In addition to technical and operational factors which can be quantified and analyzed, other factors such as personal values, personality traits, psychological assessment of the decision maker, perception of the environment, intuitional and judgmental capabilities and emotional interference must also be understood and credited in the decision making process.
Some researchers have pin-pointed some areas where managerial thinking needs to be re-assessed and where some common mistakes are made that affect the decision making process as well as the efficiency of the decision, and these mistakes should be avoided as far as possible. Some of these drawbacks and limitations are:
Decision making is a very heavy responsibility. The fear of its outcome can make some people timid about making a decision. This timidity may result in taking a long time for making a decision and the opportunity may be lost. This trait is a personality trait and must be looked into seriously. The managers must be confident as well as quick in making decisions.
This is quite a common practice, known as “procrastination”, and results in decision making under pressure of time which generally eliminates the possibility of thorough analysis of the problem as well as the establishment and comparison of all alternatives, which is time consuming.
Many students who postpone studying until near their final exams usually do not do well in the exams. Even though some managers work better under time pressures, adequate time period is most often required to make an intelligent decision. Accordingly, a decision plan must be formulated; time limits must be set for information gathering, analysis of information and selection of a course of action.
It is a very common practice to cure the symptoms rather than the causes. For example, a headache may be a symptom of some deep-rooted emotional problem so that simply a medicine for headache would not cure the problem. It is necessary to separate symptoms and their causes. The success of the decision is dependent upon the correct definition of the problem.
Very often, we take it for granted that the other person’s opinion is very reliable and trustworthy and we do not check for the accuracy of the information ourselves. Most often, the opinion of the other person is taken so that if the decision fails to bring the desired results, the blame for the failure can be shifted to the person who had provided the information.
However, this is a poor reflection on the manager’s ability and integrity and the manager must be held responsible for the outcome of the decision. Accordingly, it is his moral obligation to analytically judge the accuracy and reliability of the information provided to him.
Since a lot of information is required, especially for non-programmed decisions, the procedures to identify isolate and select the useful information must be sound and dependable. Usually, it is not operationally feasible to objectively analyze more than five or six pieces of information at a time.
Hence, a model must be built which incorporates and handles many variables in order to aid the decision maker. Also, it would be desirable to define the objectives, criteria and constraints as early in the decision making process as possible. This would make the process more formal.
Making a decision is not the end of the process but really a beginning. The decision has no value until it is implemented. The outcome of the implementation of the decision is the true barometer of the quality of the decision.
Duties must be assigned, deadlines must be set, evaluation process must be established and any contingency plans must be prepared. The decision must be implemented whole-heartedly and accepted by all in order to get the best results.