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Stages in a Problem Solving Strategy

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Describe the stages in a problem solving strategy as it relates to industrial/organizational psychology. Use examples.

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There are five main stages in the organizational problem solving process:

1. Finding the Problem. For example, the first stage is the most important, and sometimes most difficult to find the problem, as it might not be what it seems to be. Symptoms can both illuminate and mask underlying organizational problems. Finding the problem is a detective game in which the critical clue is sometimes obvious and other times subtle and intuitive, emerging only after a long process of search and elimination. Organizational problems, once found, are generally obvious and self-evident but they do not appear so at the beginning. What one wants to avoid is called a Type III error; the error of working on the wrong problem. There are usually many problems but which are really critical?

2. Formulating the Problem. It is important but difficult as values need to be surfaced and dealt with in order to create a shared understanding about what is going on and how to improve. Organizations have many ...

Solution Summary

By discussion and example, this solution describes the stages in a problem solving strategy as it relates to industrial/organizational psychology.

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Two brothers own a company that makes battery-operated paint sprayers. One brother is convinced paint sprayers are in the maturity stage of the product life cycle (PLC) and wants to implement strategies that will stimulate sales. The other brother is critical of the whole PLC concept. Over the years, as more competitors entered the market and their profits shrunk, they have debated the PLC concept. Why would one brother be so in favor of the PLC concept and one be so opposed to it?

Kotler, P. (2003). Marketing Management, 11/E. Prentice Hall. Chapters 11,12, and 13, Pages 307-405. MBA

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