization does.

Decisions are the means by which organizations turn ideas into action and can have a positive or a negative impact.

The conditions under which decisions are made in organizations is shown on the following diagram

Types Of Decisions Made In Organisations.

A choice made from among a set of alternatives is a decision. Decision making is the process of identifying alternatives, evaluating alternatives, and selecting an alternative.

Organizational decisions can be described in terms of two dimensions:

whether they are programmed or nonprogrammed and

whether they are made under conditions of certainty, risk, or uncertainty.

Programmed And Nonprogrammed Decisions.

The degree to which decisions are programmed depends upon the number of times similar decisions have been made in the past.

Programmed decisions are decisions that occur often enough in an organization that standardized rules are used to make them. These standardized rules can take the form of decision guidelines, standard operating procedures, or check-lists. Programmed decisions help ensure that tasks are performed smoothly and consistently.

Nonprogrammed decisions are decisions that occur infrequently enough in an organization that standardized rules cannot be used to make them. When making nonprogrammed decisions, managers must rely on their experience and intuition. Decisions about new products or building new manufacturing facilities are examples of nonprogrammed decisions.

Certain, Risky, And Uncertain Decisions.

The following figure illustrates how to distinguish among certain, risky, and uncertain decisions.

If, at the time a decisions is made, only a single outcome is likely, the decisions is certain. Certain decisions are "sure things". Organizations rarely make decisions under conditions of certainty, though some decisions come close.

If, at the time a decision is made, the probabilities of several alternative outcomes are known, the decision is risky. For risky decisions, several different outcomes are possible and the probability of each outcome's actually occurring is known. Many organizational decisions are made under conditions of risk.

If, at the time a decision is made. the range of possible outcomes is not known and the probability of these different outcomes' occurring is not known, the decision is uncertain.

These decisions are among the hardest to make because managers do not know what the outcomes might be. Managers make them because they believe the chosen course of action is the right thing to do. Managers try to make uncertain decisions succeed by marshalling the organization's resources.


Different types of decisions are made at different levels in the organizational hierarchy.

Generally top managers make both nonprogrammed decisions and risky and uncertain decisions.

Middle managers often have the task of transforming nonprogrammed decisions into programmed ones and transforming risky decisions into certain ones.

Lower-level managers generally make programmed and certain decisions.


The steps in the decision-making process are identifying alternatives, evaluating alternatives, and selecting from among alternatives. The classical model of decision making provides the logic for much decision making. Behavioral aspects of decision making create deviations from this approach.

The Rational Decision-Making Model.

Rational decision making keeps the decision maker focused on facts and logic and helps guard against inappropriate assumptions and pitfalls. The approach is aimed at;

Obtain complete and perfect information,

Eliminate uncertainty

Evaluate all information rationally and logically.

The output



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