Essays on Participative Decision-Making Coursework

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The paper "Participative Decision-Making " is a great example of management coursework. Decision-making is one of the essential activities in firms. It is the most common form of problem-solving and an important element skill in other more complex and ill-structured forms of problem-solving. Decision-making entails a procedure of selecting a course of action for addressing an opportunity or problem. It is a reasoning process that appears to be irrational and rational and can be based on preconceptions or assumptions. Programmed and non-programmed decisions in organisations are needed from time to time to assist firms to cope with varied and novel environments, and this calls for practical decision-making.

Although such technological and structural shifts may be considered to be relevant to the initiators, other members of the firm particularly employees may resist these changes. A commonly accepted explanation of this occurrence puts forward that participative decision-making guarantees acceptance of change or decisions while direction or imposition by a person in authority or a manager trigger resistance. Given that managers’ decision-making world is most often imperfect, subject to influences of cognitive limitations, risk and uncertainty, this essay argues that participative decision-making is the ideal type of decision making in organisations. Participative decision-making is the ideal type of decision making as it involves superiors and their subordinates.

According to Sagie, Elizur and Koslowsky (1995, p. 82), participative decision-making (PDM) entails the process through which subordinates and their superiors share influence. Fields (2010, p. 370) asserts that participative decision-making is a human resource management practice that shows workers that their superiors value them. PDM offers workers indirect or direct voice in decisions and a prospect to influence others in diverse organisational levels.

Fields (2010) claim that employees hold a complete understanding of their work compared to their superiors. In this regard, decisions made in union with workers are made with an improved information pool (p. 82). In addition, workers involved in decision-making are better equipped to execute work processes after the decisions. PDM boosts the morale of employees and lowers resistance besides reducing bias in decision-making. PDM brings in a pool of ideas and information. It entails a firm’ s managers consulting their subordinates and sharing the underlying principle for decisions. Participative decision-making type reduces the influences of cognitive limitations of managers.

According to Chelladural (2013, p. 207), the benefits of allowing staff in an organisation to participate in decision-making, include higher rationality in decisions. Given that the level of engagement in participative decision-making entails members sharing perceptions, ideas and information with their managers, the cognitive limitations of the manager is addressed. In participative decision-making, the leader or manager holds access to alternative views and is well informed when making decisions. Challadural (2013, p. 207) asserts that the rationality of a decision is enhanced when more members participate in decision-making.

A group of people hold more insight and information compared to an individual. The deeper and wider information and expense base help a manager in clarifying the problem and determining and evaluating other resolutions to problems (Challadural 2013, p. 207). More importantly, participative decision-making allows members to understand problems and solutions more clearly. When employees are involved in decision-making, they make the decision as theirs and establish a sense of ownership. When employees feel and understand ownership of a decision, they are more probable to implement the decision more effectively and efficiently. Participative decision-making helps in addressing the influence of uncertainties in decision-making.

According to Cropanzano and Kacmar (1995, p. 47), participative decision-making is likely to lower uncertainty influences of a manager’ s or supervisor’ s behaviour. Uncertainty in decision-making occurs when information is not sufficient or when managers hold so little ideas and information. Lack of adequate information makes it impossible for managers to assign probabilities to different options and their possible upshots. Participative decision-making brings in more ideas and information that help managers in implementing the best possible alternative to address uncertainties in decision-making.

With respect to bound rationality, information is important in allowing people to evaluate alternatives (Laing 2013, p. 63). Apparently, when a single upshot is likely in the time of decision-making, the decision becomes certain but when the possibility of several alternative upshots is available, the decision becomes risky. For risk decisions, numerous upshots are possible, and the likelihood of each upshot taking place is known. However, when the range of probable upshots is not recognised, and the occurrence of the different outcomes is not recognised, the decision becomes uncertain. With respect to the rational decision-making theory, a decision-maker focuses on logic and facts besides assisting in guarding against unsuitable pitfalls and assumptions (Laing 2013, p.

63). Rational decision-making model ensures that the decision-maker obtains perfect and complete information. Obtaining perfect and complete information calls for the participation of decision-makers and people whom the decision will affect. Participative decision-making allows for the attainment of perfect and complete information that helps in eliminating uncertainty besides evaluation of all the ideas and information logically and rationally.

The output of rational decision-making is to provide a decision that serves an organisation’ s interests.  



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Eddleston, K, Otondo, R & Kellermanns, E 2008, ‘ Conflict, participative decision making and generational ownership dispersion: A Multilevel analysis’, Journal of Small Business Management, vol.46, no.3, pp.456-484.

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Sagie, A, Elizur, D & Koslowsky, M 1995, ‘Decision type, participative decision making ( PDM) and organisational behaviour: An experimental simulation’, Human Performance, vol.8, no.8, pp.81-94.

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