Different Types of Decision-Making


There are many different kinds of decision-making. They fall into two broad categories: Directive and conceptual styles. Furthermore, both have advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, a person will make a decision based on rationality and save time and energy. The other type of decision-making is unstructured and unprogrammed. This type of decision-making is also known as trial and error. This type is usually the best choice if time is of the essence.

Unstructured and un-programmed decisions

Typically, a programmed decision is a systematic process that identifies, evaluates, and chooses the best solution to a problem. Non-programmed decisions are less structured, require more thought, and are often novel or complex. Both involve judgment, creative thinking, and information that may be incomplete or unorganized. Unstructured decisions are sometimes called nonroutine decisions. When a manager must make a novel and complex decision, it’s important to distinguish between programmed and unstructured decisions.

For example, when the inventory is three-quarters empty, the inventory manager might decide to order beef. Although programmed decisions are often closely related to daily operations, many unstructured and non-programmed decisions are also made. Unstructured decisions involve conscious thought, information gathering, and consideration of alternatives. Unstructured decisions are often the result of unusual circumstances or opportunities. These decisions are also usually less likely to be automated and can also be delved into decision-making courses online.

Directive style decision making

The difference between the analytical and directive styles of decision-making is transparent. Analytical decision-makers like to analyze a situation and weigh the pros and cons, making rational decisions. They are less likely to be open-minded and have little tolerance for ambiguity. In contrast, the directive style favors structure and action, and it is not uncommon for directive decision-makers to make impulsive decisions. A person who is more of a directive style should be able to communicate their thoughts clearly and make decisions quickly.

The integrative style is not an excellent fit for every organization. This style focuses on the long-term growth of the organization rather than developing a new product or service. But Eisenfuhr (2011) points out that integrative style decision-makers often take risks and have a strong vision. They can convince others to work with them and create a team around their vision. The drawback of this style of decision-making is that it can be time-consuming.

Conceptual style decision making

The four significant styles of decision-making are analytical, conceptual, and behavioral. Every leader has a preference for one or more of these styles. Analytic leaders examine a great deal of information before taking action. They rely heavily on facts, data, and direct observation to inform their decisions. While analytical decision-makers are more methodical, they are generally faster and more accurate than their counterparts. The downside to abstract style decision-making is that it can take more time than analytical ones.

In contrast, those with an abstract style are often very quick to make decisions based on personal preferences. They tend to lose focus when they are in the moment. They don’t make the best action plans. They typically need more time to plan and evaluate alternatives before deciding. These individuals also tend to put others’ feelings and needs into account. However, they are often slow to make decisions, especially during hardship.

Trial and error decision-making

Compared to experimental methods, the trial and error decision-making process involves sending samples of decisions through various dynamic environments to determine the viability of each one. This method is beneficial in companies where employees are responsible for making critical decisions that may affect the company’s bottom line. Consequently, it is crucial to understand its advantages and disadvantages before implementing it in your organization. Here are some examples of how it can help you:

The benefits of trial and error decision-making can extend to the regulatory process. It can drive innovation in your business. For example, a designer might design a lighter-weight backpack. Ultimately, if it doesn’t work, they’ll have to reconsider their plan. Trial and error decision-making promotes innovation, enabling businesses to test new ideas before making final decisions. However, it should be noted that trial and error decisions are often less effective than those based on more scientific research.

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