The Social Side of Decision Making

Here, members of an organization thrive by observing others and rationalizing their actions according to comparisons made with themselves against other people. The upshot is people tend to conform to what is popular at the expense of individualism because that is the safe and easy way to move forward and get things done. This environment is dangerous when we talk of social learning theory because employees’ negative actions are collectively learned from each other.
Collaborative Solution
First off, communication occupies the utmost importance in the whole equation. Nike has reportedly suffered a $100 million loss in a quarter as a result of a miscommunication between the management and the company’s techies. According to Sharon Morgen (2005), the technicians were waiting for the Nike management for decisions, while the management, for its part, was expecting the techies to make the decision. As a result, an important project was botched and has generated not just a loss of money but an incidence of bad blood between the parties concerned.
Let us turn to John Refeld (1994) for a very helpful insight in changing behaviors within a complacent organization:
Certainly, talking with and involving all of the people involved in the decision-making process is one of the best ways to avoid the alienation of labor that Karl Marx fretted so much about… If they own the decision, if it is as much theirs as yours [the CEO’s], it becomes impossible to excuse later performance deficits with standard “it wasn’t my idea” excuse. It was their idea. (p. 159)
It is expected that with this approach commitment would experience a new turnaround. After all, getting other people to do what you want is achieved by making them think that it is their idea.
Sample Changes
Suggestions for changes are mostly on decision-making fronts. First off, whether it is big decisions or minor ones, such as deciding on a new corporate logo, it should call for participation and input from everyone. The idea is that there should be group ownership of a decision so as to remove the stigma of corporate autocratic impulses.
Secondly, there should be a delegation of authority not of responsibility. Like in the case when someone blundered on a project and he gets fired for it – it is not the way to manage things. The manager/CEO must also take responsibility because, in the first place, his judgment made it possible for the project to be allocated to the erring person.
Finally, employees should be given enough latitude to implement decisions. Empowered employees, Rehfeld underscores, are always mindful of their obligations to superiors, even in what may appear to be insignificant positions and are then able to impress others by reaching agreed-upon goals in the novel, sometimes quite creative ways.