The paper 'Understanding Decision Making' is a great example of a Management Case Study. Decision making is a significant process in the management and daily operations of a business organization. There are routine decisions to be made and major decisions that are done occasionally, equally, individuals can be called upon to make decisions during a crisis (Oliveira, 2007, p. 12). A decision-maker or group decision is contextualized with different factors. This calls for the application of various theoretical propositions on decision making such as normative and descriptive theories (Beresford & Sloper, 2008, p. 3).
The same applies to personal decisions that one is directly or indirectly involved. Using the case example of Cirque du Soleil, this paper is a personal reflection on personal decisions. In this regard, the paper analyses the personal decision in the context of various theories, models, and frameworks. Secondly, the paper critically discusses in a reflective manner the weaknesses and strengths of the decision. Finally, anchored on the reflection on the weaknesses and strengths identified, the paper proposes a recommendation on how the decision can be improved in the future. 2.0 The Decision and Issues surrounding it The personal decision outlined below is one that was done by Cirque du Soleil.
Before indulging in the decision, let examine the context surrounding the decision. The circus business has seen a significant decline in market share and profitability owing to the changing dynamics such as the growth of personal entertainment services including PlayStations and DVDs. Moreover, the utilization of animals that have been the cornerstone of the circus industry has been heavily opposed on the grounds of animals’ rights, therefore, limiting their application.
Finally, most businesses within the industry while engaging star performers such as lion tamers, the contractual engagement was done in favor of the star performers hence, leading to reduced bottom-line as a result of increased cost (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004, p. 1 & 6). Despite these challenges, Cirque du Soleil founded in 1984 was able to push its revenue by a factor of 22% in the past ten years (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004, p. 1). To counter these negative trends, the first decision to counter rising cost and reduced revenue was to shift focus away from star performers to creating shows full of fun & thrill through intellectual sophistication and artistic richness.
This allowed them to reduce costs as they have dropped the traditional approach centered on animals that reduced bottom-line in terms of training, housing, transportation, and insurance. By dropping some aspects of traditional acts that delivered a show of ‘ one for all’ they incorporated aspects of theatre by having multiple productions as opposed to three unrelated production approaches in traditional circus business approach. In a nutshell, they were able to create a sophisticated experience in circus entertainment by delivering high-value entertainment anchored on circus and theatre at a low cost (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004, p. 6-7). 3.0 Critical Concepts evident in the Decision One critical concept evident in the decision is the rationality that it depicts since the organization was able to analyze the existing situation and predict the future direction they want to be in a deliberate and planned manner by selecting amongst the crowded alternatives.
Such long terms strategic thinking that seek to address the strategic gap is best explained through bounded rationality.
For instance, Hodgkinson and Starbuck (2008, p. 457) indicate that any rational human being is goal-oriented and thus should be able to shape the future by selecting available alternatives. This is what Tarter and Hoy (1998, p. 212) refer to the optimizing strategy. For instance, Kim & Mauborgne (2004, p. 7-8) notes that the firm re-created circus experiences by deliberately curtailing cost, creating new entertainment experience of the traditional approach by not competing for the existing market, but by creating a new market space.
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