Models of decision making and problem solving

Decision making is about choosing from several options or ideas and taking action to generate a particular result. It is usually considered to be a rational and logical thinking process. It is defined as a process of choosing a course of action for dealing with a problem or opportunity (Schmerhorn, 2003, p 174). Problem solving is one of the steps involved in decision making. Decision making is a part of everyday life for all of us. However this essay is confined to analysis of the process of decision making in an organizational context. In an organization, decision making is one of the key managerial activities. Decisions taken in a timely manner, making optimum use of information and a sound implementation are the hallmarks of organizations which perform effectively. This essay covers aspects of decision making processes in an organization and the models which can be used to describe them. The roles of creativity in individual as well as organization decision making, intuition, group and collaborative decision making and leadership that makes the decision making and problem solving in organizations efficient is also discussed.It is important to understand the context under which decisions are made in the organization. Decision making within organization can be broadly classified as happening at four levels. The first is the long-term strategic decision making process. …
The operations level managers will be involved. Speed and implementation of decisions will be very important here. Very often problems to be solved will be routine in nature. The last is the corrective decisions that an organization will have to make based on the monitoring it does of its decisions and the feedback that it receives through such monitoring.
Another type of classification on the decisions within an organization are those that can be differentiated as programmed decisions , those which are routine and can be solved by standard methods and the other un-programmed, those which cannot be solved by routine responses, but which require tailor made solutions.
Decisions are usually made by managers as individuals, but in organizations, the particular decisions or policies chosen by decision-makers can often be explained through organizational culture and practices. These practices may be decision making by committees and groups, or by adopting fixed or standard operating procedures. Culture of the organization will decide whether decisions are taken autocratically, creatively or through participation.
Decisions are often not made by an individual alone in an organization alone. Decisions are made through a complex set of interaction between different people at different parts (functions) and levels of organizations, since the stakeholders of the outcome of decisions will be many. In real life in organizations it is rare to find decision making and other processes where social and political activity does not play a significant part (Teale et al, 2003, p 289).
Decision making depends upon the environment under which decisions are made. Schermerhorn, (2003, ch. 17) describes these as certain, risky and uncertain environment. "Certain"