Problem Solving and Decision-making

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Introduction Problem solving and decision-making are important skills for business and life. Problem-solving often involves decision-making, and decision-making is especially important for management and leadership. There are processes and techniques to improve decision-making and the quality of decisions. Decision-making is more natural to certain personalities, so these people should focus more on improving the quality of their decisions. People that are less natural decision-makers are often able to make quality assessments, but then need to be more decisive in acting upon the assessments made. Problem-solving and decision-making are closely linked, and each requires creativity in identifying and developing options, for which the brainstorming technique is particularly useful. Good decision-making requires a mixture of skills: creative development and identification of options, clarity of judgments, firmness of decision, and effective implementation. Case Incident 4. 2: You supervise 12 engineers. Their formal training and work experience are very similar, so you move them around on different projects. Yesterday, your manager informed you that an overseas affiliate has requested four engineers to go abroad on extended loan for six to eight months. For a number of reasons, he argued and you agreed, this request should be met from your group. All your engineers are capable of handling this assignment; from the standpoint of present and future projects, there is no special reason any one engineer should be retained over any other. Somewhat complicating the situation is the fact that the overseas assignment is generally undesirable location. (Ghillyer, 2008) How would you select who should go abroad on ex-tended loan? A way to answer this question requires knowledge. Knowing the meaning of an extended loan helps determine the choice of the subject to be selected to this assignment. An extended loan is a method of semi-permanently giving something away to someone while reserving your right to ask for it back later if you change your mind. (Dictionary, 1999) Going abroad on an expatriate assignment definitely has its benefits, both professionally and personally. The question in this case is how to select employees to go abroad? In most cases is a good decision making technique to let employees in this case the engineers know about the opportunity and let the individuals request if interested in the specific assignment. In this case all individuals are capable of completing this assignment without any complication. If four engineers request the assignment the selection process is easier. If none of the engineers request the assignment the four engineers needed would be selected randomly since all of them have the experience, training and capability for this assignment. What are some major factors that would influence your decision process? Time pressures frequently cause a manager has to move forward after considering only the first or most obvious answers. However, successful problem solving requires thorough examination of the challenge, and a quick answer may not result in a permanent solution. Thus, a manager should think through and investigate several alternative solutions to a single problem before making a quick decision. One of the best known methods for developing alternatives is through brainstorming, where a group works together to generate ideas and alternative solutions. The assumption behind brainstorming is that the group dynamic stimulates thinking one person’s ideas, no matter how outrageous, can generate ideas from the others in the group. (McFadzean, 1997). As said in the previous answer all engineers are capable of completing the task. An influential factor to the decision process in this case would be their background nature. Some influential factors are: Age, dependents, time of experience, company rank and cultural values. How would you communicate the news to those engineers selected for the assignment? Delivering bad news is the most unpleasant part of a manager’s function (unless the selected individuals enjoy the idea). Nothing is as disturbing as telling an employee they are selected to go to an overseas assignment. A good manager knows this not only affects the employee’s professional life but their personal and family life too. Delivery of bad news must be done with tact and empathy while maintaining a professional environment. Having said that, it is important to understand it can be very emotional for the manager and the employee. One important fact would be to be prepared for anger or crying. It is never easy but there are some things that the manager can do to make the best of a bad situation. First it is important to be honest with the employee. If they were selected, answer their question candidly. Let them know where they can get all their questions answered (if the answers are not available at the moment). An outline of positive points may help with the situation. Never threaten an employee with their job but be clear about the consequences of failure to comply. Following these easy steps will allow both manager and the employee to maintain a friendly environment and will show the manager as person of character and integrity. As the employee moves on they will remember how good the manager treated them and will most likely do the same when they find themselves in a similar position. What would you do if any engineer requested not to be sent overseas? Good staff communication is essential to business success. A manager can tie back almost every employee issue. According to a study companies that communicate effectively are far more likely than companies that don’t to report high levels of employee engagement and lower levels of turnover. (www. goodcommunicationskills. et, 2008) If any engineer request not to be sent overseas a good explanation would be require to be exempt from this assignment. Manager or Supervisors enjoy motivated and dedicated employees. If by any reason an employee’s does not demonstrate willingness to travel or enrich their professional and personal life a manager is forced not to consider this employee for any future assignment and most probably would not grow with the company. If by the time of the hiring process in the contract was stipulated that the position would require relocation or travel then the employee have no choice but to comply with the assignment. Conclusion All managers and supervisors have to make decisions every day. Some decisions are relatively straightforward and simple. Others are quite complex. Simple decisions usually need a simple decision making process. But difficult decisions typically involve issues like uncertainty, complexity, high-risk consequences, alternatives and interpersonal issues. With these difficulties in mind, the best way to make a complex decision is to use an effective process. For this reason managers decision making techniques were create

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