PROCESSES FOR MAKING GROUP DECISIONS

3 Famous Processes for Group level Decision Making are:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Nominal Group Technique
  3. Delphi Technique

BRAINSTORMING:

Brainstorming is a group decision making process in which negative feedback on any suggested alternative by any group member is forbidden until all members have presented alternatives that they perceive as valuable.

Brainstorming is carefully designed to encourage all group members to contribute as many viable decision alternatives as they can think of.

Its premise is that if the evaluation of alternatives starts before all possible alternatives have been offered, valuable alternatives may be overlooked.

During brainstorming, group members are encouraged to state their ideas, no matter how wild they may seem, while an appointed group member records all ideas for discussion.

NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE:

The nominal group technique is another useful process for helping groups make decisions. This process is designed to ensure that each group member has equal participation in making the group decisions.

It involves the following steps:

  1. STEP 1: Each group member writes down individual ideas on the decision or problem being discussed.
  2. STEP 2: Each member presents individual ideas orally. The ideas are usually written on a board for all other members to see and refer to.
  3. STEP 3: After all members present their ideas, the entire group discussed these ideas simultaneously. Discussion tends to be unstructured and spontaneous.
  4. STEP 4: When discussion is completed, a secret ballot is taken to allow members to support their favourite ideas without fear. The idea receiving the most votes is adopted and implemented.

DELPHI TECHNIQUE:

The Delphi technique involves circulating questionnaires on a specific problem among group members, sharing the questionnaire results with them, and then continuing to recirculate and refine individual responses until a consensus regarding  the problem is reached.

In contrast to the nominal group technique or brainstorming, the Delphi technique does not have group members meet face to face. The formal steps followed in the Delphi Technique are:

  1. STEP 1: A problem is identified.
  2. STEP 2: Group members are asked to offer solutions to the problem by  providing anonymous responses to a carefully designed questionnaires.
  3. STEP 3: Responses of all group members are compiled and sent out to all group members.
  4. STEP 4: Individual group members are asked to generate a new individual solution to the problem after they have studied the individual responses of all other group members.
  5. STEP 5: Step 3 and 4 are repeated until a consensus problem solutions is reached.

 

Brainstorming offers the advantage of encouraging the expression of as many useful ideas as possible, but the disadvantage of wasting the group’s time on ideas that are wildly impractical.

The nominal group technique, with its secret ballot, offers a structure in which individuals can support or reject an idea without fear of recrimination. Its disadvantage is that there is no way of knowing why individuals voted the way they did.

The advantage of the Delhi Technique is that ideas can be gathered from group members who are too geographically separated or busy to meet face to face.Its disadvantage is that members are unable to ask questions of one another.

Managers must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of these 3 group decision making tools and adopt the one or some combination of the three – that best suits their unique organizational circumstances.

TYPES OF DECISIONS & DECISION MAKING PROCESS

A decision is a choice made between 2 or more available alternatives.

Decision Making is the process of choosing the best alternative for reaching objectives.

Managers make decisions affecting the organization daily and communicate those decisions to other organizational members.

Some decisions affect a large number of organization members, cost a great deal of  money to Carry out, or have a long term effect on the organization. Such significant decisions can have a major impact, not only on the management systems itself, but on the career of the manager who makes them.

Other decisions are fairly insignificant, affecting only a small member of organization members, costing little to carry out, and producing only a short term effect on the organization.

TYPES OF DECISIONS:

PROGRAMMED DECISIONS

Programmed decisions are routine and repetitive, and the organization typically develops specific ways to handle them. A programmed decision might involve determining how products will be arranged on the shelves of a supermarket. For this kind of routine, repetitive problem, standard arrangement decisions are typically made according to established management guidelines.

NON PROGRAMMED DECISIONS:

Non programmed decisions are typically one shot decisions that are usually less structured than programmed decision.

5 ELEMENTS  OF THE DECISION SITUATION:

  1. The Decision Makers
  2. Goals to be served
  3. Relevant Alternatives
  4. Ordering of Alternatives
  5. Choice of Alternatives

DECISION MAKING PROCESS:

Decision making steps this model depicts are as follows:

  1. Identify an existing problem                                                                      
  2. List possible alternatives for solving the problem                       
  3. Select the most beneficial of these alternatives.                           
  4. Implement the selected alternative.                                                        
  5. Gather feedback to find out if the implemented alternative is solving the identified problem.

THE PLANNER: Qualification and Evaluation

The planner is probably the most important input in the planning subsystem. This individual combines all other inputs and influences the subsystem process so that its output is effective organizational plans.

The planner is responsible not only for developing plans but also for advising management on what actions should be taken to implement those plans.

Regardless of who actually does the planning or what organization the planning is being done in, the qualification, duties, and evaluations of the planner are all very important considerations for an effective planning subsystem.

QUALIFICATIONS OF PLANNERS:

Planners should have four primary qualifications:

  1. They should have considerable practical experience within their organization. Preferably, they should have been executives in one or more of the organization’s major departments.This experience will help them develop plans that are both practical and tailor made for the organization.                   
  2. Planners should be capable of replacing  any narrow view of the organization they may have acquired while holding other organizational positions with an understanding of the organization as a whole. They must know how all parts of the organization function and interrelate. They must have an abundance of conceptual skills.                                                                     
  3. Planners should have some knowledge of and interest in the social,political, technical and economic trends that could affect the future of the organization. They must be skillful in defining those trends and possess the expertise to determine how the organization should react to the trends to maximize its success. This qualification can be overemphasized.                                             
  4. They should be able to work well with others. Their position will inevitably require them to work closely with several key members of the organization, so its is essential that they possess the personal characteristics necessary to collaborate and advise effectively. The ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing, is one of the most important of these characteristics.

EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR PLANNERS:

  1. Organizational Plan is in writing.
  2. Plan is the result of all elements of the management team working together.
  3. Plan defines present and possible future business of the organization.
  4. Plan specifically mentions organizational objectives.
  5. Plan identifies future opportunities and suggests how to take advantage of them.
  6. Plan emphasizes both internal and external environments.
  7. Plan describes the attainment of objectives in operational terms whenever possible.
  8. Plan includes both long and short term recommendations.

Over and above all these, the subjective considerations include how well planners get along with key members of the organization, the amount of organizational loyalty they display and their perceived potential.

MBO – Management by Objectives

MBO – Management by Objectives was popularized mainly through the writings of Peter Drucker.

Some Managers find organizational objectives such an important and fundamental part of management that they use a management approach based exclusively on them.

Although mostly discussed in the context of profit oriented companies, MBO is also a valuable management tool for non profit organizations.

MBO Strategy has 3 basic parts:

  1. All individuals within an organization are assigned a specialized set of objectives that they try to reach during a normal operating period. These objectives are mutually set and agreed upon by individuals and their managers.                                                 
  2. Performance reviews are conducted periodically to determine how close individuals are to attaining their objectives.                    
  3. Rewards are given to individuals on the basis of how close they come to reaching their goals.  

The MBO  process consists of 5 steps:

  1. Review Organizational Objectives: The manager gains a clear understanding of the organization’s overall objectives.                     
  2. Set Worker Objectives: The manager and worker meet to agree on worker objectives to be reached by the end of the normal operating period.                                                                                               
  3.  Monitor Progress:  At intervals during the normal operating period, the manager and worker check to see if the objectives are being reached.                                                                                             
  4. Evaluate Performance: At the end of the normal operating period, the worker’s performance is judged by the extent to which the worker reached the objectives.                                               
  5. Give Rewards: Rewards given to the worker are based on the extent to which the objectives were reached.

CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS:

  1. Top Management must be committed to the MBO process and set appropriate objectives for the organization.
  2. Managers and subordinates together must develop and agree on each individuals goals.
  3. Employee performance should be conscientiously evaluated against established objective.
  4. Management must follow through on employee performance evaluations by rewarding employees accordingly.

ADVANTAGES:

  1. MBO programs continually emphasize what should be done in an organization to achieve organizational goals.
  2. MBO process secures employee commitment to attaining organizational goals.

DISADVANTAGES:

  1. One is that the development of objectives can be time consuming, leaving both managers and employees less time in which to do their actual work.
  2. Increased Paper Work

GUIDELINES FOR ESTABLISHING OBJECTIVES

In general an organization should have 3 types of Objectives:

  1. Short Term Objectives : Targets to be achieved in 1 year or less.
  2. Intermediate Term Objectives: Targets to be achieved in 1 to 5 years.
  3. Long Term Objectives: Targets to be achieved in 5 to 7 years.

The necessity of predetermining appropriate organizational objectives has led to the  development of a management guidelines called the PRINCIPLE OF OBJECTIVE.

This principle states that  before managers take any action, they should clearly determine, understand and state organizational objectives.

SUB OPTIMIZATION:

Sub optimization is a condition where sub objectives are conflicting ro not directly aimed at accomplishing the overall organizational objective.

GUIDELINES FOR ESTABLISHING OBJECTIVES:

  1. Let the people responsible for attaining the objectives have a voice in setting them.
  2. State Objective as specifically as possible.
  3. Relate objectives to specific actions whenever necessary.
  4. Pinpoint expected results.
  5. Set goals high enough that employees have to strive to meet them, but not so high that employees give up trying to meet them.
  6. Specify when goals are expected to be achieved
  7. Set objectives only in relation to other organizational objectives.
  8. State Objectives clearly and simply.

PLANNING CHARACTERISTICS

4 Aspects of Planning are :

  1. Definition of Planning
  2. Purposes of Planning
  3. Advantages and Potential disadvantages of planning
  4. Primacy of Planning

DEFINING PLANNING:

Planning is the process of determining how the organization can get where it wants to go, and what it will do to accomplish its objectives.

Planning is the systematic development of action porgrams aimed at reaching agreed business objectives by the process of analysing, evaluating, and selecting among the opportunities which are forseen.

PURPOSES OF PLANNING:

The protective purpose of planning is to minimize risk by reducing the uncertainities surrounding business conditions and clarifying the consequences of related management actions.

The affirmative purpose is to increase the degree of organizational success.

The fundamental purpose of planning, however, is to help the organization reach its objectives.

PLANNING: ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

A vigorous planning program produces many benefits.

First, it helps managers to be future oriented. They are forced to look beyond their everyday problems to project what situations may confront them in the future.

Second, a sound planning porgram enhances decision coordination. No decision should be made today without some idea of how it will affect a decision that might have to be made tomorrow.

The planning function pushes managers to coordinate their decisions.

Third, planning emphasizes organizational objectives. Because organizational objectives are the starting points for planning, managers are continually remind of exactly what their organization is trying to accomplish.

DISADVANTAGES:

The downside is that if the planning function is not well executed,planning can have several disadvatnages for the organization.

e.g.: An overemphasized planning program can take up too much managerial time. Managers must strike an appropriate balance between time spent on planning and time spent on organizing, influencing, and controlling.

PRIMACY OF PLANNING:

Planning is the primary managerial function- the one that precedes and is the absis for the organizing, influencing and controlling functions of managers.

Only after manaers have developed their plans can they determine how they went to structure their organization, place their people and establish organizational controls.

FIRST STEP : PLANNING

SECOND STEPS: ORGANIZING, INFLUENCING, CONTROLLING

RESULTS: ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES

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STEPS IN THE PLANNING PROCESS:

The planning process consists of the following 6 steps:

  1. State Organizational Objective
  2. List alternative ways of reaching objectives
  3. Develop premises on which to base each alternative
  4. Choose the best alternative for reaching objectives
  5. Develop plans to pursue the chosen alternative
  6. Put the plans into action.

ORGANIZATIONAL OBJECTIVES:

Organizational objectives are the targets toward which the open management system is directed. Organizational input,process and output all exist to reach organizational objectives.

Properly developed organizational objectives reflect the purpose of the organization.

ORGANIZATIONAL PURPOSE:

Organizational Purpose is what the organization exist to do, given a particular group of customers and customer needs. If an organization is accomplishing its objectives, it is accomplishing its purpose and thereby justifying its reason for existence.

Organizations exist for various purposes and thus have various types of objectives.

Therefore, its objectives are aimed at furnishing this assistance. The primary purpose of a business organization, in contrast, is usually to make a profit.