Leadership and Decision Making

Different countries and organisations use different leadership styles to manage their day to day affairs. It is necessary for them to explore the origin of these differences and how they are changing with the passage of time. It is also imperative to design a normative or situational model of leadership development which leaders can use as a guide to adapt their leadership styles in attempt to take on modern challenges they face.

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Some Common Decision Making Styles:
Leaders and senior executives adopt many leadership styles to make important decision. However, it is pertinent to note that none of these styles is the best as they are optimum under certain circumstances. For instances, there are some leaders who are despotic in nature and therefore, do not consult with anyone while making decisions. This might work well for them if they are leading a small organisation but for a big company, they should consult with board members and important employees to make informed decisions in the context of unique financial needs.

There are usually two types of leadership styles that are Manager Centred Leadership and Group Centred Leadership. Each of these styles has its own methods of making decisions. For instance, decision making authority rests solely with the manager in the earlier style. However, managers who adopt the later style also consult with teams or even delegate some authority to the groups to make independent decisions.

Effective Decision:
Many managers fail to make right or effective decisions because they do not keep into consideration the decision making situation. They tend to take decision based on past experiences or their knowledge and totally ignore the situation at hand. It is imperative for them to match decision making process with decision making situation in order to make an effective and result oriented decision.

Criteria for Effective Decision Making:
Following lines explain some of the most important points while making a decision.

  • Decision Quality:
    The first and foremost requirement of an effective decision is to determine whether it was consistent with all the available information. This is important as it increases your likelihood to achieve the goals associated with that decision.
  • Implementation:
    You also need to ensure whether the decision created the necessary commitment for the employees to implement it wholeheartedly. Furthermore, decision should be clear, concise enough for them to understand easily.
  • Cost:
    Managers also need to make decision in a timely manner so that it does not consume more time than actually required to achieve the goals for which the decision was made. If the decision is taking too long a time, then it cannot be an effective one.
  • Development:
    Another attribute of an effective decision is to enhance group members’ knowledge and expertise. It also increases employees’ desire and ability to work together as a team and their feeling of being an important and valued part of the organization.

The Time Driven Decision Model:
The time driven decision making model takes least amount of time to obtain a high quality decision that is effectively implemented as well. However, there are many drawbacks of this model that is the decisions are usually short term and they do not contribute to the development of the employees.

The Development Driven Model:
This particular model uses the developmental model consistent with a high quality decision that is effectively implemented. The process is not time bound and adds long term value to the organisation.

Decide How to Decide:
No matter which decision making style you adopt, you will not be able to make effective decision unless you don’t decide how you are going to decide. A good decision always involves leadership as well as group expertise. These two ingredients will help you align organisational goals and create necessary commitment for employees to implement the decision.

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Changing Decision Making Trends:
Finally, it is pertinent to discuss about major trends which have changed the way leaders used to make decisions. Mind blowing technological developments and globalisation have altered the decision making styles. Leaders now have to consider rapid changes occurring in their respective industries to make informed and effective decisions. Some of the trends which have both positive and negative impact on decision making styles are as under.

  • Globalisation which adds to the complexity of decision making process.
  • Labour force is much more educated and aware of its right than ever before.
  • Organisations are becoming more service oriented instead of focusing on their manufacturing goals.
  • Organisation’s structures have become more flattened.
  • Ever evolving and developing information technology is also responsible for changing leadership and management styles.

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