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Chapter 10 Decision MakingW. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Overview Optimizing Model Satisficing Model Muddling ModelMixed Scanning Model Contingency Model W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
I The Classical Model: OptimizingOptimizing: Make the Best Decision Define the Problems Establish Goals and Objectives Generate all Possible Alternatives Consider the Consequences of all Alternatives Evaluate all Alternatives Select the Best Alternative Implement and Evaluate the Decision Questions: Can you make the Best Decision? Why? W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Some Decision Making AssumptionsAssumption One: Administrative decision making is a dynamic process that solves some organizational problems and creates others. Always more problems No final solutions Assumption Two: Complete rationality in decision making is impossible; Thus, administrators seek to satisfice rather than optimize. Why? Optimize--the Best Decision Satisfice-- “Good Enough” Bounded Rationality--Best of a narrow set of alternatives. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Decision Making AssumptionsAssumption Three: Values are an integral part of decision making. Assumption Four: Decision making is a general pattern of action found in the rational administration of all tasks and functions. Define the problem Analyze the difficulties in the situation Establish criteria for a satisfactory decision Develop a strategy of action Initiate a plan of action Evaluate the outcomes Tasks of Administration: C&I, supervision, finance & business, PR, etc. Functions of Administration: policy, resources, executive action W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
II The Administrative Model: SatisficingSatisficing: Make a Satisfactory Decision Recognize and Define the Problem Initiate Action Plan Program Communicate Monitor Appraise Analyze the Difficulties Get the Relevant Facts Classify the Problem Specify Problem Situation Develop a Plan of Action Consider Alternatives Weigh Consequences of Each Alternative Deliberate Select Course of Action Establish Criteria for a Satisfactory Solution W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
II Steps in Administrative Model:Satisficing Step 1: Recognize and Define the Problem or Issue Be sensitive to difficulties. Define the problem: conceptualize it. Don’t define problem either too narrowly or broadly. What is the short-term problem? What is the long-term problem? W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Satisficing Step 2: Analyze the Difficulties in Existing SituationClassify the problem. New problem or Old? Generic or Unique? Routine or Novel? Two common mistakes: Treat routine problem as new problem. Treat new problem as an old one. Get the Relevant Facts What is involved? Why? Where? And When? To what extent? W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Satisficing Step 3: Establish Criteria for a Satisfactory OutcomeWhat are the minimum objectives to be achieved. Compare your “musts” with your “wants.” Compare the ideal with satisfactory. What is good enough? The minimums that you must get to have a satisfactory decision--the boundary conditions. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Satisficing Step 4: Develop an Action Plan or Strategy Warnings:Do not decide questions that are not pertinent. Do not decide prematurely. Do not make decisions that cannot be effective. Do not make decisions that others should make. Developing a strategy is the heart of the decision-making process. Specify your Alternatives. Predict the Consequences. Deliberate and Develop a Plan Let’s examine each aspect of developing a strategy of action. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Develop Plan of Action 1. Specify AlternativesDevelop a good list of alternatives--your options. Generally speaking the more options the better, but try for at least a dozen; time is a constraint. Search for novel and creative options. Pause and reflect; avoid simple dichotomies. Always consider “doing nothing” as your first option. In brief-- Make few dichotomous distinctions. Use divergent thinking strategies. Make and take time to develop a good set of alternatives. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
2. Predict Consequences For each alternative, predict the probable consequences. Often the development of alternatives and consequences occur together. Try to anticipate the unexpected. Groups are often important at this stage because the help gauge the possible outcomes. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
3. Deliberate and Select Course of ActionReflectively analyze your options and their consequences. Develop a plan with contingencies. Start with first option and then go to second, third, etc. depending on the actual consequences. Think as many steps ahead as you can. Be ready to shift plan if unexpected happens. If you cannot find an acceptable alternative, be prepared to lower your aspiration level--lower criteria of satisfaction. Use some simple heuristics if possible. Be prepared to rethink your entire strategy if necessary. Develop and exit strategy W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Final Step in SatisficingStep 5: Initiate and evaluate your plan of action Program. Communicate. Monitor. Assess success using criteria of satisfaction. The end is usually a new beginning. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Summary of Administrative Model: SatisficingStep 1: Recognize and Define the Problem or Issue Step 2: Analyze the Difficulties in Existing Situation Step 3: Establish Criteria for a Satisfactory Outcome Step 4: Develop an Action Plan or Strategy Step 5: Initiate and evaluate your plan of action W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
TRAPS IN DECISION MAKING TO AVOIDAnchoring Trap: Giving disproportional weight to initial information Comfort Trap: A bias toward alternatives that support the status quo Recognition Trap: Tendency to place a higher value on that which is familiar Representative Trap: Tendency to see others as representative of the typical stereotype Sunk-Cost Trap: Tendency to make decisions that justify previous decisions that are not working. Framing Trap: Framing of the problem impacts the eventual solution (Be careful.) Prudence Trap: Tendency to be overcautious when faced with high-stakes decisions Memory Trap: Tendency to base predictions on memory of past events, which are often over-influenced by both recent and dramatic events W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
III The Incremental Model: MuddlingMuddling: Successive Limited Comparison Charles Lindblom describes the way most decisions are made as the process of muddling through. A small and limited set of options are considered. Options are only marginally different from existing situation. Options are considered by comparing actual consequences. Try the option and then observe consequences. If consequences are fine, then a little more. If consequences are negative, then back off and try something different. Focus is on outcomes and trial and error. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Muddling Through Summary of Distinctive FeaturesMeans-ends analysis is inappropriate because objectives and generating alternatives occur simultaneously. Good solutions are what decision makers agree to regardless of objectives. Alternatives and outcomes are drastically reduced by considering only options similar to current state. Analysis is restricted to differences between existing state and proposed alternatives. Muddling eschews theory in favor of successive comparison of concrete, practical alternatives. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
IV The Mixed Scanning Model: An Adaptive StrategyMixed Scanning is guided by two questions: What is the organization’s mission? What decisions move the organization towards its mission and policy? Mixed scanning is a combination of the administrative model and mixed scanning model; it is directed, incremental change. Mixed scanning has its roots in medicine. A broad goal, mission, or policy guides the decision process. Decisions are made incrementally, but with the broad goal in mind. Consequences are assessed in terms of the goal. Decisions are made with partial information. Then further small decisions are made if progress is good. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Principles of Mixed ScanningUse focused trial and error. Be tentative--proceed with caution. If uncertain, procrastinate. Stagger your decisions in stages. If uncertain, factionalize your decisions. Hedge your bets. Be prepared to reverse your decisions. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Mixed Scanning Summary of Distinctive FeaturesBroad organization policy gives direction and provides guidance. Good decisions have satisfactory outcomes and are consistent with policy and mission. The search for options is limited to those close to the problem. Information is incomplete but action essential. Theory, experience, and successive comparisons are used together. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Comparison of the Classical, Administrative, Incremental, and Mixed-Scanning Models of Decision Making Classical Objectives are set prior to generating alternatives Decision making is a means-ends analysis: first, ends are determined, and then ALL the means to obtain them are sought. The test of a good decision is that it is shown to be the BEST means to achieve the end. (Optimizing) Engage in comprehensive analysis; all alternatives and all consequences are considered. Heavy reliance on theory. Administrative Objectives are usually set prior to generating alternatives. Decision making is typically means-ends analysis; however, occasionally ends change as a result of analysis. The test of a good decision is that it can be shown to result in a SATISFACTORY means to achieve the end; it falls within the established boundary conditions. (Satisficing) Engage in “problemistic search” until a set of reasonable alternatives is identified. Reliance on both theory and experience. Incremental Setting objectives and generating alternatives are intertwined. Because means and ends are not separable, means- ends analysis is inappropriate. The test of a good decision is that the decision makers can agree an alternative is the “right” direction when the existing course proves to be wrong. (Successive comparing) Drastically limit the search and analysis; focus on alternatives similar to the existing state. Many alternatives and important outcomes are ignored. Successive comparisons reduce or eliminate the need for theory. Mixed Scanning Broad policy guidelines are set prior to generating alternatives. Decision making is focused on broad ends and tentative means. The test of a good decision is that it can be shown to result in a satisfactory decision that is consistent with the organization’s policy. (Adaptive satisficing) Limit the search and analysis to alternatives close to the problem, but evaluate alternatives in terms of broad policy. More comprehensive than incrementalism. Theory, experience, and successive Comparisons used together. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
V A Contingency Model of Decision MakingYes Satisficing Important? Yes Sufficient Time? No Truncated Satisficing Yes Yes Adaptive Satisficing Important? Decision Opportunity No Sufficient Information? Truncated Adaptive Satisficing No Yes Adaptive Satisficing Important? Yes Truncated Adaptive Satisficing No Sufficient Time? No Muddling to Adaptive Satisficing Yes Important? No No Muddling W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
End Decision Making in SchoolsSwift and Smart DM Rules Satisficing Rule: Optimizing is impossible in school administration: learn to satisfice. Framing Rule: Frame problems in positive terms for positive results. Default Rule: Consider as a first option “doing nothing.” Simplicity rule: Simplicity trumps complexity; start simple. Uncertainty Rule: Uncertain environments often require ignoring information; trust your intuition in this regard. Take-the-Best Rule: Choose the first satisfactory option. Transparency Rule: Make transparency in decision making a habit of thought and action. Contingency Rule: Reflect on your successes and failures; think conditionally. Participation Rule: Involve others in decisions when you deem they have relevant knowledge, a personal stake, and are trustworthy. End Decision Making in Schools W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
Practical ImperativesUse satisficing models of decision making: Optimizing is impossible. Frame problems in ways that enhance positive, productive solutions: Framing does affect solutions. View decision making as a continuous process: There are no final solutions. View problems in terms of both short- and long-term goals: Immediate actions should be consistent with long-term goals. Employ decision-making heuristics carefully: Avoid their hidden traps. Use adaptive satisficing when information is vague or overwhelming or when time is of the essence: Adapt decision making to these decision constraints. Employ objectives, mission, or policy to guide your decisions making: Adaptive satisficing needs direction. Decide on the appropriate decision-making strategy: Assess the sufficiency of information, available time, and the importance of the decision before deciding. Use soft vigilance to solve problems under pressure: Hypervigilance produces panic. Remember there are no final solutions, but only satisfactory solutions for the present. W. K. Hoy © 2003, 2008, 2011
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