Managerial Decision Making

General Articles
and Resources


Decision Trees

Company Profiles

General Articles and Resources

A Lexicon of Decision Making by Tom Spradlin, Duke University. The author provides "definitions of the words most commonly used in a decision making context" such as "decision," "expected value," "alternatives," "outcome," "risk," etc.

Decisions, Decisions - Unit of One by Anna Muoio, Fast Company. The reporter asks eleven different business leaders and academic experts on decision making to answer such questions as:

  • "What does it take to make a 'good' decision? Is it about going by facts and percentages - or about following your gut instinct?"
  • Does time produce better decisions, or does pressure make you decide not only faster but also more wisely?"
  • "Is better decision making something that you can learn?"

Decision Making Styles by Leadership Management Development Center. Brief descriptions of four styles: democratic, autocratic, collective-participative and consensus.

Group Decision Making within the Organization: Can Models Help? by Ryan K. Lahti, University of North Texas. A review of four models of group decision making: rational, political, process, and garbage can. Each description includes a definition of the model, its advantages/disadvantages and a scenario to illustrate the model in action.

Decision Theory by Principia Cybernetica. Precise, detailed definition of decision theory, including definitions of the terms associated with it, such as "alternatives," "risk" and "objectives."

Game Theory by Principia Cybernetica. Precise, detailed definition of game theory, including definitions of the terms associated with it, such as "rules," "decision" and "probabilistic."

At Your Library

The Most Valuable Quality in a Manager by Geoffrey Colvin, Fortune, Vol. 136, December 29, 1997, page 279+. This article discusses what some experts consider the most important character trait for successful managers in a rapidly changing business environment: "a willingness, even an eagerness, to make large, painful decisions." These decisions may include exiting businesses, making fundamental changes in how the business operates and even admitting previous mistakes.



A Day at Innovation U. Can you learn creativity? by Ed Brown, Fortune, April 12, 1999. Read about a one day seminar where small groups learn brainstorming and rapid prototyping through such exercises as building a device that will propel a "cannonball" farther than their competitors' designs.

How to think up a storm by Onno van Ewyk, HCI Consulting. First, a clear definition of brainstorming and common misconceptions about what it involves. Next, a description of a five step approach to brainstorming to ensure the best results.

Guidelines make a good brainstorming session better by Paul Willax, Business First. Short article that explains brainstorming and some tips about how to do it, such as organizing the room and seating in such a way that no participant is perceived as dominant.

Brainstorming Procedures:

Tips For Structured Brainstorming by the Iowa State University Extension.

Brainstorming Rules by Karen McNally and Alan Levine, Maricopa Community College.

The Step by Step Guide to Brainstorming by JPB Creative Co, Ltd.

Idea Generation Techniques by the Human Resources Dept. at Central Michigan University. Scroll down to section E, "Idea Generation Techniques," to learn about six methods for generating ideas: brainwriting, mindmapping, analogy storm, picture tour, imaging the future and brainstorming.


Decision Trees

Decision Theory and Decision Trees by Mindtools. First you learn when decision trees can be most effectively used in decision making. Next, you get step-by-step instructions, complete with diagrams and examples on how to build a decision tree.

Concept of a Decision Tree by Professor Sid Sytsma, Ferris State University. Basic decision trees are illustrated through two examples: deciding on how large a plant to build and whether to produce and test market a new electric mop.


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