One of the key responsibilities of a manager is to make day-to-day decisions to respond to emergencies and situations that are not expected or planned for in the strategic plan. Managers may wish to make decisions on their own as individuals, or they may make decisions based on group input.
After reading Chapter 3 in your textbook as well as the supplemental reading, Are Your Critical-Decision-Making Skills Evolving?, and completing your own research, write a post that answers the following:
1. When should we use groups in decision-making?
2. How effective are groups in the decision-making process?
3. Who should be involved in the group decision-making process?
4. Should a manager make all decisions as an individual? Why or why not?
1. When should we use groups in decision-making? When a decision on an issue that impacts a group as a whole, that group, or a select portion of the group, should be included in the discussion that eventually leads to a decision.
2. How effective are groups in the decision-making process? Having a group involved in the decision-making process can be very beneficial as multiple points of view are presented and ideas expressed that may contain a new way of looking at an issue. Also, the experience level will vary within a group that may bring insight from an actual related event or bring new thinking that has never been applied to the decision under consideration. There may also be resistance within a group if the entire group will be effected in the same way such as increased work-hours or a reduction in benefits.
3. Who should be involved in the group decision-making process? This can be very dependent on what the group is discussing and what goals are going to be set. It is not a perfect idea to discuss terminations with the individuals to be terminated in the group discussion. Nor would it be appropriate to have union representation when discussing the station/government’s positions when preparing negotiation points. Group members should represent all levels of the organization as well as subject experts. The group should be comprised of individuals who hold some level of experience on the subjects to be discussed as well as an openness to the discussion.
4. Should a manager make all decisions as an individual? Why or why not? No, at least not those decisions that will impact a large amount of personnel or all of the group, a group discussion on the issues, and a decision reached based on those discussions, will work best to achieve a consensus and “buy-off” of the decision. Certain individuals resist any direct orders that they feel give them no ownership and it works to all sides of an issue to feel represented. In cases where the ultimate responsibility of the decision lies with the manager, and time is very short, the manager may need to make the decision and do their best to help the group understand how this came about.
This weeks discussion is very relevant topic especially for those who are trying to obtain leadership roles or those that are already in leadership roles. Group decisions are a great way to insure the largest amount of people, who are going to feel the effects, think about the change (Bryan, 2015). I personally think that groups can make really good decisions as long as the board is made up of people from different levels in the organization and each are given the same amount of voice.
The effectiveness of the group depends on the personalities that make up the group. If the group is composed of people who want to see the best solution found for everyone and they are willing to work together towards the common goal, then the decision the group produces will be beneficial to everyone (Bryan, 2015). If there are people in the group that are only looking out for their own interests’ or the interests’ of the people they are representing and will not compromise then the group will fail. While I have often heard “a good compromise is one where everyone is unhappy” and the saying makes some sense, but truly a group of people should be able to come to an agreement that is beneficial for everyone involved.
I am not a fan of a manager making all decisions, at least without consulting those under him or her. For a couple years I was voted in as Lieutenant at my station, and I told those I was over, that if they see an issue or think there is a better way of getting the job done to please tell me. I might not agree with them or their logic, but I want to hear different opinions because they might have knowledge or see something I am missing. Since I was in the leadership role, I had final say on the decision, but only a foolish leader would not listen to advise from people who might have more knowledge. One person should not make all the decisions without input from other people since that person may be overlooking something, not have all the information, or and a dozen other reasons.
BRYAN, P. (2015). Are Your Critical Decision-Making Skills Evolving? Fire Engineering, 168(8), 71–74. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy2.apus.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=tsh&AN=109152664&site=ehost-live&scope=site