The decision maker in an organization will need to employ one or other of the following styles.
The group leader solves the problem, using the information he possesses. He does not consult with anyone else nor seek information in any form. This style assumes that the leader has sufficient information to examine all the relevant options and make an effective decision but that is rarely the case.
When the leader does not possess sufficient information to make an effective decision, he will need to obtain information or skill from others. He may not tell them what the problem is; normally, he simply asks for information. The leader then evaluates the information and makes the decision.
The leader explains the situation to the group or individual whom he provides with relevant information, and together they generate and evaluate solutions. Alternatively, he may ask the group or individual to conduct a survey/ investigation and make recommendations. Finally, the leader evaluates the solutions or recommendations the group or individual has put forward and then makes a decision, which may or may not take these views into account.
The leader explains the situation to the group or individual and provides the relevant information. Together they attempt to reconcile differences and negotiate a solution that is acceptable to all parties. The leader may consult with other before the meeting in order to prepare his case and generate alternative decisions that are acceptable to him.
Responsibility and authority for making the decision are given to the group or individual. The leader provides all the relevant information that he possesses. The leader’s role then becomes that of chairman. He guides and controls the discussion but does not attempt to force his opinions on the group. He prepared to accept and implement any solution proposed by the group or individual.
Decision making in meetings
Part of the thrust of decision making is thinking style. Argument, the mainstream of group discussion, often forms part of the decision –making process. Rational argument, a free and open encounter in search of the truth, implies some rules, some common acceptance of criteria and a common commitment to the truth sought. The win –at-all-costs mentality will lead to loss at some stage and to deception and tricks to ensure that the loser is not self-selected. It is, however, difficult to steer away from such an approach, especially when the decision needs to be taken in a competitive environment.