Decision making – A Short note on the Characteristics and Types of Decisions

“Decision making is the critical act of management. It is the start of all action, good, bad, and indifferent.”

Decision making is a distinct management function. Being the essence of management, it’s a primary task of manager. Every manager is duty-bound to make decisions in relation to various business matters, questions, problems, concerns and disputes. Decision making is a crucial part of managerial activity that demands knowledge, intellect, self-awareness, clear perception with reasonable experience and exposure to the events. Considering the managerial activities, it would be appropriate to say that hardly might there be a day when decisions have not been made by a business manager.

Decision-making is regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities. Every decision-making process produces a final choice that may or may not prompt action.

Decision making is the process of making choices or reaching conclusions especially on business matters. According to George Terry, “Decision making is the selection of a particular course of action, based on some criteria, from two or more possible alternatives.” Decision making is thus choosing the best course of action out of the available options while aiming at the achievement of particular organizational objectives.

Management and decision making are to be considered as inseparable. It is the intellectual process and a purposeful activity which at varied times takes in hands all the managerial activities, such as, planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. It is the process wherein an executive, by taking in to consideration several alternatives, reaches at the conclusion about how it should be dealt successfully in a given situation.

The decisions that are taken by a manager on the basis of his authority being associated with his designation are regarded as organizational decisions. For instance, he can assign a subordinate for a particular task; with the authority given to him, he can promote his subordinate and propose job enrichment etc.  On the contrary, the decisions that belong to him personally are called as personal decisions; such as, he leaves the organization for his own sake.

There are routine and strategic decisions that a manager needs to make as and when needed. With regard to the routine decisions, it may be said that they are related with day-to-day course of business activities in which there is no specific judgment is needed. In this context, it is proper to say that such decisions are normally to be taken by lower management level. While on the other hand, strategic decisions need be taken by top management since they are concerned with policy matters or they involve long-term plans.

Besides, programmed and non-programmed decisions have a lot to do with a business organization. Programmed decisions are concerned with repetitive problems of a business that call for particular policies, procedures etc. As regards non-programmed decisions, they are to be dealt with such situations that occur unexpectedly which in turn are referred to the top management.

Finally, it must be noted that the process of decision making is to be initiated when there are alternatives so that a decision may be made or a conclusion may be reached at by selecting the best alternative in order to fulfill the purpose or to attain the organizational objectives. Decision making is integral part of management as the survival and growth of business hinges on the quality of decision making. Thus, being a continuous activity, decision making is regarded to be the heart of management.

Take a look at Professional Presentations

Written by:
K. A. Fareed (Fareed Siddiqui)
Writer, Trainer, Author, Blogger, Software Developer
BBA, MBA-Finance, MPhil-Financial Management, (MSc-Software Engineering)
MA-English, MPhil-English
Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Programming
Certificate course in English language proficiency
Level 1 – Leadership and Management ILM – UK
Pursuing CMA-USA
Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India


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