Nothing happens in any kind of organization without decisions being made. Even the organization's very existence would not be possible had someone not decided to start it. A person makes thousands of decisions in varying degrees of importance every day, so it's fairly easy to imagine how many decisions are made daily in a business. They are continuous, with the results of one decision affecting the next one and the next. Decisions are a vital part of society, yet people largely pay them no mind until things get serious.
Nearly every decision counts towards the success (or failure) of the business and the continued balance of its organizational behavior. There are more types of decisions that are made in a professional setting than one would expect, and the effects of being careless or failing to think things through in making a decision can be quite extraordinary. This article will explore the role and effects that decision making has in business and organizational behavior, with a look at who really has the final say.
How Decision Making Works in Organizational Behavior
In business, some of the decisions tend to require more in-depth contemplation due to their complexity or the gravity of the situation. There's more to consider and the effect of the potential outcome can extend beyond the decision maker, depending on what their role is in the business.2 The role decisions have in organizational behavior can cause the different aspects to shift one way or the other and alter the dynamics amongst the staff. The clientele of the business can also be directly and/or indirectly impacted by internal decision making. Depending on the size of the company, decisions can carry some weight to them as there can be hundreds or even thousands of people affected. With that in mind, significant business decisions should be thoroughly thought through first.
Types of Decisions in Business
The Role and Impact of Ethics
Ethics and decision making often go hand in hand in the business world. A decision that violates ethical standards can lead to significant backlash from the public and from the law. The impact can be incredibly damaging for the business, and it may not be possible to recover from the ramifications of not abiding by an ethical code. The ethical standing of a person who is or may be in a position of power in a business making can be a way for others to predict the outcomes of their decisions, which can be a deciding factor in giving them that power in the first place.
When a decision is made that goes against the accepted ethics, there are often consequences that the person and the business need to face. This is still the case when an ethical violation was not the intention, as even carelessly made decisions can have ethical consequences. If, say, an employee operating machinery in a factory chooses to not follow all safety procedures out of laziness or to save some time, it could be seen as an unethical decision because it has the potential to put people's lives in danger. Those who are put in positions where they may have to make serious decision need to be comfortable with and aware of the ethics of the situations they may face.5
Who Has The Power?
Technically, everyone in the company has the power to make or influence decisions and generate an impact on the organizational behavior of the business. Each person is a functional, independent part of the business, and they do have some control over what effect they have through their particular role. However, certain positions have more power than others and therefore their decisions can lead them to have more control over the business. Someone who is in management, for example, will certainly have more power than someone who is in an entry-level office position at the same company.
The amount of power someone has can certainly influence their decision making-the idea of a power trip is one that many people are familiar with and have witnessed before. They can be swayed by their personal views into acting more in their best interest and not the business'. There is also the issue of workplace politics, which can generate favoritism and unethical behavior.6 A person in a high ranking position within a business could abuse their power and attempt to sway a person's decision making towards their preference, even though they may not have any official say in the matter.
While such things can be problematic and even harmful to a business' organizational behavior, they do happen. Prevention of such instances are usually done by having a system of checks-and-balances built into organizational behavior and company polices. In most democratic countries, this is how the different branches of the government are intended to operate cohesively and effectively.
What Can Affect Effective Decision Making?
There are sometimes so many factors involved in making a decision that it can seem impossible to choose an option. Many of these factors can shift a person's choice and guide them towards a solution to their problem. While there are some factors that can be beneficial in decision making, there are unfortunately obstacles that may make things difficult. Several of the following obstacles may be more applicable to certain situations than others, but they are common problems faced in decision making in a business setting.
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