Decision Making

Essay by RealDiamond77University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2008

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Making good decisions is a critical aspect of every day life. Almost every thing we do involves making a decision. To improve the quality of decisions we make, one must utilize a sequence of steps often called a decision-making model. A decision-making model is a step-by-step guide to help an individual make the best possible decision.

McCall and Kaplan outline six steps to critical thinking and decision-making (McCall and Kaplan, 2001):

1) Define and isolate a problem

2) Gather information

3) Outline possible solutions

4) Establish metrics or measures for a solution

5) Outline resources and methods available to achieve the standards

6) Choose a course of action

Managers in today's workplace, including at Aetna Healthcare, must shoulder a great deal of the responsibility for decision making. Since many issues in a rapidly changing market fall outside of established rules or well-known situations, clear and accurate thinking about these issues takes on added importance.

Managers effectively employing critical thought processes improve decision-making, enhance innovation and create strong, open lines of communication with peers and subordinates.

Aetna Healthcare recognizes the need for a clear, concise critical thinking and decision-making process, and encourages managers to foster and lead a collaborative critical thought process in day-to-day operations. According to Johnson & Johnson (1994), leaders should follow a prescribed sequence of phases. Aetna Healthcare uses this sequence to manage critical thought processes, proactively resolve conflicts and increase the likelihood of successful decisions, especially in complex situations. After defining a task, the company follows these phases:

1. Collect data. Obtaining facts is critical. Aetna Healthcare encourages decision makers to seek information and also analyze the contributions of all parties objectively.

2. Probe. By asking involving questions, decision makers encourage parties to communicate and gain a better understanding of various viewpoints.

3. Save face. A key...