Non-Programmed Decision Making in the Educational Process

People’s life is made out of decisions. Decisions may be difficult or easy, decisions may be planned or spontaneous, but they exist every day, every minute. Whether to take this way to school or that, whether to eat a salad or meat, and other decisions are taken by people without even realizing that the decision has been made. The other deals with the decisions which people take seriously, carefully thinking about them. There are two types of decision-making: programmed and non-programmed. The difference is visible, but to be more specific it is better to consider the question of decision making on a concrete example. The recent non-programmed decision, which was provided during the University time, was the decision of laptop buying because old one spoilt.

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To start with it is significant to state what the decision making is and how non-programmed decision differs from programmed, what is the difference between just making a decision and being aware of the steps in decision making. Decision-making is an integral part of management, it is the process that comprises several stages. According to H. A. Simon (in Lucey 2004), there are four stages of decision making, intelligence (understanding the necessity and conditions for making a decision), design (researching the ways/alternatives of actions), choice (selecting the variant from all possible), and review (evaluation of the choice made). All these stages are necessary for providing wise decisions without regrets.

Correct decision making, following all the stages, is very important in the business, as the future of the whole company frequently depends on the decision which is made. Programmed decisions are easy to make as there is no responsibility for the consequences the decision-maker bears. The reason is simple, programmed decision-making is applied when the situation, which must be decided, is “routine, well structured and understood, and repetitive” (Montana & Charnov 2000, p. 91). Non-programmed decisions, vice versa, should be provided spontaneously, without any prompts. This means that they “cannot be anticipated or do not have pre-existing methods of resolving them” (Martin 2005, p. 687). Non-programmed decisions frequently occur in business and as earlier managers will be able to cope with problems and provide argumentative and vise decisions, the better it will be for their career.

To the point, non-programmed decisions are more interesting to deal with as the mental activities should be involved, new methods and techniques are created. The more creativity exists in the decision, the better decision is in itself. Programmed decisions are usually provided by computers as in this case the things are commonly involved in the process. Considering non-programmed decisions, people are usually involved and the work with people is much more interesting than with computers. The absence of the answer is one of the main characteristics of non-programmed decision-making, as the solution to the problem is created, it is fabricated by the person who is responsible for this decision. The area of the problem may also be various, that is why it is impossible to guess the solution, decision, as the problem may be unexpected, what usually is (Crosby 2003).

Specifying the information about decision-making, it is better to shift to the concrete problem, which was mentioned above. The laptop buying decision was the decision made by me in the University. Having been introduced to the decision-making process it is useful to make up the analysis of the work which was provided and evaluate whether the work which was made corresponds to the phases of the decision-making process. It is also useful to make up the evaluation and critiques of the mistakes which were made to avoid them in the future.

In the situation of new laptop buying, the decision was non-programmed as the old one was spoiled immediately, it was not expected, and the first reasonable idea which appeared was to buy a new one. Not being an expert in laptops and without being aware of the differences in the technical descriptions of the model, the decision to buy a new laptop was a creative one for me. Having decided on making a new purchase the first phase of the decision making was passed. In the next stage, the design was the most creative and interesting as the alternatives had to be chosen. The questions were to be answered what type of laptop to buy, what brand to choose, what shop to visit. The less important issues were to be considered, such as functional destination, size, and color. The technical characteristic and price were the main aspects that predetermined the choice of the laptop.

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Being unaware of the main characteristics, a lot of information was studied, a lot of advice was received and researches were provided. Friends, relatives, and specialists in the sphere of laptops were interviewed before the number of models was chosen. When the numbers of laptops, as the most appropriate one, were collected, the other stage of the decision-making had to be provided. The choice in favor of only one model had to be made. The main aspect in making the decision was to test all of the alternatives, to compare and contrast them, and then just to make up a decision. Several days were spent on this procedure. The smallest technical details were considered and the decision was made.

The day of the purchase came. The very procedure was not so long as the decision was made and no other advice was important. After coming home with the purchase, the last stage of the decision-making took place. A review of the laptop and the evaluation of its advantages and disadvantages took place. Having been working on the new laptop, it was understandable that the decision was made correctly and the expectations were confirmed.

Considering the situation from the point of view of the theoretically experienced decision-maker, I can say that the decision about laptop buying was provided correctly and corresponding to all stages. After making the research and dealing with a lot of information about decision-making, it is understandable for me that not all people provide their decisions correctly. The other person could have just come to the shop and following the shop assistant’s recommendations and buy the model. In this case, two middle stages, design and choice (Lucey 2004) were to be emitted. Such decisions are not reasonable, as, on the fourth stage of the decision making, review, a lot of disappointments and regrets could have been waiting for a person.

Reviewing this situation, it is easy to relate it to the business. Those, who make up the decisions in marketing, should strictly follow the recommendations and stages which are offered in the literature, as a lot of investigations were made and a lot of strategies were followed before creating the ideal model for decision making. McKenna (2000) describes the test which was offered to 200 managers about how the decisions are made in their companies and the result was put in the table, which is introduced below (Figure 1).

 McKenna test result table
Figure 1

Considering all these stages, it is possible to make a conclusion that they may be combined according to the model, offered by H. A. Simon, which was described above (Sapru 2006). The nine stages may be organized into four phases of the decision-making process. The offered scheme confirms that managers also follow the rule of decision-making in their jobs. As even after having worked in the business sphere, managers have to make up decisions that were not present in their practice and the decision-making scale is right to the point (Murdock & Scutt 2003).

In conclusion, decision making is a rather complicated affair which should be studied, as only hard work and education may make people aware of useful information, which may help in future. Connecting the personal experience in decision making and the information about managers who should also make up their own decisions, it is reasonable to mention that people should be studied to make decisions before going for their first jobs, as it is always better to study on the mistakes of other people than to correct your own (Hoy, Bayne-Jardine & Wood 2000).

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Reference List

Crosby, A 2003, Creativity and Performance in Industrial Organizations, Routledge, Oxford.

Hoy, C, Bayne-Jardine, CC, & Wood, M 2000, Improving quality in education, Routledge, Oxford.

Lucey, T 2004, Management information systems, Cengage Learning EMEA, London.

Martin, J 2005, Organizational behavior and management, Cengage Learning EMEA, London.

McKenna, EF 2000, Business psychology and organizational behavior: a student’s handbook, Psychology Press, New York.

Montana, PJ & Charnov, BH 2000, Management, Barron’s Educational Series, New York.

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Murdock, A & Scutt, C 2003, Personal effectiveness, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Sapru, RK 2006, Administrative Theories and Management Thought, PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

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