Monday, August 6, 2018

Influential Factors on Leadership Decision-Making

Decision Making Theories and Factors


I work in a local county hospital. The hospital started out as a small, single brick building. As time went on, the hospital grew larger, with different departments and an emergency room. They eventually built another building next to it to serve as the family clinic. The hospital covered all of the basic needs of patients inside and outside of the community. We offered emergency services, physical therapy, cardiac rehab, respiratory therapy, sleep lab, a clinic with many family physicians including a cancer care infusion center, lab and radiology services, plus an inpatient floor, including a separate area for obstetrics. Although we offered so much, there was always a feeling of wanting more. The CEO was continuously asking for input from the employees and the patients of ways that we could do more for our community. Over some years, the idea started forming of us building on more and adding bigger and better equipment. The remodel would also bring in visiting physicians from other cities to help in specialty areas. The idea was to provide extended and specialty services to the employees, community members and even those outside of our area to prevent them from having to go to bigger cities to get the same procedures done. The idea was amazing and made sense, but then the numbers started flowing in. The CEO and board of directors had to decide what services would be offered and what new departments and equipment would be involved because it all came down to money. No matter which way the discussion went, the amount of money needing to be spent on this project was going to be huge. Is the idea worth the debt and is it going to provide the imagined outcomes? Once the plans were all made up, the CEO had to decide to sign the papers or not to complete the transaction.

The CEO needed to decide what the possible outcomes would be. He needed to look at all of the alternatives, risks and consequences that could be involved. “Decision-making is usually defined as a process or sequence of activities involving stages of problem recognition, search for information, definition of alternatives and the selection of an actor of one from two or more alternatives consistent with the ranked preferences” (http://www.politicalsciencenotes.com). He had to decide how his decision would impact the hospital, the community, patients from other towns and also all of the stakeholders involved. When leaders make decisions, it is not just about themselves, but about everybody involved. According to https://www.scribd.com/document/338844497/Decision-Making-Theories-and-Models-pdf, decision and behavior may be the core characteristics of decision-making phenomena. “They involve the process of human thought and reaction about the external world, which include the past and possible future events and the psychological consequences, to the decision maker, of those events” (https://www.scribd.com/document/338844497/Decision-Making-Theories-and-Models-pdf). The CEO later confirmed that his decision would positively impact himself, the hospital, the community and everybody else involved. They built on a brand new surgical department, inpatient department and obstetrics department. Each department includes brand new equipment and also the space to move in other equipment as necessary for specialized procedures. The visiting specialty surgeons and doctors provide services at our hospital on a weekly - monthly basis. We now provide services at our small town hospital that nobody else provides for miles around. Our employees and patients can access so much of what they need right here in our small town. The CEO made a good decision and provided patients with an ease of access, comfortable environment and a close to home situation. With the services we provided before, we were surviving, but with the impact of the decision made by the leader, we are now changing lives. 

5. Explain how and why leaders face complex problems having to make decisions on how technology can best serve an organization and its consumers. If decisions to upgrade software systems must be made, how should a leader evaluate the options? How does a leader plan a systems upgrade? Are the Vroom-Yetton-Jago decision-making models the best method for making decisions for a technological change? Why? How? Provide reasoning.

Leadership and the process of decision-making have been in the works for so many years now. Many of the ideas have stayed the same and many new ideas have also been brought to the surface. Either way, there is nothing like the changes that technology has brought to the world. Technology is a whole new world. Technology brings change, impact, new ideas and also fear. Leaders may fear technology because of the major changes that it can bring, and also because it provides so many more alternatives, risks and consequences to consider. “In the process, CEO, CFOs and COOs are becoming more immersed in technology decisions, while CIOs and CTOs -- and their IT staff members as well -- are being asked to join in on high-level decision-making teams” (www.forbes.com). According to www.forbes.com, many business leaders are being pulled into the technology world because that is what the business world is going to, leaders have to grasp the complexity of it all and also depend on other executives much more now specifically in the information technology department. 

Leaders need to evaluate several options when deciding to upgrade software, and they can do so and plan implementation by answering certain questions and evaluating situations. “Drawing on their long study of the difficulties managers have had in closing this gap, the authors identify half a dozen key challenges that managers responsible for implementing new technology must surmount: their inescapably dual role, the variety of internal markets to be served, legitimate resistance to change, the right degree of promotion, the choice of implementation site, and the need for one person to take overall responsibility” (https://hbr.org/1985/11/implementing-new-technology). Upgrading software and introducing new technology brings more options, decisions and work for leaders. The leader must take on a dual role as educator and implementer when it comes to introducing new software. Leaders need to analyze the situation and decide their role and how far they can dive in and still be an effective leader.  

The Vroom-Yetton Decision Model is the best method for making decisions for a technological change. “The Vroom-Yetton model is designed to help you to identify the best decision-making approach and leadership style to take, based on your current situation” (https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_91.htm). Not every situation is the same so it is major to have access to a model that can form to your specific situation. Also, the Vroom-Yetton Decision Model can help determine the most effective means of reaching a decision and provide consistency and order to a process. It is easy to use for everybody, so all team members can be included in the process. Also, according to https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_91.htm, researchers have found that managers are more effective, and their teams are more productive and satisfied, when they follow the model. When using the Vroom-Yetton Decision Model, three factors need to be considered and those include decision quality, team commitment and time constraints. The model framework consists of seven yes/no questions that clearly direct the leader and the team towards a decision because the answers to the questions lead them to a code. “This code identifies the best decision-making process for you and your team” (https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_91.htm).

6. Managers at every level of an organization are designated some form of legitimate power to exert control. To be a leader, it’s not always necessary to rely on legitimate power to assume control. Explain how you, as a leader with and without legitimate power, can use decision-making to theories, concepts, and models to assume control. 

As a beginner leader, without legitimate power, gaining power is a process. The power gained comes from more than one place and that depends on the actions of the leader. A leader begins with a certain amount of power just by being announced as the leader. Team members relate the title to power. The leader must gain influence to increase power. Not being able to gain influence can decrease power. The influence must be over all team members. “Leaders must be able to influence their followers to achieve greater performance; their superiors and peers to make important decisions; and stake-holders to ensure the vitality of the organization” (http://www.ccl.org). The leader must build relationships to build trust and confidence among the group. A leader can prove himself in situations but that process must be continuous to keep the influence and power flowing. “Through strong communication, constant learning and the courage to pursue profitable opportunities, a leader earns wealth, notoriety and privilege” (http://smallbusiness.chron.com). A leader must also be looking out for his team members, not just himself. He must get on a personal level with his team members, show them he cares and provide the feeling that he wants them to perform well. Team members need encouragement, rewards and knowledge from somebody that cares about them. Power can also be gained through legitimacy.

According to www.ccl.org there are seven sources of power for a leader, and those include the powers of position, charisma, relationships, information, expertise, punishment, and reward. “The top three most frequently leveraged sources of power are: the power of expertise, the power of information, and the power of relationships” (http://www.ccl.org). Leaders must use their knowledge and expertise in decision-making theories, concepts and models to assume control because that is a proven way to do it. 

A leader can gain power through competence. Knowing and sharing information and ideas on decision-making concepts, theories and models will help others see that the leader fits well within the leadership role. “A leader is expected to be an expert in his field with the ability to analyze a situation and develop several potential solutions” (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ten-ways-build-credibility-leader-20954.html). When a leader does not share knowledge and expertise the team members may feel that they are not leading them towards their objective, and some of the leader’s power can be lost. Some decisions may come easy, but many complex situations will come along needing the assistance of decision-making models, theories and concepts. It is important for a leader to keep up with their own research and education. The leader is to know their role and keep up with the times and complex situations. Team members expect to be guided by their leaders through knowledge and motivation. The team members may come up with many of the ideas and be a huge part of the final decision, but the leader is looked up to as the final say. To gain power, a leader must provide many things to their team members, and a big part of that is sharing knowledge on decision-making. Knowledge is power in a leadership role.

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