South-Western - Management  
Decision-making in the Digital Age
Topic Technology, Innovation and Change
Key Words decision making, technology
InfoTrac Reference A78256893
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News Story

As business gets more global and competitive, managers are pushed to increase the speed of their decision making while at the same time improve the quality of their decisions. A study surveying 479 managers and 339 workers showed that U.S. decision makers are under pressure to keep up, and are often sacrificing quality in the process. When decisions aren't made quickly enough or implemented on a timely basis, business is affected.

Often decisions are held up because of the barriers that get in the way, such as the need for multiple approvals, changing politics, changing priorities, and difficulty getting people to agree on the objectives. Although the multiple approval process can be facilitated by technology, many companies do not have the infrastructure or plans to implement it.

Those who use wireless technologies (cell phones, satellite) have found it has improved their decision-making speed and quality. Artificial intelligence technology isn't widely used yet for decision-making.

More than 60% of survey respondents say their organization is making extensive use of computer systems either developed in-house or customized. Email is the most widely used application. Databases of decision criteria are not widely used. Technology, overall, is improving decision-making speed and quality.

Questions
1.

In what ways does technology help and hinder decision-making speed and quality?

2.

How might "information overload" affect a person's ability to make decisions on a timely basis?

Source "Decision-making in the Digital Age," USA Today Magazine Sept. 2001, p. 50.
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