Leadership Decision Making

In: Business and Management

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Leadership Decision Making

In this article, the authors provide a brief summary of the objectives, methods, and results of research pertaining to both normative and descriptive models of decision processes used in organizations (described in detail in Vroom and Yetton, 1973).

On one hand, the normative (or prescriptive) decision making model aimed to provide a rational basis for selecting among alternative courses of action. In this model, operational research and management science are concerned with how to improve the decisions which are made. On the other hand, the descriptive decision making model aimed to understand the decisions and choices that people make. In this model, the goal is to understanding rather than improvement. To understand decisions and choices that people make; psychologists, sociologists, and political Scientists attempt to answer the following questions: how do managers really behave? What decision rules underlie managers willingness to share their decision making power with their subordinates?

Both normative and descriptive models focus on the set of alternative decisions or problem solutions from which choice is, or should be made. The normative models are based on the consequences of choices among alternatives, the descriptive models on the determinants of these choices.

Making good decisions is one of the main leadership tasks. These involve determining the most efficient and effective means of reaching the decision. The decision models summarized in this article provide a useful framework for identifying the best leadership style a manager can adopt in a given situation.

The authors concluded that different leadership styles (combined with issue of participation in decision-making by subordinates) can be effectively harnessed by managers in solving different types of problems.


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