Decision-making is an important skill for young college graduates to learn. The concept of decision making can be seen as the ability to evaluate alternatives in order to develop appropriate methods to obtaining goals (Edwards & Tversky, 1967). The more effective a person is in developing their decision making skills the more effective they will be in designing strategy.
One of the main criteria for any executive is to develop and implement strategy. One must think through all of the possible outcomes, understand the situation in it’s entirely, and then implement a program that effectively makes its way to an appropriate outcome. This is a complex and informational laden task that can be difficult on a macro scale.
Decision making skills can be improved with time and effort. For college students they learn these concepts in strategic management while others may learn them in corporate training. Improvement of such skills depends on the strength of that instruction and training (David & Maiyo, 2010). Learning the overall processes and hierarchical decision-making components of strategic thinking is a long-term process.
A study by Dr. Alduaij (2012) attempted to assess the business decision making ability of students at the University of Kuwait. A sample of 200 students from the first and fourth year of the university was used within the testing. Two fundamental questions were applied which included the decision-making ability of the students as well as any gender differences. The scale used 56 items to measure 8 decision-making skills.
-Business students were above average in suggesting alternative skills and identifying the problem skill.
-Business students were above average in determining the goals skill, thinking of the requirements of decision-making skill, ordering of alternative skills, and choosing the best alternative skill.
-Business students had average implementation skills.
-Business students had below average consultation skills.
-No significant differences between males and females.
-Decision-making ability increased over the years of educational attainment.
Decision-making ability is developed overtime through education and training. Decision-making is part of strategic thinking and requires the ability to critically think about the various components of a decision as well as the possible outcomes. Students have significant differences in ability between first and fourth years of education. Genders did not appear to have an influence on ability. In the case of students from the University of Kuwait the ability of consultation with others is lacking. Such deficits may be culturally based upon the students socialization.
Author: Dr. Murad Abel
Alduaij, H. (2012). A study of business administration college student’s decision-making skills at Kuwait University. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3 (2).
David, M,. & Maiyo, J. (2010). Participatory Decision Making in Secondary Schools. Problems of Education in the 21st Century; Vol (21), 120-133.
Edward, W., & Tversky, A. (1967). Decision Making Selected Readings, Penguin Modern Psychology Readings. Clipper Mill Road Baltimore, U.S.A.