Decision-Making Portfolio

Subject: Business
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1972
Topics: Business Ethics, Apple, Marketing

Part A

Individual Evaluation: Critical Reflection on My Decision-making Capability and Areas of Further Development

Decision-making is a useful tool both in personal life and in the workplace. Whether deciding on the supplier to use, the strategy to employ or the individual to hire the ability to make a good decision is of great significance. Decision-making refers to the process of choosing between possible proposed solutions. The decisions are often made either through reasoning, intuition or a combination of the two elements. Throughout the different stages, my decision-making ability has been tested in different dimensions. Whether in my personal life or areas where I have worked, my ability to choose and make the right decision has always been a vital issue. Even though I believe in my decision-making skills, there are certain areas that require adjustments. 

One of my decision-making skills is the ability to evaluate the risks associated with each of the presented alternatives before making an informed decision. In most instances, I carry out a careful evaluation and assessment of the issues. The pros and cons of every alternative are always critical areas of focus for me when carrying out a particular analysis. Evaluation of the risks is a critical issue when it comes to decision-making. If the risks are not carefully evaluated then the possibilities of coming up with the wrong a wrong judgment is relatively high. As a consequence, once I make a decision it is always final. This is because I always have the conviction that the decision made is strong. 

The decision-making ability that I possess is the idea of relying on my past experiences to find solutions to the challenges. Over time, I have developed the ability to deal with certain issues or challenges. The problem-solving ideas employed in a particular context have always helped me to deal with other similar situations. Personal or work-related challenges have always presented me with an opportunity to come up with solutions to deal with the problems. While I have failed to effectively deal with certain issues, the experiences and lessons learned have been helpful in deriving solutions to some problems. 

I also have the ability to use well-defined processes as a consequence of structuring my decisions. When confronted with a challenge, problem or two alternatives, I always formulate a strategy to deal with the overriding issues. The strategies employed are always focused on the problem-solving aspect. Moreover, the use of evidence to formulate my decisions is always a vital element for me. For example, I tend to look at the context and relate it to the similar situations and that helps me to come up with an effective strategy to solve a problem. My decision-making ability is often enhanced through the ability to formulate a relevant strategy to deal with an issue. 

Taking time to choose the best alternative is another ability that I possess. Rushing to make a decision often has far-reaching implications to the extent that an error in judgment can occur. To avoid making catastrophic errors, I always take time before coming up with a solution. Evaluation, assessment and critical analysis can take time. I take my time to review the alternatives and various scenarios have been helpful to me in the decision-making process. 

I believe that my decision-making ability has matured enough. For instance, I make objective decisions and rely on my assessment, evaluation and critical analysis to make a decision. The leads to the decision often form the basis of my focus as opposed to the decision itself. I have a proper understanding of the basics and possess an excellent approach to decision-making. For instance, I establish processes and generate many potential solutions and pick the best alternative. After every evaluation and analysis, I always emphasize my level of confidence on the solutions or alternatives derived. Based on the discussion above, it is imperative to note that I have made relatively strong decision-making abilities. 

Although I have effective decision-making abilities, there are areas that require certain adjustments. I always have a problem when it comes to the implementation process. While coming up with various alternatives is never a problem, the implementation of the decisions arrived at is always a vital challenge. My ability to put into practice the proposed solutions is often a problem. Moreover, I always have some doubts about the solutions or decisions. In some instances, my process and assumptions are never satisfactory that make the decision-making process more challenging. Improving these areas will help me in being an effective decision-maker. 

Part B

Critical Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an Organization’s Decision-Making Depending upon their Strategic Orientation

The essence of decision-making in any organization cannot be overstated. A clear and properly defined strategy formulation and implementation are critical components of corporate governance needed by every manager or leader as a consequence of making the right decisions. When appropriate decisions are made in the organization, it ensures superior performance. The performance expectations of a firm can only be realized when the organization formulates well-defined strategies that aid in decision-making. The formulation of a strategy is not enough in ensuring enhanced performance. The implementation of the strategy is very critical in realizing the desired results. 

Apple is one of the most influential and profitable companies not only in America, but also in the world. Over the last few years, the company has realized immense profits in various market segments. Consequently, the company has expanded and spread its operations on a planetary scale. One of the reasons why the Apple has managed to remain relevant in the global market is its strategic approach to decision-making. Most of the strategies formulated by Apple are based on the internal as well as external business environments. For instance, Apple often formulates strategies based on the competitive nature of the industry (Lashinsky, 2012). On the other hand, Apple sometimes formulates strategic decisions based on the internal activities of the firm. The strategic approaches employed are often based on the emerging issues in the organization. The decision-making process occurs following the formulated strategic responses. 

There are various options for strategic orientation of the firm. Apple uses various approaches to strategy and those play a significant role in the decision-making process. Intended, realized and emergent strategies are some of the strategic approaches used by the company. The intended strategic approach refers to the strategy that the company has deliberately chosen to pursue. The intended approach involves the identification of a series of actions that are designed to achieve certain objectives. Moreover, part of the strategy is to lay the series of actions into the future. This strategic approach involves information gathering (Elbanna, 2006). Information gathering is often done through polling, market research, and economic modelling. The information gathered is often used to ground the plan in evidence. Apple uses the intended strategic approach in laying the groundwork for meeting certain objectives. For example, if the company intends to move into another market or develop another product, the decision-making process is often based on the information collected concerning a particular market segment or customer demands in the market. Research conducted by the company often informs the decision-making process. 

Realized strategy is another approach employed by Apple in its decision-making process. This approach is often the strategy that the organization carries out (Elbanna, 2006). The actions that are likely to achieve the intended objectives are always adopted. Today, Apple has managed to become one of the best companies in the world as a consequence of realizing some of its goals and objectives (Lashinsky, 2012). For example, the company’s brand has remained strong in various market segments. The electronic products manufactured by the company are of premium value and meet the needs and demands of the company. Most of the realized strategies have made the company remain on the profitability path. For example, the company outsourced some of its operations to destinations such as China where labour is cheap and taxes low. Through this approach, Apple has managed to cut the cost of production. Maximization of profits has been a critical component due to the reduced production cost. Outsourcing has also helped the company to diversify into the various markets. The market for iPhones has grown in markets such as Asia because of the presence of the company in those establishments (Lashinsky, 2012). Consequently, the company has managed to change the design of some of its products as a consequence of meeting the needs and demands of the customers. Apple has evolved into a powerhouse both in the domestic and global market. The company sells several products in its defined market segments and that has played a critical role in ensuring the company’s performance. 

Emergent strategy refers to a strategic approach where the managers or the leaders in an organization develop a strategy that meets the demands of the external environment. The leaders or managers make decisions based on the new information in the market. Apple has distinguished managers and different management level. These managers have the responsibility of managing the organization and responding to the emerging issues, especially in the external business environment. Today, competition has become vicious as most companies move towards dealing with certain brands such as Apple in the market (Lashinsky, 2012). The competitive nature of the market sometimes compels the managers at Apple to formulate strategies to deal with the competitive nature of the market. Moreover, customer demands and creating value is another component that sometimes forces the managers to develop strategies to deal with the emerging issues in the external environment. 

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Even though the strategic approaches employed by Apple have been effective in ensuring positive results, it is imperative to underscore they are defective to some extent. For instance, the fixation with strategy can cause obscurity in the sense that it may cause the managers or the leaders to overlook the sustainable avenues for success (Papadakis and Barwise, 2012). Consequently, the above strategies can result in unnecessary change and risk. Strategies are designed to deal with certain issues in the organization. The desire to ensure success and deal with the emerging challenges often provokes the need for a strategy. The strategic approaches discussed above may not offer the best solution to dealing with every emerging crisis. Not all challenges, crisis and success can be met using a strategic approach. In some instances, there are methods that are sustainable which can help deal with a problem better than a strategic approach. Finally, it is imperative to underscore that the three approaches to strategy discussed above may have a limited scope for risks or errors, infuse discipline, logic, consistency and remove subjectivity. Ideally, the strategic approaches may impede the decision-making process and limit the success of the organization. 

Strategic planning is critical to ensuring effective decision-making in any organization. Strategic planning is a rational approach that defines plans, directions, instructions as well as processes. Strategic planning should be approached using the analytical approaches such as Porter’s five forces, SWOT and PEST analysis (Simerson, 2011). The quantitative analysis or the use of empirical data plays a critical role in the decision-making process. Strategic planning must ensure the decision-making processes are based on evidence as opposed to assumptions. The use of data to develop strategies and eventually make a decision gives the organization a firm foundation for the effective formulation of strategy and decision-making. Apple has often employed strategic planning using the evidence derived from research studies. Market research, polling and data collection from the customers have helped the company formulate strategies. When strategic planning is done based on evidence, it becomes relatively easy for the organization to meet its objectives as appropriate (Steiner, 2010). The decision-making process in any organization requires a strategic planning designed to deal with the emerging issues. Without a strategic plan based on evidence or using analytical tools, the decision-making process is bound to fail in its objectives.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Elbanna, S. (2006) Strategic Decision-Making Process
  2. Lashinsky, A. (2012). Inside Apple: How America’s most admired-and secretive-company really works. New York: Business Plus.
  3. Papadakis, V., & Barwise, P. (2012) Strategic Decisions. Boston, MA: Springer US.
  4. Simerson, B. K. (2011). Strategic planning – a practical guide to strategy formulation and execution. Abc-clio.
  5. Steiner, George A. (2010) Strategic Planning. Simon and Schuster.
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