Administrative Decision Making
How do you make important decisions when confronted with organizational, social, or personal problems? Is your primary approach to use a strategic process? How many strategies do you know and use? In this course we will review and discuss research and descriptions about how "normal" people solve problems and make administrative, ethical, and social decisions. We will evaluate situations and problems where quantitative methods can be applied in order to improve both the process and outcome of complex problems. Using readings and classroom case exercises, we will consider cognitive errors or biases, as well as personality and group dynamics forces that influence making choices. We will also consider how psychological stress, gender, and leadership apply to decision-making and problem solving in organizations. Most research readings and methods of analysis and evaluation are based on assumptions, theories, modes, and research conducted by psychologists and published in psychology journals. The underlying assumptions of the psychological approach to the topic will be presented and discussed. Participants will learn to: understand and apply normative ("ideal") strategies for decision making/problem solving; understand and use descriptive ("everyday") and prescriptive ("improved") strategies and processes for decision making/problem solving; understand the differences between individual and group decision making/problem solving; understand how conflict, leadership, and gender influence decision making/problem solving; write papers that demonstrate understanding and application of decision making and problem solving strategies.