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Decision-Making Model Analysis

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Decision-Making Model Analysis


Decision-Making Model Analysis

In his book, Experience and Education, John Dewey, a United States philosopher and teacher, defined the nature of reflective thought as "active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusion to which it tends" (1938, p.9). Critical thinking includes the evaluation of the value, correctness, or validity of diverse proposals, leading to an acceptable and supportable decision or course of action This paper analyzes a model for decision-making and how this model reflects the methods used in a recent job-related decision made by this writer. In addition, this paper discusses how critical thinking affected this job-related decision (Dewey, 1938).

Models for decision-making vary in nature from simple to complex. The model this writer chose to demonstrate a recent job decision is simplistic but effective. Decision-making models need not be elaborate but should be effective and the model should include the criteria necessary for informed and intelligent decisions. Moreover, critical thinking is at the heart of decision-making. Without thinking through a situation critically before coming to a decision, one might as well close their eyes and point to a list of options to make a choice.

According to the University of Phoenix text for the course Management 350, "Surveys indicate that fewer than half of today's college graduates can expect to be working in their major field of study within five years of graduation. This statistic speaks volumes about changing workplace realities. Increasingly, employers are looking not for employees with highly specialized career skills, since such skills can usually best be learned on the job, but for workers with good thinking and communication skills -- quick learners who can solve problems, think creatively, gather and analyze information, draw appropriate conclusions from data, and communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. These are exactly the kinds of generalized thinking and problem-solving skills that a course in critical thinking is designed to improve" (Bassham, 2002).

In using a model to make decisions one is also thinking critically if the model is followed correctly. The following model for decision-making was chosen by the writer because she felt that the model addressed and encompassed the issues most likely to affect the writer's decision about changing her place of employment. The model chosen for this paper was conceived by author Trevor Simpson who is ..."a resident of Vancouver, Canada and a successful business manager. He counsels on decision-making through individual and group sessions. His most recent book is titled "Life's Little Book for Big Decisions" reflects the dedication that he has committed to exploring decision-making from the deepest level" (Simpson, 2006).

The first step is: Define the problem.

To identify and define the problem, one must use accurate judgment. Temporary solutions would not have been acceptable to the writer. The writer's dilemma was whether to make a career change or to continue in a job that was stressful and underpaid. As with any important decision, critical thinking must used when one expects an intellectually sound choice. In order to accomplish that task, the writer began to follow the systematic steps further outlined in the chosen decision-making model (Simpson, 2006).

The second step is: Identify the criteria.

Most decisions require the decision-maker to accomplish more than one objective. When contemplating a career change, one must consider what criteria are acceptable. For example; will this new job offer the proper hours of work that would fit into his or her schedule? Secondly, will the new position offer benefits that are comparable to the old job but with little or no increase in monetary output? Finally, will the new position offer a salary that would justify making such a change (Simpson, 2006)?

The third step is: Weight the criteria.

The criteria paramount to making the best decision will weigh differently in importance to the decision-maker. Critical thinkers will know the value that they place on each of the criteria identified (2006). All three of the writer's criteria were extremely important and balanced. The writer place salary at the top of the list in the order of criteria importance. The lowest criterion of importance was the whether the writer could get the desired schedule. The writer's 87-year-old dad and she live together; therefore, an early arrival at home every evening was important but was not necessary. The writer wanted to be able to spend as much time with her father as possible and to cook a well-balanced, hot meal for him every evening. Her dad is a diabetic, should eat at certain times, and at certain intervals. On the other hand, the writer unfortunately would not always have her dad to attend to; therefore, the schedule of hours would be of no importance in the near future.

On the other hand, the schedule of hours needed to be considered as integral as the writer attends the University of Phoenix and must attend class once a week from 6PM to 10PM. A position that called for a flexible schedule may interfere with the writer pursuit of a degree. Since the writer has but one year remaining in school before graduation, one alternative offered a 30 hour work week with a guaranteed off time



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