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Managerial decision

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Your challenge is to conduct a thorough analysis of a decision process. You are welcome to draw an example from within your work environment, or choose an issue from somewhere else. The idea is to analyze the decision from an overall perspective using the various elements talked about by bazerman. Please draw from the various concepts as appropriate. Hopefully, this will solidify the theme that decision making is a complex process. Subjects to address might include:

The influence of the context on the overall decision making process.
How time pressure, or lack thereof, influenced the process.
Whether or not the process evolved within the decision making event. For example, did the process become more rational or less rational?
Were there any particular influences from power individual or deeply embedded organizational beliefs?
Remember that the overall goal is to demonstrate the ability to insightfully analyze a decision. Examples are also quite useful.

Remember that "as brevity is the soul of wit, so parsimony is the soul of a cogent argument."

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Managerial decision

Your challenge is to conduct a thorough analysis of a decision process. You are welcome to draw an example from within your work environment, or choose an issue from somewhere else. The idea is to analyze the decision from an overall perspective using the various elements talked about by Bazerman. Please draw from the various concepts as appropriate. Hopefully, this will solidify the theme that decision making is a complex process. Subjects to address might include:

The decision process:

The decision process was triggered by the purchase of new financial software that simplified the entry making process, posting of ledgers and getting periodic reports. The decision was to fire three accounting clerks.

From the perspective of elements described by Bazerman, there was heuristic bias in my company against lower level employees. There is a belief that reducing the number of employees will reduce costs. In addition, there was uncertainty when the decision was made. The market demand and revenue level of iron fasteners that my company made and sold was uncertain. This triggered fresh enthusiasm to "reduce costs" in the company. Once the financial controller stated in the executive meeting that he will reduce staff in his department, there was escalation of commitment; he ordered the purchase of the software with the purpose of reducing the costs of the company. There were motivational biases that worked against the accounting clerks. One of them ...

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Managerial Decision Making: Example Problems

Sources need to be referenced at the end of the written response.

1. Discuss your most recent decision to purchase a major item i.e. entertainment center, automobile, home, etc. In what way did the acquisition utility or the transactional utility come into play for you?

2. Explain the availability, representativeness, and affect heuristics. In your answer, compare the three and discuss the positive and negative aspects of each.

3. Lately, the stock market has experienced unprecedented volatility - wild ups and downs. Discuss how stock trading has created a lot of this volatility and the decisions for stock traders to buy and sell wildly in terms of hyperbolic discounting.

4. Bernard Madoff, a once highly regarded member of the Wall Street community, recently pleaded guilty of running a $50 billion ponzi scheme. Research the driving forces behind his seemingly unethical behavior and discuss your findings. How did favoritism and bounded ethicality come into play in this case?

5. Read the case Fairness in Punishment from the link: http://www.solutionlibrary.com/business/management/managerial-decision-making-fairness-in-punishment_7nel. Discuss the Decatur School Board's decision to adopt a "no tolerance on school violence" in terms of fairness. How did implicit attitudes, perhaps, influence the school board's decision to punish such a disproportionate number of African-American students?

6. Recently, the American International Group (AIG), a global insurance and financial services organization, accepted billions of dollars from the United States Government in order to remain solvent and in operation. After receiving this money, the organization decided to pay over $160 million in bonuses. Discuss the ethical problems associated with this decision. Could in-group favoritism play a role in this decision? If you were the CEO, what decision would you have made?

7. Research the subject of the Enron and Arthur Andersen relationship. Discuss your findings in terms of the application of ethics in the various decisions made by the Enron and Arthur Andersen teams. How did bounded ethicality play a role in these decisions?

8. Eventually, the United States and Iran will have to sit down and negotiate the use of nuclear power. Discuss the issues that could be involved in such a negotiation. What cognitive mistakes might be made by the negotiators in this case? How could these mistakes be overcome in order to reach an acceptable agreement?

9. Assume that you are part of a mediation team that has been brought in to help overcome an impasse between negotiators who are deliberating the use of embryonic stem cells for a research project. The decision makers are polarized along ethical and religious lines. Since this is a potentially emotional issue, what would you do in order to break this impasse? How could the fixed pie concept come into play in this situation?

10. Recently, General Motors and the United Auto Workers had to sit down and negotiate a change in the labor agreement, in order to keep the company from going bankrupt. Consider what might have gone on during these negotiations and discuss how framing might have been used, and what issues might have been discussed, in order to reach an acceptable agreement.

11. Research Kurt Lewin's model for change. Then, discuss the three-staged de-biasing process (unfreezing, change, and refreezing) and explain the mechanisms that make each of them hard to implement. In your discussion, include how you believe such a process can help you, personally, to improve your decision-making.

12. Describe the concept of analogical reasoning. Then, considering your last purchase decision, discuss how analogical reasoning could have helped you to improve your decision and increase your satisfaction with the product or service that you purchased.

13. Bazerman and Moore suggest that we should understand the biases of others. Discuss this concept in terms of why it is important for us to understand other peoples' biases. In your discussion, focus on how you might be able to improve your decision-making in a group setting.

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