Иностранные языки, филология и лингвистика

Because a manager is experienced he knows what to do in certain situations. The manager does not have to gather a great deal of additional information before making the decision. The manager may have a hunch or a gut feeling that a certain course of action is the right one.



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In carrying out management functions, such as planning, organizing, motivating and controlling, a manager will continually making decisions. Decision-making is a key management responsibility.

Some decisions are of the routine kind. They are decisions which are fairly quickly, and are based on judgement. Because a manager is experienced, he knows what to do in certain situations. He does not have to think too much before taking action. For example, a supervisor in a supermarket may decide, on the spot, to give a refund to a customer who has brought back a product. The manager does not have to gather a great deal of additional information before making the decision.

Other decisions are often intuitive ones. They are not really rational. The manager may have a hunch or a gut feeling that a certain course of action is the right one. He will follow that hunch and act accordingly. Thus, when looking for an agent in an overseas market, a sales manager may have several companies to choose from. However, he may go for one organization simply because he feels it would be the most suitable agent. He may think that the chemistry between the two firms is right. Such a decision is based on hunch, rather than rational thought.

Many decisions are more difficult to make since they involve problem-solving. Very often, they are strategic decisions involving major courses of action which will affect the future direction of the enterprise. To make good decisions, the manager should be able to select, rationally, a course of action. In practice, decisions are usually made in circumstances which are not ideal. They must be made quickly, with insufficient information. It is probably rare that a manager can make an entirely rational decision.

When a complex problem arises, like where to locate a factor or which new product to develop, the manager has to collect facts and weigh up courses of action. He must be systematic in dealing with the problem. A useful approach to this sort of decision-making is as follows: the process consists of fore phases: i) defining the problem; ii) analysing and collecting information;

iii) working out options and iv) deciding on the best solution.

As a first step, the manager must identify and define the problem. And it is important that he does not mistake the symptoms of a problem for the real problem he must solve. Consider the case of a department store which finds that profits are falling and sales decreasing rapidly/ The falling profits and sales are symptoms of a problem. The manager must ask himself what the store's real problem is. Does the store have the wrong image? Is it selling the wrong goods? Or the right goods at the wrong prices? Are its costs higher than they should be?

At this early stage, the manager must also take into account the rules and principles of the company which may affect the final decision. These factors will limit the solution of the problem.

One company may have a policy of buying goods only from home suppliers; another firm might, on principle, be against making special payments to secure a contract; many enterprises have a rule that managerial positions should be filled by their own staff, rather than у hiring outside personnel. Rules and policies like these act as constraints, limiting the action of the decision-taker.

The second step is to analyze the problem and decide what additional information is necessary before a decision can be taken. Getting the facts is essential in decision-making. However, as already mentioned, the managers will rare have all the knowledge he need. This is one reason why making decisions involves a degree of risk. It is the manager's job to minimize that risk.

Once the problem has been defined and the facts collected, the manager should consider the options available for solving it. This is necessary because there are usually several ways of solving a problem. In the case of the department store, the management may decide that the store has the wrong image. A number of actions might be possible to change the image. New product could be introduced and existing lines dropped; advertising could be stepped up; the store might be modernized and refurbished or customer service might be improved.

It is worth nothing that, in some situations, one of the options may be to take no action at all. This is a decision just as mach as taking a more positive course of action. Peter Drunker, in his book The Practice of Management, gives a good example of the no-action option. He writes about a shipping company which, for twenty years, had problems filling a top position. Each person selected got into difficulties when doing the job:

In the twenty-first year, a new President asked, what would happen if we did not fill it?' The answer was Nothing'. It then turned out that the position had been created to perform a job that had long since become unnecessary.

Before making a decision, the manager will carefully assess the options, considering the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Having done this, he will have to take a decision. Perhaps he will compromise, using more than one option. Thus, the manager of the department store may solve his problem by making changes in the product range, increasing advertising and improving the interior of the store.


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