Universidade de São Paulo
          Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares



                        São Paulo - ...
Content




1. Initial remarks
2. Decision making process:“tradicional”
perspective
3. “Problems” with the “tradicional” a...
Initial remarks




One of the main objetives of this presentation is calling for the
attention of a subject somehow negle...
Initial remarks

In “the real world”, there may be chalenges to make a decision: time
constraints, conflicting interests; ...
Decision Making Process:
              the “tradicional” perspective


        Decisions                     Content of th...
The “problem” with the“tradicional”
              analysis




Despite the existence of a large literature
focusing on how...
What are metadecisions?


Metadecisions are decisions about the decision process
itself and can be classified in planning ...
Tactics in decision making*

We refer as tactic any action a decision maker or a group of
decision maker carries out with ...
Types of metadecisions*


Process type:

• Refers to the decisions a key decision maker needs to make
  concerning the dec...
Types of metadecisions: process



             Process

                                                              Whe...
Process metadecisions


                                     Process phase
                              (associated with ...
Process metadecisions


                       Participative dependence*
                        (associated with some tac...
Process metadecisions


                                 Influence
                    (associated with some tactics exemp...
Process metadecisions


                 Analytical structuring
               (associated with some tactics exemples)



...
Types of metadecisions



     Solution

                               Some tactics are dedicated to generate the
       ...
Solution metadecisions
                (associated with some tactics exemples)



                    Solutions novelty

 ...
Solution metadecisions
                  (associated with some tactics exemples)



                      Solutions tempor...
The extended structure of unstructured decision processes


 1st layer
                     Decisions              Content...
References
BEACH, Lee Roy e MITCHELL, Terence R. A contingency model for the selection of decision strategies.
Academy of ...
For more information...




• Thesis file (portuguese):
http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/12/12139
/tde-02042007-0...
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Metadecisions Linked In

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When faced with situations that demand making decisions of a strategic nature, decision- makers must decide how to make such decisions. A study was undertaken, involving interviews with two experienced key decision-makers responsible for seven decision-making processes, in order to identify the decisions taken about the process itself – the metadecisions – and also, to verify the existence of any sort of logical structure between these metadecisions. Four variables were developed for this research: 1. participative dependence, involving the decision about the participants in the decision-making process; 2. phase of the process, i.e. the different steps activated in a decision-making process; 3. analytical structuring, involving the choice between intuition and the structured analysis of information; and 4. influence, i.e. the decision regarding the level of influence to be exerted throughout the decision-making process. The findings indicate that the metadecisions taken during the decision-making process may present some degree of correlation among each other. Specific proposals to explain the subjacent logical structure of the identified correlations are presented. The research approach that was used opens up a new and deeper perspective for the comprehension and management of the decision-making processes, particularly the nonroutine ones.

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Metadecisions Linked In

  1. 1. Universidade de São Paulo Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares São Paulo - Brazil Deciding how to decide: part 1: The extended structure of unstructured decision processes Willy Hoppe de Sousa (author) Abraham Sin Oih Yu (adviser) rev 0 August-2008 1
  2. 2. Content 1. Initial remarks 2. Decision making process:“tradicional” perspective 3. “Problems” with the “tradicional” analysis 4. What are metadecisions? • Tactics in decision makings 5. Types of metadecisions • Process • Solution 6. The structure of unstructured decision processes 7. References 8. For more information... 2
  3. 3. Initial remarks One of the main objetives of this presentation is calling for the attention of a subject somehow neglected by the academy and by consultants: the decisions about the decision process itself. The “traditional” approach involves the so called “bounded rationality decision process” and one “classical” approach is presented by the academicists and consultants by stressing the need to identify the elements of the decision process, namely, the problem, the objectives, the alternatives and their consequences, the risk tolerance of the decision makers, trade- off and interconnected decisions. But how to identify and analyse all these elements considering the whole perspective of the decision process in one integrated framework? 3
  4. 4. Initial remarks In “the real world”, there may be chalenges to make a decision: time constraints, conflicting interests; decision makers may also have different knowledge levels about each of the decision elements and may have doubts about which methods select to help the decision making. For our daily personal decisions, usually we don´t have to worry about the process of deciding how to decide; unfortunately in organizational environments, the answer may not be the same. The botton line to decide how to decide is thinking counsciously about each step in terms of what to do, who involve and when. In other words, we need to plan the process and have the decision process under control. What really is done during the decision processes and the proposal of an extended structure for unstructured decision processes are the objectives of this presentation. The following presentation is based on excerpts of a doctorade thesis presented by the author at the 4 University of São Paulo in 2007.
  5. 5. Decision Making Process: the “tradicional” perspective Decisions Content of the decision Conteúdo das decisões Decision process elements: Elements content •Problem •Problema •Objetives •Objetivo •Alternatives •Alternativas •Consequences •Conseqüências •Risks •Risco •Risk tolerance •Predisposição aos riscos •Interconected decisions •Decisões interligadas Decision decisório Processoprocess Activated tactics Táticas ativadas Descriptive approach Exemples: •Politics in decision making •Naturalistic decision making •Cognitive bias Prescriptive approach Exemples: •Decision analysis 5
  6. 6. The “problem” with the“tradicional” analysis Despite the existence of a large literature focusing on how decisions are or should be taken, there are few theoretical articles and almost absence of empirical evidence explaning how decide how to decide, something also refered as metadecision in the scant available literature. 6
  7. 7. What are metadecisions? Metadecisions are decisions about the decision process itself and can be classified in planning and switching decisions (Mintzberg et al, 1976, p.260). Metadecisions are basically taken at the decision makers mind. In other words, usually there aren´t evidence or registers concerning their existence; we only can identify some evidences based on the consequences of these choices and by interviews with the decision makers discussing real cases. The origin for this presentation is a study of multiple cases which was carried out in order to better understand the metadecisions by focusing process metadecisions – which represent the “results” of switching decisions and, solution metadecisions – which are connected to the planning decisions. 7
  8. 8. Tactics in decision making* We refer as tactic any action a decision maker or a group of decision maker carries out with some purpose and probably will modify the personnel or collective knowledge status of any of the following decision element: problem, objectives, alternatives, consequences, risks, risk tolerance. There are an infinite numbers of tactics that experienced and/or skilled decision makers may have at hand and can be selected and activated during the decision process*. Some of them are more intuitive (for instance, using analogies to identify alternatives); Some of the may be totally structured (decision tree); Some of them may be “neutral” (individual consultancy) or totally political (pressure); Some of them may be carried lonely by the decision maker, other may be executed in group (consensus). *Due to practical limits, only some of these tactics will be mentioned in this presentation 8
  9. 9. Types of metadecisions* Process type: • Refers to the decisions a key decision maker needs to make concerning the decision process itself. It involves the following decisions: 1. about what to do (which phase / tactic activate); 2. about what tactic do alone, what tactic develop together with someone and which tactic delegate (which defines the dependence participation of the decision maker within the process); 3. about how to structure the analysis (which represents the decision of being more intuitive or use more structured processes); 4. about to influence or not the decision process and 5.about what tactic do now and what to do later (tactic temporality). Solution type: • Refers to the decisions a key decision maker needs to make concerning the solution for the problem he faces: 1. search for new solution or a modified solution; 2. search a solution for now or later or both. *types considered for the present proposal 9
  10. 10. Types of metadecisions: process Process When a key decison maker selects a tactic he Activated Tactic is also simultaneously deciding (counsciously or not): 1. what decision Process phase element he will think about (in other words, what process phase to analise); 2.who should Influence Participative dependence be involved in this tactic (participative dependence); 3. what to do with the information Analitical structure available (influence), 4. being more intuitive or being more structured in Tactic temporality the information analysis process (analytical structure) and 5.do it now or later (tactic temporality) 10
  11. 11. Process metadecisions Process phase (associated with some tactics exemples) Problem Objectives Alternative Alternative Risk Decision definition identificatio generation analysis approach approach n Recognition Incremental Memory Decision tree Risk sharing Consensus reevaluation search (Mintzberg et al, (Quinn, 1989) (Mintzberg et al, (Clemen e (Hammond et (Schweiger et 1976) 1976) Reilly, 2001) al, 1999) al, 1989) 11
  12. 12. Process metadecisions Participative dependence* (associated with some tactics exemples) Only the The key The key The key The key Only the key decision decision decision decision technical decision makers with maker with makers makers with staff maker his interested with his his technical superiors parts superiors staff and technical staff Any tactic Pros and cons Individual Devil´s Brainstorming Project analysis Consultancy advocacy (Beach & (Vroom, 2000) (Schweiger et (Clemen e Reilly, (Mintzberg et al, Mitchell,1978) al, 1989) 2001) 1976) *other participants may considered, The underlying idea here is that, in one extreme the decison maker is totally independent: tactics can be executed only by him; on the other extreme he need to fully delegate the tactic execution. 12
  13. 13. Process metadecisions Influence (associated with some tactics exemples) No Information Convincing Oportunistic, interaction exchange information manipulated, filtered information Tactic activated Rational Individual Rotulation solely by the key inspiration Consultancy decision maker or by the (Stone, 2002) (Lussier and (Vroom, 2000) Achua, 2004) technical staff (according to the dependence participation categories) 13
  14. 14. Process metadecisions Analytical structuring (associated with some tactics exemples) No Not Partially Structured analytical structured structured processing Cooptation Intuitive Rational Pilot analysis evaluation persuasion (Zhou, 1997) (Isenberg, 1984) (Lussier and (Nutt, 1998) Achua, 2004) 14
  15. 15. Types of metadecisions Solution Some tactics are dedicated to generate the solutions. The selection of these tactics Preliminar Solution depends on some preliminars ideas the decision maker may have about the possible or prefered solution. For instance, if a total new solution has to be developed, brainstorms may be a more appropriate tactic to identify such solutions. If it´s a matter of finding a customized solution, then a design Novelty tactic based on existent solution may be more appropriate tactic. Sometimes only a temporary solution need to be searched, due to urgency or other factors, meanwhile the development of a definitive solution may be postponed. Both solution metadecisions have a profound impact in the profile of the tactics Solution temporality activated and consequently in the decision process. 15
  16. 16. Solution metadecisions (associated with some tactics exemples) Solutions novelty Adapted from (Mintzberg et el, 1976) New Modified Existing solution solution solution Brainstorming Project Analogy (Clemen and (Mintzberg et al, (Courtney and Reilly, 2001) 1976) Lovallo, 2004) 16
  17. 17. Solution metadecisions (associated with some tactics exemples) Solutions temporality Adapted from (Mintzberg et al, 1976) Now Now and later later The solution A partial The “full” must be solution must solution will be identified for be identified identified and imediate now and for implemented in implementation the future a the future “full” solution must be developed 17
  18. 18. The extended structure of unstructured decision processes 1st layer Decisions Content of the decision Conteúdo das decisões Decision process elements: Elements content •Problem •Problema Traditional •Objetives •Objetivo process decision •Alternatives •Alternativas focus 2nd layer •Consequences •Conseqüências •Risks •Risco •Risk tolerance •Predisposição aos riscos •Interconected decisions •Decisões interligadas Decision decisório Processoprocess Activated tactics Táticas ativadas Metadecisions variables: Variáveis metadecisórias... ...de processo: ...process type: •Fases do processo •Process phase •Dependência participativa •Participative dependence 3 rdlayer •Influência •Influence •Estruturação analítica •Analitical structure •Tactic temporality Metadecision focus ...de conteúdo: ...solution type: •Novelty da solução •Novidade •Temporalidade da solução •Solution temporality Structural metadecisions metadecisões estruturais Who does what e quando? Quem faz o que and when? 18
  19. 19. References BEACH, Lee Roy e MITCHELL, Terence R. A contingency model for the selection of decision strategies. Academy of Management Review. [S.l.:S.v.], July, p.439-449, 1978. CLEMEN, Robert T. e REILLY, Terence. Making hard decisions. 2nd ed. Pacific Grove: Duxbury Thomson Learning, 2001. COURTNEY, Hugh e LOVALLO, Dan. Bringing rigor and reality to early-stage R&D decisions. Research Technologu Management. [S.l.]. [v.47], [n.5], p.40-45, Sept/oct 2004. HAMMOND, John S., KEENEY, Ralph L. e RAIFFA, Howard. Decisões inteligentes: como avaliar alternativas e tomar a melhor decisão. Rio de Janeiro: Campus, 1999. (portuguese edition) ISENBERG, Daniel J. How managers think. Harvard Business Review. [S.l.:s.v.] , p.81-90, November-December 1984. LUSSIER, Robert N. e ACHUA, Christopher F. Leadership: Theory, Application, Skill development. 2ed. Minessota: Thompson South-Western, 2004. MINTZBERG, Henry et al. The structure of unstructured decision processes. Administrative Science Quarterly. [S.l.], v. 21, n. 2, p.246-275, June 1976. NUTT, P. C. How decision makers evaluate alternatives and the influence of complexity. Management science. [S.l.], v.44, n.8, p.1148 – 1166, August 1998. QUINN, Brian James. Strategic change: “logical incrementalism”. Sloan Management Review. [S.l.], [v.30], [n.4], p.45-60, Summer 1989. SCHWEIGER, David M., SANDBERG, William R. e RECHNER, P. L. Experiental effects of dialectical inquiry, devil’s advocacy, and consensus approaches to strategic decision making. Academy of Management Journal. [S.l.], v.32, n.4, p.745-772, 1989. STONE, Deborah, 2002. Policy paradox: the art of political decision making. New York: W.W. Norton & company, Inc, 2002. VROOM, Victor H. Leadership and the decision-making process. Organizational dynamics. [S.l.], v. 28, n.4, p. 82- 94, 2000. ZHOU, Xueguang. Organizational decision making as rule following. In: SHAPIRA, Zur (Org.). Organizational decision making. Cambridge University Press: New York, 1997. 19
  20. 20. For more information... • Thesis file (portuguese): http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/12/12139 /tde-02042007-072002/ • Full article (english) under evaluation • paper presentation (portuguese): XXXII EnANPAD – 07-10 September – 2008 Rio de Janeiro • contact: willyhoppe@uol.com.br 20

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