Seven steps to effective decision making.


Management experts agree that decision-making comprises one of the most common and crucial work roles of executives (Greenberg, 2005; Mintzberg, 1988). How much time do we really leave to think about our own decision making? Probably not much.

Everyday, people in organizations make decisions about a variety of topics ranging from the mundane to the monumental (Allison, Jordan, Yeatts 1992; Greenberg, 2005). Understanding how these decisions are made and how they can be improved is an important goal of the field of organizational behavior and leadership.

With that in mind, I have presented seven steps from Whyte (2004) in the Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior by Locke (2004) that may help you to improve your own decision making process.

1) Identify SMART goals: This is the overall identification of what you would like the out come to be. By using SMART goals, you can generate a goal that is feasible for you to achieve.

2) Generate a comprehensive list: This step focuses on brainstorming that can help you create a list of choices that are generated to solve the problem or make the decision.

3) Search for information: Once you have generated a comprehensive list it is important to gather as much information about your alternatives/solutions. This will create a solid foundation for your to evaluate your information.

4.) Evaluate: Engage in unbiased and accurate processing of all of the information gathered.

5.) Examine the pros and cons: Reconsider and re-examine the pros and cons of all the alternatives/choices.

6.) Compare the costs and benefits: Examine the costs, benefits, and risks of the all of the alternatives/choices.

7.) Decide on a solution and monitor: It is important to decide on a preferred solution and develop a plan. This plan’s focus is on the implementation of the decision, how to monitor results, and how to react when known risks become a reality.




Greenberg, J. (2005). Managing behavior in organizations. Pearson Prentice Hall.

Locke, E. A. (2004). Handbook of principles of organizational behavior. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Mintzberg, H. J. (1988). Mintzberg on management: Inside our strange world of organizations, New York: Free Press.

Whyte, G. (2004). Make good decisions by effectively managing the decision making process.Chapter Locke, E. A. Handbook of principles of organizational behavior. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.



3 thoughts on “Seven steps to effective decision making.

  1. Pingback: What is self-efficacy? Why is it important and how do we cultivate it? | Leadership Archways

  2. Pingback: 5 strategies that will improve your verbal communication skills. | Leadership Archways

  3. Pingback: How leaders and organizations can develop creativity | Leadership Archways

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