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Decision-Making Model Paper

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Decision-Making Model Paper

Decision-Making Model Paper


MGT 999

Instructor: ???

13 September 2006

Life is full of decisions. Some decisions are trivial. Should I choose paper or plastic at the grocery store? Which of the 31 flavors of ice cream should I pick? Other decisions are vital. Should I get married to her or should I take this new job? Your decisions may affect many people or only yourself. In this paper I will present a decision-making model. I will describe a decision that I made at work using this model and how critical thinking impacted that decision.

Decision making, as taken from the Wikipedia (2006) encyclopedia, is defined as “the cognitive process leading to the selection of a course of action among alternatives. Every decision making process produces a final choice called a decision. It can be an action or an opinion. It begins when we need to do something but we do not know what. Therefore, decision-making is a reasoning process which can be rational or irrational, and can be based on explicit assumptions or tacit assumptions.” (para.1). Decisions made by using a decision-making model typically result in better decisions. Decisions resulting from the model tend to be more consistent since the same steps are followed each time. Increased thoroughness of decision options considered is another benefit in using a decision-making model, as numerous factors are taken into account.

The following is a decision-making model that I have used to arrive at a decision.


• Clarify purpose and boundaries of the decision

• Gather information

o Identify who is affected by the decision

o Identify who will make the decision (individual or group)

o Identify what knowledge or expertise is needed to make the decision

o Identify what information or resources currently exist to help with the decision making process

• Define by when the decision needs to be made

• Communicate to affected parties who is making the decision and the rationale for it


• Define how the decision will be made (e.g. consensus, voting, etc.)

• Use appropriate tools that support data gathering (e.g. affinity diagram, brainstorming, fishbone, flowchart, force field, how-how, interrelationship digraph)

• Make the decision through the integration of ideas and data, and negotiation and prioritization of ideas

• Identify who (individual or group) will implement the decision


• Summarize the rationale for the decision

• Communicate the decision, why it was made and the rationale for it


• Define the steps in implementing the decision including the timeframe for completion

• Define the method for reporting when something is completed and who receives the report


• Identify the process for assessing impact of decision

Our textbook defines critical thinking as, “The general term given to a wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims, to discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases, to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions, and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do” (Bassham et al., 2002, p.569). Simply put, critical thinking is being able to look at information critically. It means asking questions about the information presented and then analyzing the answers. It means using the answers to create new ideas, solve problems, and make decisions. Critical thinking is imperative to making sound decisions using a decision-making model.

Last year my company swapped the departments reporting to several

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