Managerial Decision Making

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TASK 1– further information:


Complete Tasks 1a and 1b and 1b – submit within ONE document.


Consider that writing critically - is about building on your existing skills to be able to present strong insights into the topic area you are looking at. So you need to be able to:

  • Understanding and comprehend that topic – understand the key points, assumptions, and arguments
  • Analyse that topic– thinking about how these key points fit together and relate to each other
  • Compare those key points – explore how they are similar or different
  • Synthesise – bring together different sources and information and understanding to help analyse and compare those key points. You will be making connections between the different sources and help you shape your thoughts and support your ideas and views in your writing.
  • Evaluate the breadth of a topic– Assess the worth of a view or an idea in terms of its relevance to your needs and purpose in your writing. Do you think the view or idea is very important to your discussion? How? In what ways? Consider the evidence upon which those ideas or views are based and how it relates to other relevant ideas or views you have read about.
  • Apply your understanding – use your evaluation to help you address questions and tasks in the same area
  • Justify – use the thinking you have developed by doing the steps above to develop arguments, draw conclusions, make inferences, and identify implications.

(Adapted from the Open University (2013)).

You can find further help from the university guides on critical thinking here.

You may also find it helpful to think further on two important areas when developing your critical thinking skills:

1-Question the data

Always consider the evidence about any issue you are exploring. Think about how valid the data is? How reliable is it? Was it gathered in a robust and repeatable manner? Views coming out of an issue you are exploring need to be supported and substantiated; theories proven; references, facts and bias checked; and research methods investigated.

If you think and write like this – you are exhibiting the skills of a critical thinker.

2-Recognising bias

Value free research does not exist in the social sciences. Research always draws upon preferred views of data and evidence and you write about those views to support your own thinking about a topic. This is not necessarily a problem but is something you need to consider in how you write and how you interpret the work of others.

What about my language and the words I use?

Academic language should be used. No first person or phrases like ‘I feel’ or ‘I think’ should be used. This may help you in earlier drafts to gather your thoughts and ideas but should not be in the final copy you submit for assessment.

Proof read your work – look out for evidence of the following typical problems:

  • Very short paragraphs - 1 sentence paragraphs (too short or a very long sentence!)
  • Very long paragraphs -1 or more page paragraphs will simply have too many ideas in such a block of text and can be very hard to follow and read. For this problem and the too short paragraph problem, restructure your page into more paragraphs that focus upon similar ideas.
  • Is your paragraphing clear and consistent;
  • Are full stops used; the comma and the semi-colon are not confused;
  • Check misspellings/ missing words and poor grammar are eradicated.



Do not rely fully upon translation software. This can lead to wholly unreadable output where the words chosen by the software simply do not make sense when put together.

If your work is unreadable/incomprehensible then it will grade poorly.

 If you DO use such software AWALYS get someone else to read your final work. This is to ensure the correct words have been translated and it still makes the point you wish to present in the work.

What is the format for this task?


This should be approximately 1000 words in overall length. Use the font Arial or Times New Roman  - size  12 with 1.5 spacing. Paginate your work with margins at least 2.54 to the left and right justified.  Ensure you use Harvard referencing conventions throughout.


Learning Outcomes Assessed in Task 1


All the work you submit for assessment will be guided by how it helps you to demonstrate that you understand and have relevant level skills, for the topic you are studying.


For this first assessment task in your portfolio, the learning outcomes are as follows (in other words – this is the learning you will be demonstrating in your essay):


LO1-Appreciate the complex nature of the decision-making process and the role that decision analysis tools can play in supporting business decisions.  

LO2-Synthesise and critically evaluate applications of decision analysis tools from multiple literature sources in accordance with sound principles of research and academic writing.  

LO3 -Systematically structure and analyse decision problems in order to reach logical conclusions 

LO4 -Apply appropriate decision tools analysis and effectively communicate the results



You may NOT vary from choosing one of the presented choices .


This contributes 60% of the final grade for the portfolio submission.


  • The presented summaries are outlined in synopsis form to help guide you towards decision making issues and topics in those organisations and their environments.  THESE ARE NOT COMPLETE CASE STUDIES. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR OWN RESEARCH TO DEVELOP YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROBLEM PRESENTED.



  • The summaries do NOT include all known information and should NOT be used as the only source of your information.


Scope of topics discussed in the module for Task 2


The following is a listing of decision-making topics that are engaged with during the module and from which you can explore decision making themes in the summaries presented.


  • Decision Audit
  • Decision Types
  • VJY Decision Making
  • Organized Anarchies
  • Garbage Can Model of Decision Making
  • Broad perspectives on the approaches to decision making – RATIONAL, ADMINISTRATIVE and BARGAINING (POLITICAL)
  • Rationality
  • Cynefin Framework
  • Decision Making (DM) styles
  • Power
  • Post modern view of power
  • Non linear thinking
  • Invariant evidence (incl. cognitive paradoxes)
  • Certainty
  • Expected Utility
  • Marginal Utility
  • Expected Value (EV or sometimes Expected Monetary Value)
  • Psychodynamic Decision Making
  • Cognitive dissonance Decision Making
  • Behaviouralism Decision Making
  • Humanism Decision Making
  • Schemas  and types
  • Heuristics
  • Ethical decision making
  • Consequentialist Decision Making (CDM) (This is sometimes called utilitarianism).
  • Deonotological decision making (DDM)
  • Virtue decision making  (VDM)
  • Simple/Tame decisions
  • Decision Analysis
  • States of nature
  • Decision Trees
  • Messy Problems
  • Wicked problems
  • Problems with discrete solution sets
  • Problems with very large solution sets
  • Probability
  • Decision Trees and logic
  • Expected Monetary Value
  • Expected Utility
  • Cumulative Risk Profile
  • Sensitivity (one and two way)
  • Certainty Equivalence
  • Bayesian Revision
  • Risk Averse / Happy (Conservative / Optimistic Decision maker)
  • Data forecasting and modelling (linear and non linear)
  • Soft Systems Analysis
  • Factors shaping operational and strategic decisions
  • Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)





A-   Decisions about pay and working terms and conditions – varying Tech. companies

B-   Decisions and tensions about ethical Investments in Banking- Standard Chartered

C-   Decisions about location and relocation choices for Boeing - Boeing

D-   Decisions about monetizing of Twitter by an entrepreneur (Musk) – Elon Musk

E-   Decisions about being flexible in making choices under uncertainty- Hubspot


A)   Making HR pay choices post pandemic? (2021- Current) (This summary outlines an increasingly considered HR choice for many organisations post pandemic. You can evaluate this choice).


Summary -Google is the most recent tech employer to plan to potentially cut the pay of employees choosing to work 100% remotely post Covid-19. Their compensation would be based on where they live, not the office they were once attached to. Others in tech such as Facebook or Twitter and some law companies have now announced similar plans. Some companies however have decided to go the other way and have said salaries could also be adjusted up.


Are greedy companies taking away from workers who`ve given their all during and post the pandemic and putting families and marginalized employees living in cheaper areas at a disadvantage? Why would some of the world’s most famous companies decide that reducing remote workers` pay was their best option? Even those experienced with Google, feel this could be a very poor decision.


To decide whether Google`s move is fair consider the impact of globalised capitalism. Two google employees – one is on a higher salary than another, supported in their use of remote working and relocation which because of this secures more family support. The other worker on a similar salary but different role in Google and at the top of their scale asks and is refused a pay rise. Local resentment grows at the apparent benefits of one worker from working at home with that of another worker. This situation is surfaced every time there is a Zoom meeting with workers dispersed across geography but on similar pay salaries but potentially different salary bandings.

For centuries work was conditioned on showing up to a particular field, factory, or office, so pay ranges vary by location. They`re designed to attract the right candidates where the company needs them to be. It`s not the cost of living employers consider; it`s the cost of talent. The two are only partially related.


Companies will pay what it takes to attract and retain people in a particular market. It`s the cost of a software engineer that matters, not the cost of a one-bedroom flat. Put differently, an employer cares what you and people like you will accept, not what you need to live on.


Cost of living is not the real focus – it is the value of the context of the worker. Salary is based not on worker needs or created value but on what it would cost to replace the worker. Internationally mobile employees have experienced this for years. Expatriate contracts are a thing of the past. A worker moving countries is usually asked to give up their existing deal and sign again under local law - and local pay rates.


If a worker wants to move bad enough, they accept the pay cut. A smart organisation may absorb the difference into a promotion, moving the employee to a new pay band so they don`t feel the pain so instead of getting a pay cut they didn`t deserve, they don`t see a pay rise they did earn. It makes sense psychologically, if not financially. The colonial undertones of an overpaid expat class are falling out of fashion, and some think rightly so. It`s no fairer than asking an immigrant to undercut the local minimum wage.


Fundamentally, is the problem that capitalism has a location-based compensation system for increasingly location-independent work? This is requiring some companies like Reddit and Zillow to decide to pay everyone the same. Such blanket policies – where pay rates are applied regardless of employee context do not seem to solve any of the employer concerns about remote working – which tend to cluster around perceived productivity differences.  Aligning pay globally for a large multinational company though, would be a legal and logistical nightmare. For Google with 135,000 full-time employees, such levelling up across the board would cost hundreds of millions.


In the longer term, as knowledge work becomes disconnected from location, so, too, could professional pay scales. If workers insist they can work anywhere, corporations could insist it can be done by anyone.  This can create significant ethical and decision difficulties as such choices made by workers and employers often revolving around the unique situation of the worker, the nature of the power relationship between the skills and value of the worker in a labour market and assumptions about those skills and their availability but which could then lead to situations of illegal discrimination.


Decision Making Themes you could consider IN ADDITION TO CYNEFIN:

  • Situational complexity of decision making (CYNEFIN)
  • Balancing priorities in ethical decision making]
  • Ethical decision making frameworks
  • Leadership and structuring decisions
  • Making hard decisions within complex situations
  • VJY Decision Making
  • Rationality
  • Non-linear thinking
  • Cognitive dissonance Decision Making
  • Humanism Decision Making
  • Risk Averse / Happy (Conservative / Optimistic Decision maker)
  • Soft Systems Analysis
  • Factors shaping operational and strategic decisions

Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)

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