Decision making can be termed as the process of making a choice, based on setting the goals, information collection, and consideration of alternative options (Barabba, 2011). Decision making is a key aspect of society’s everyday lives, as well as companies because decisions are made all the time. The decision-making process does not always guarantee the best results because the process itself does not guarantee an individual will choose the right option. The aim of this paper is to look at the decision-making process and show the way it can be implemented in the working environment using Jackson’s Case.
Jackson is the chief information officer of McConnell Spice. McConnell Spice is a company based in Maryland that deals with spices. The company does its best to increase productivity, as well as efficiency and still maintain its connection to its worldwide sources. Jackson came up with an idea that would see the company reduce the time required for development and reduce the company’s costs by half (“BMGT 317 final project: McConnell’s Spice”). The idea entailed implementation of a new global knowledge-sharing application. Upon approaching the president of the company, Jackson was tasked with the responsibility of deciding the firms that would be the best in helping the company develop and implement such global knowledge-sharing application.
From the case study, it can be seen that there were some decisions that had to be made by Jackson, the team, as well as organization. Jackson had to make a decision on who to include on the team, a person who would be responsible for selecting the firm to develop the application. Another decision that Jackson had to make was whether to present the team’s findings to the board of directors of just present Standard IT Systems as the best option. The team had to make a decision on the firms that best suited to implement the global knowledge-sharing application. The organization then had to review the findings of Jackson and his team and pick out the best firm that could implement the application.
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Jackson, the team, as well as the organization, had to apply the decision-making process for them to reach the best decision for the company. Decision-making process entails identifying the problems, gathering information, brainstorm solutions, choosing alternatives, implement the plan, and evaluate the decision’s outcomes (Drummond, 2011). Jackson had several main decisions to make in the whole study.
The first decision incorporated choosing the team members. The problem arose, while identifying the people to put on his team. Jackson had eleven members on his team, three women and eight men. Three women had more experience in the global sourcing field, and this was a clear indicator that the new software would fall within the responsibility of women. However, the men had more experience in the IT sector. In the same department, there was Rosemary, who had come recently from ADM, which had already used the global knowledge-sharing application. Rosemary’s knowledge was very important because she did not need to undergo training for her to use the application once it was introduced. John was also a member of the IT department, and he had also come from ADM (“BMGT 317 final project: McConnell’s Spice”). John, during his time at ADM, had been a part of the team that selected the firm that implemented the application at ADM. The other members of the team had the basic knowledge of application, but would require some form of training once the application was up and running. Jackson had gathered all the information that he required implementing his decision by this point. The remaining thing was the decision implementation, based on the information collected.
As Jackson is making the selection decision, he must consider the qualifications of team members, as well as their competencies. The inclusion of Rosemary and John in the team would be paramount because of their past knowledge connected to using the application in another organization. The selected team would determine the quality and the cost of implementation of the application. The selection of the team would mainly be affected by the lack of knowledge by the members of IT department. Another problem in the team selection would be cooperation between the team members.
The second decision that Jackson had to make was whether to present the findings of the team or whether to present Standard IT Systems to the board of directors as the best solution. Jackson came to crossroads when he went to the office of Ann McConnell because she wanted to know how the project was progressing. Upon the assessment of the summary that had been reached by the second week by the team, Ann was shocked that Standard IT Systems was not on the list. She suggested Jackson they should include the firm, even though the firm was only involved in the accounting software (“BMGT 317 final project: McConnell’s Spice”). She claimed that they could expand easily and that since they had some form of knowledge about the current systems in place, they would offer a better deal. Jackson, upon his research, found out that Standard was owned by the son in law of Ann McConnell. He also found out that the company had previously been engaged in more complex applications.
The decision-making process continued, and Standard was considered not such a good option. As Jackson was in the hall, he met with Ann McConnell and gave him the date for the board meeting. As the two were about to part, Ann suggested that Standard was the best firm to carry out the implementation and told Jackson to pretend that they had looked into the other firms. Jackson was torn in between presenting the results they had worked so hard for, and presenting what the boss wanted. Jackson would face the consequences if he did not present what Ann wanted and, also, he would be providing wrong information to the board of directors, which would be unethical.
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The right thing to do for Jackson would be to present their findings, rather than present what Ann wanted. However, Jackson would face serious consequences, such as losing his job if he did not present what the president wanted. The coercion, faced by Jackson, would affect his decision-making process, and, as such, he would most likely make the wrong decision to save his position. The decision would be made after evaluating whether he prefers to be ethical or lose his job at the company. Another possible consequence that Jackson would face would be that he would demote or even lose his job for being unethical.
The team also had to make a decision of determining the best firm to implement the global knowledge-sharing application. The team has put into consideration the cost of implementing the application, as well as the experience of the firms. The principle of minimum cost had to be implemented, as well as experienced, so as to ensure that high-quality work was done. In the team, there were people who opted for Johnson and company, which was the people’s choice. Other workers opted for TECH4U, since they already had the basic knowledge of the current system that was being used at McConnell (“BMGT 317 final project: McConnell’s Spice”). There was another member of the team who thought that Information Systems Inc. had to be included. All this was the information gathered by the team members. The team then had to brainstorm for them to make for the firm the best decision possible.
The already chosen three companies were to be considered. However, there was the fourth option that was brought forward by the president, as they communicated with Jackson. Regarding ethics, the team had to choose the firm that best suited for the role and was the most economical because the company is profit oriented. The consequences involved with this decision would be that the company would invest millions of dollars in the implementation of an application, and if it were the wrong one, it would make losses for the company.
The organization itself also had to make a decision of choosing the best firm from the four shortlisted firms. The board of directors had to look at the information, provided by the team, and evaluate it based on the profitability of the firm. The firms, shortlisted for the board of directors, were TECH4U, Johnson, and Company, Information Systems Inc. and Standard IT Systems. Out of the four shortlisted firms, the board had to choose the best option that ensured that the welfare of the company is maintained, as well as its image (“BMGT 317 final project: McConnell’s Spice”). The consequences of the decision that would be made by the board were that if the decision were wrong, they would make a significant loss. The ethical issues are that the board of directors did not need to be coerced into choosing a firm that would fail to bring financial reward to the company. The best decision that needed to be made by the board of directors was Information Systems Inc. The firm had 25 years of experience and was the cheapest of the four options. Moreover, the firm had the second largest market share and was rated A+.
The decision-making process involves some steps before a person can arrive at the best decision. It entails some steps. The steps are identifying the problem, gathering information, brainstorming solutions, choosing alternatives, implementing the plan and, later on, evaluating the outcomes (Nikoi & Boateng, 2014). Jackson had the problem of coming up with a team that he identified first. The identifying of the problem comes first because, without an existing problem, no solution is needed.
The second step, involved in the decision-making process, is gathering of information, where Jackson identified the various qualifications of the team members. The information collected determined the route to be followed. Without the basic information on a problem, it would be very hard for the decision to be reached. The third step, involved in the decision-making process, was the brainstorming of solutions. Jackson brainstormed for solutions and came up with either solving the problem on his own, with the input of the staff, or whether the decision had to be made using the whole team. He decided to put together a team, which was a more effective decision.
Choosing an alternative was the next step. The decision makers came up with an alternative after consultations, which is much more effective. The implementation of the plan is also another critical step. Jackson had to choose whether to implement the plan of presenting what the group found or what the president wanted. The made decision has determined the outcome. The final step in the decision-making process was the evaluation of outcomes. After the successful implementation of the plan, the plan’s success can only be evaluated after the outcomes have been defined and measured to determine their success.