Business Decision Making

Aims of this Unit

The decisions made in organisations at both strategic and operational levels can have significant implications for success or failure, reputation and morale. For many organisations, little thought is given to the nature of decision-making – the complexity of decisions, the inherent biases of decision-makers, the validity of inputs used to inform decisions, agreed decision-making processes and support systems, when and how to involve stakeholders, responsibilities of participants and the effective communication of decision-making outcomes.

This unit aims to address these issues by developing awareness and competency in making thorough, insightful, effective, creative, and ethical strategic and key operational decisions in line with organisational resources and capabilities.

Knowledge and Understanding

This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of:

  • The decision-making environment
    • qualitative, rational, intuitive and ethical decision-making approaches
    • decision making processes, phases of the process
    • probability, uncertainty and their influence on decision handling and outcomes
    • heuristics, bias and other decision modifiers.

  • Decision making activities
    • defining problems for problem solving and decision making
    • identifying stakeholders and the impacts of decisions on them
    • consultation techniques for problem/opportunity exploration and clarification
    • techniques for handling risk and uncertainty
    • managing group decision-making
    • making judgement and constructing arguments to communicate decision outcomes.

  • Evaluating and reviewing decisions
    • Persuasion and influence for wise decision outcomes
    • managing the aftermath of decision-making, and enabling change or strengthening the status quo.

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this unit, participants should be able to:

1. Examine and suggest improvements to rational decision-making processes and assess the effectiveness of decision-making within an organisation.
2. Construct and apply appropriate rational, intuitive and creative approaches to decision-making.
3. Articulate the different forms of bias that can inhibit effective decision-making and ways that they may be overcome.
4. Apply a systems perspective to the development and implementation of business decisions within an organisation.
5. Develop a high order of skill in analysis, critical thinking, communication and professional application.
6. Demonstrate independent thinking and creativity in problem-solving and apply knowledge and skills to new situations.  

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