One of the most important tasks a manager perform is decisionmaking. This may be defined as the process of choosing a course of action (when alternatives are available) to solve a particular problem.
The first step, defining the problem, is perhaps the most difficult step. It involves careful analysis of a situation in order to state the problem and determine its cause. For example, a factory may be experiencing low production (the problem) because the supervisor has failed to schedule the work shifts in the most efficient manner (the cause).
Defining the expectation in Step 2 involves stating the result that is expected once the problem has been solved. The expected result after solving the problem of low production described above would be to increase the output of the factory.
Next, data are gathered about the problem. This information can be obtained from a variety of sources: observations, surveys, or published research. Many businesses rely on computers to process, summarize, and report data. Having sufficient data that are valid and reliable is necessary for Step 4.
Here the decision-maker develops feasible alternatives, or potential solutions to the problem. Using the low production example, some alternatives might include: (l) replacing the current supervisor; (2) providing the current supervisor with the necessary information and training to schedule the work shifts more efficiently; and (3) creating incentives for workers, such as higher pay or time off, in order to increase production.
In the fifth step, the decision-maker evaluates these alternatives in terms of the expected result of the solution (which is to increase production) and limitations, such as time and money. Alternative 1, replacing the current supervisor, does not guarantee increased production, and it would involve training a new supervisor. Alternatives 2, providing additional training for the current supervisor, would be time consuming and somewhat expensive but should bring about increased production. Alternative 3, creating worker incentives, may bring about increased production but would be quite expensive.
Finally, the decision-maker compares the alternatives and chooses the one that has the best potential for providing the desired results. In the low production example, the decision-maker decides to try providing the current supervisor with additional training because this alternative should achieve the objective with the lowest expenditure of time and money.
The decision-making process is followed by: (1) implementation of the chosen alternative (putting it into action) and (2) evaluation of that alternative. If the alternative achieves the desired result. it is then known as the solution. (Taken from Business Concepts for English Practice by Barbara Tolley Dowling and Marianne McDougal).
Daftar Pustaka : Suyudi, Ichwan dan Sri Widiati. 1995. Bahasa Inggris 2. Jakarta : Gunadarma.