The Six Steps in Decision Making

Published 23 Dec 2016

The decision making process is an integral part of the daily living. Harrison’s six steps in decision making process consist of, setting the objectives, searching for the alternatives by means of scanning the organization’s internal and external environment for information, comparing and evaluating alternatives by formal and informal means, practicing the arts of choice or the time when an action line is being selected from a set of alternatives, implementing the decision after choices was being renovate from the notion into a real operation and ensuring that the implemented decision in an outcome set in the first stage through follow up and control in keeping with the objectives.

The first step is to set the objectives. Setting objectives is important for it encourages the chapter to follow good management practices, solidifies the leadership team, focused the company on a specific aims, establishes accountability, motivate staff to achieve their sets of objectives and provides a common direction for the members. All of the companies are encouraged to set their objectives and a clear statement of the kind of service they want of achieve.

For example, company objectives for IT business Industry: Objective set to achieve a certain level of market share within a specified time, the companies target is to obtain 5% market share on the industry of IT by the year 2010. Another example, ITS supports professional development for staff, the specific objective will be ITS would offer project management and introduction to ITS classes having the goals of about 80% staff will be trained by June 2008. Before you begin to collect evidence of learning outcomes, you must be able to answer the following questions: Why are you seeking this evidence, what kind of information will you collect, who will collect it, when will it be collected, how to use the results to improve what you do?

Next step is the search for the alternatives by means of scanning the organization’s internal and external environment for information. Internal factors that influence the scanning activity recognized as being the inpidual nature of information consciousness. External factors where identified as the cause of change in the environment. Environmental scanning foe internal and external use for information is the use of information about trends, events and relationships in the organizations internal and external environment that would help the management in planning the organizations future course of action.

Organization need to recognize that major changes for a variety of reasons may happen on the company, including fear of the unknown, inadequacy to deal with the change and whether the change will result in an adverse effect on their jobs. Alternative actions that are appropriate to the problem should be identified. The more time and effort should be devoted in searching and developing the alternatives to a more important problem to be solved. The knowledge that decision makers have is sometimes limited by their beliefs, attitudes, values, educations and incomplete information.

For this reason, decision makers accept the first satisfactory alternative they uncover, rather than maximize or search until they find the best alternatives that would be beneficial for the future run. For example: the process technologies and the people used in handling and purchasing information, data collected point to an average of 50% staff involve handling the companies information from the little to the big ones. Another example is when the companies are tending to act under request companies going to its crisis, companies tending turning inwards to reorganize. Organizations by means of scanning internal and external environment for information will be able to build satisfactory, creative and innovative alternatives for the problems that the company is facing.

Thirdly, compare and evaluate those alternatives by formal and informal means. A comprehensive alternatives evaluation process can help business and organizations find a safer substitute or alternatives to their existing service use up to a more innovative solution to alternate that satisfies them. Comparing those alternatives by means of an established mode or a formal means and informal may bring them to the extent of creating and having the best alternatives which best suit the service and program. This assessment also provides a tool to assist business as they work toward creating a better workplace. Alternative assessment also helps companies plan strategically and anticipate regulations to avoid future cost and problem while meeting their high expectations.

At the time when the action is being selected from the given sets of alternatives the fourth step by then is practicing the arts of choice. Practicing your alternative choice is the next target for the efficiency and effectiveness of the business, for practice is one great way to get better. Practicing includes setting the priorities and goals such as how efficient you want your company be and how time you can put to make you be more focused. This phase includes creating a readiness for change in your client organization and developing approaches to overcome resistance to change. The vision should clearly depict how the achievement of the vision will improve the organization. For example, if a company wants to advertise their products, there are several options that they can choose from such as through the net or by television or newspaper.

In the third step, it is important to important to evaluate these options regarding affectivity and as well the cost. In the fourth step, the company will act and bring the chosen action into reality. The company may also try to endorse their product through all the alternatives listed and then decide which one will benefit the company the most. These steps are important to inpidual as well. Take for example a teacher. In order to increase the learning of the students, the teacher will think of alternatives and different ways of teaching and other activities and initially predicts the outcome of each teaching method. This is done in step three. Next, the teacher will then used all of the listed method and assess the effects of each one to the students in order to come up with the conclusion of the best method that is supported by evidences.

The fifth step in decision-making process is the implementation of the decision after choices was being renovated from the notion into a real operation. Until some decision are taken into action this decisions are valueless. In implementing the decision to the real operation it must first define steps in implanting the decision including its timeframe for completion and also, by defining the method for reporting when something is completed and who receives the report. There are five steps in order to implement decision; first step is making an action plan. When developing a plan to implement the decision they have to understand first, the reasons for that specific decision. The overall analysis of the task, which determine the actions need to be taken and the way in which the decision process shall be implemented. Secondly is to delegate actions, some decisions are simple and easy to handle, but others may seem so complex and that may need a number of task and a working team, delegating those team into an assigned task and responsibility makes the job a lot easier.

Third, communicating a decision, after the decision has taken and planned it needs to be relayed directly and indirectly by the affected. When they communicate and clearly explain the decision made and action to be taken it will remove uncertainty and objections from the mind of concerned parties. Fourth, discussing the progress of the decision, many meeting may have no purpose but inform, meetings are specifically held to discuss progress in the implementation of the decision. Don’t waste time. And last but not the least, overcoming objections, rather than feeling aggrieved, opposition should be viewed as a valuable part of decision-making, ignore objections that may only result into misunderstanding.

Take for example an organization that wants to get its product on the web; this decision to widen their scope is done in the strategic level. Next, the idea is implemented in the web that is done in the tactical level. In the operational level, the web site is supported on a daily basis. Thus, each level has its own role in fulfilling the company’s objective and different things are expected from different levels in order to support the IT infrastructure.

The sixth and the final step in decision making process is ensuring that the implemented decision in an outcome set in the first stage through follow ups and control in keeping with the objectives. This is essential to test and ensure that the company meets its desired goal and functions. Example: the company has to build follow team and conduct some research to prove the effectiveness of the service and see it if meets their goals. Proposed a set of principles for follow up activities and must discussed it in a more detailed way the t all the members may have clear audit on it for the development of the policy guidelines. Follow ups included major subject matters such as issue, scale and timing, frequency and power, roles, functions and the principle. Its role must to control function for the purpose of evaluation.


  • Harrison, F.E. (1995). The managerial decision-making process. Boston: Houghton Miffincompany. Retrieved January 30, 2008 from
  • Learn Marketing. (no date). Business objectives. . Retrieved January 30, 2008 from
  • Shah, K & Shah, P. (2007). Implementing adecision. Retrieved January 30, 2008 from
  • Wilkinson, S. (no date). Set objectives. Retrieved January 30, 2008 from
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