Leaders are regularly confronted with problems that require decisions. A number of approach, tools, and techniques have been developed over the years to help leaders improve their decision-making capabilities. Robbins and DeCenzo (2007) composed a seven step process that provides a rational and analytical way of looking at decision. The steps include identification of the problem, collection of relevant information, development of alternatives, evaluation of alternatives, selection of the best alternative, implementation of the decision, and follow up and evaluation. Leaders may face three conditions as they make a decision: certainty, risk, and uncertainty (Robbins et al., 2007). Certainty exists when the outcome and every alternative is known.
Within the writer’s organization, decision making and sharing of information are not as clear-cut as this. Leaders are said to be making a decision under a condition of uncertainty when they are not certain about the outcome, and cannot even make a reasonable probability estimate. In the writer’s opinion, decisions in the organization should being made by groups rather than by individual. If the adage “Two heads are better than one” should be translated into groups, it would be able to generate a greater number, and potentially a more creative set, of decision alternatives. Furthermore, it will provide more complete information, generates more alternatives, increases acceptance of a solution, and increases legitimacy. When members of a group meet face to face and interact with one another, they create the potential for groupthink. Robbins et al., (2007) suggested three ways of making group decision making more creative: brainstorming, the nominal group technique, and electronic meetings.
Employees in the organizations should be encouraged to understand each other styles, and try to understand those with different views. Let people listening to each other and changing their views in the process of reaching a “common ground.” We should have been less in confrontational format and change to a more positive and learning format by trying to learn something from the other person, even though we do not agree with them. With a greater understanding of these differences, rather than collide, our words can come together in greater harmony, cooperation and collaboration. Differences do not have to create separation and tension.
Training is also important for the organization to practice ethical reflections (Brown, 2000). Training will enables decision makers at all levels to acquire appropriate skills and tools that are necessary for participation in the process. The right training can ensure that the decision makers understand the decision-making process as a process of choice and aware that it involves choosing one of several alternatives; therefore, they must consider a variety of options and develop arguments on issues that interest them. With a right training, the decision makers will able to handle opposing views, examine the merits of different position, become proficient in the argumentative strategy, better understand the issues and hence more confidence in making decision. As mentioned by Brown (2000, p. 204), “if its members become competent in argumentative analysis and ethical reflection, then organizational ethics will become a creative and innovative human activity in the organization.” From the writer’s view, ethical reflection must be part of the process in decision-making. Thus, the members will become competent in argumentative analysis, and ethical reflection then organizational ethics will become a creative and innovative human activity within the organization.
Brown, T. (2000). Working ethics: Strategies for decision making and organizational responsibility. Berkley, CA: Basic Resources.
Robbins, S. P. & DeCenzo, D. A. (2007). Supervision Today! (5th. ed.). New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, Prentice-Hall.