Decision making is the act of choosing between two or possible solutions to a problem. Every decision making process results to a final choice which may or may not lead to an action. People find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to making decisions. Some people may postpone making decisions by searching for more information on the issue at hand or depending on other people to make decisions or give recommendations. The paper, therefore, looks deeper into the process of decision making, the criteria of decision making and decision making alternatives available.
Decision criteria are guidelines used to come to a conclusion while trying to make a decision. It includes detailed specifications and scoring systems such as decision matrix. Examples of decision criteria include; cost, opportunity cost, emotions. These criteria are discussed below:
This is the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. Opportunity cost applies to most decisions made often. Life decisions majorly require two things personal self-reflection regarding the benefits of the first choice and the opportunity cost of the next best choice. Opportunity cost for example is if one decides to spend money on vacation and delay furnishing their house then the opportunity cost is the luxury of living in a well furnished house.
Most people prefer Working on a budget, between two similar items, a person’s decision is more often influenced by the price of the items if one is higher than the other then the one with a lower price will be preferred. For example a firm that is procuring building materials establishes the principal that the lowest cost bid is more likely to be accepted then they will definitely go for the lowest costing materials.
When emotions are strongly felt, individuals are more likely to engage in actions based on broad generalizations and having greater trust in the legitimacy of these actions, therefore, emotions may play a major role in judgment and decision making process. For example the decision of a police to make an arrest interacts significantly with anger control (brown and daus,2015). If a police man is insulted by a disputant then the disputant is highly likely to be arrested. Decision of the police to make an arrest will be made out of anger due to the insult.
Decision making process for police officers in a continually changing environment require the integration of perceptual skills and consideration of situational factors . The design and development of training environments therefore needs to include the development of cue driven perceptual skills relating to the real world context. Isolation during training may involve incorrect decisions being made when training is transferred to the real world (Richards et al).
A range of management alternatives should be developed which reflect substantially different approaches to the problem and present decision makers with real options and choices. Good alternatives should be value focused; they should be specifically designed to address the fundamental values or ends of the decision. The alternative should address the things that matter or the needs that have to be met.
In fixed costs the alternative is to buy in bulk one may buy items at a cheaper cost or, sticking to one supplier one may result to getting loyalty points thus reducing the cost. These two alternatives make the decision making on cost easier and more effective since a person gets the goods they need in high quantity at a price they desire. The alternative of buying from one supplier may be closely considered but the best alternative to save on costs if a person is working on a budget is to buy things in bulk.
Decision makers often allow biases and errors to take over their judgment. All factors affecting decisions should be properly looked into to avoid making decisions that will cause failure in the end the most common distortions include; overconfidence this is whereby the decision makers believes that they know more while in reality they do not have the correct information this can be solved by carrying out proper research before coming to a conclusive decision. Anchoring bias is the tendency to stick to the first piece of information we receive without considering whether the information may be misleading. Having proper information at hand will reduce errors in decision making.
Some of the errors include indecisiveness, the fear of the outcome can make a person timid about making a conclusive decision for example when buying a second hand car one may not be sure whether the car has been used to a point where its worn out. This may result in taking a long time to come up with a decision leading to loss of an opportunity.
Individual differences and organizational constraints are a major factor when it comes to decision making process. In an organization performance evaluation plays a major role in decision making for example managers are influenced by the method in which they are evaluated by the organization they are working for if a manager hears nothing negative about the performance then their decisions will be based on keeping the negative information about the place they are in charge of from reaching the boss.
Ethics refer to standards of conduct which are based on moral values that guide people’s behaviors or decisions. Ones morals may hinder them from making certain decisions that may compromise their ethics. For example if a person’s religion does not allow them to work on a certain day of the week then their decision to work on that certain day will be influenced.
In conclusion, identifying, defining and understanding a problem is important to analyzing and choosing between alternatives. A well designed decision criteria may improve the quality and consistency of decisions it also saves greatly on time. The decision criteria should be measurable and should aim at solving the problem.
Shanique, G. Brown, &, Catherine S. Daus. (2015). The influence of police officers’ decision making style and anger control on responses to work scenarios,4,295-302.
Pam Richards, Debbie Robberts, Mark Britton & Nathan Roberts. The Exploration of Body-Worn Video to Accelerate the Decision-Making Skills of Police Officers Within an Experimental Learning environment, 43-47.