Managing Decision Making: A Reflection
Decision making is a complex process that involves giving consideration to numerous factors and perspectives. If decision making as an individual action is difficult enough, it is all the more complicated when performed by a group. In our group, the four members Aleksandar Burneski (110064964), Rocco Guiducci (110065658), Kuir Alaak (100044490) and I Mossab Aljamdi (110079132) have different personality types and character traits. Hence we bring a wide range of inputs to the process of decision making. Two features of our deliberations are conflict and conciliation. Conflict is inevitable in any group interaction, but we make sure that it is constructive and instructive. What we strive as a group is to talk, deliberate, analyse and eventually concur on our decisions. The objective of our project was to compile a report on End User Development (EUD), which is a buzzing concept in the world of Information Technology. Numerous decisions were taken at various stages of the project. This reflection will touch upon salient features of our group decision making process. My views are informed by theory and practical knowledge that I learnt through various key texts during the course.
Decision Style Effects on Group Decision Making
Personality Type Effects on Group Decision Making
Analytical individuals like me enjoy problem solving and enjoy a good challenge. Fair to say, the challenging nature of our project actually served as a motivation for me. People of my type enjoy data crunching and rigorous analysis. I am happy to state that the project in question provided me satisfaction on both counts. I also enjoy written communication, which is why I took to the task of compiling this report with enthusiasm. My strengths suitably complement what Aleksandar, Rocco and Kuir have to offer. Aleksandar falls under the Behavioural type, which means he is a good team player and very sociable. He negotiates differences through skilful and polite persuasion than aggression. In fact, Aleksandar is the great pacifier in our meetings. We love him for it. Rocco and Kuir are the Directive types. They are very focussed on getting things done and can be a little aggressive at times. But they are valuable for the group for the technical knowledge they bring to the project. To give an anatomical analogy, Rocco and Kuir would form the muscles and bones whereas Aleksandar would be the heart of our group. I myself, again with due modesty, would be its brain.
Team Development and its effect on Group Decision Making
Team size is a factor that bears upon group dynamics. Our team of 4 members is relatively small and that helps in creating strong bonds between members. Aleksandar, Rocco, Kuir and I are not only classmates but also good friends. This helps create an atmosphere of camaraderie during our discussion. The odd personal jibe or a practical joke lightens the burden of our projects. Speier et. al. have brought new understanding to group dynamics. Their work on ‘interruptions’ reveal that for cognitively simpler and space-oriented tasks interruptions do not have a negative effect. On the other hand, for complex tasks interruptions prove to be a hindrance. Our group project is neither too simple nor too complex. Hence it is fair to assume that on the whole interruptions will slightly undermine our work. But thanks to a strong team ethic that we’ve built over the course, the numbers of interruptions were minimal. If I was giving a presentation to the group, Aleksandar, Rocco and Kuir would carefully pay attention to what I have to say. They would raise their questions at the end of the presentation. I would return the favour during their presentations.
I am fairly happy with how our group has performed its coordinative tasks. However, there are areas for improvement also. While our communication skill in the conventional sense is quite solid, we do lag in terms of English language proficiency. This is an area all four of us must improve, for we all recognize how language is the vehicle for thoughts and expressing ideas. Even the best co-ordinated of our efforts will only be as good as our language level allows it to be expressed. Other areas where our team can do better are planning and organization. At times during the project we found ourselves acting and taking decisions in an ad-hoc manner. It betrayed a lack of professionalism in our approach. This we want to remedy in upcoming group activities.
Turban, Efraim, Decision Making, Systems, Modeling, and Support, Chapter 2, Decision support and business intelligence systems, pp. 38-69. Boston : Prentice Hall, c2011.
Cheri Speier, Iris Vessey, Joseph S. Valacich. The Effects of Interruptions, Task Complexity, and Information Presentation on Computer-Supported Decision-Making Performance, Decision Sciences, Volume 34 Number 4, Fall 2003.
Bazerman, Max H. & Moore, Don A., Judgment in managerial decision making, Ch. 11, pp. 179-199, Improving decision making, Hoboken, NJ : J. Wiley & Sons, c2009.