Decision Making Processes

In a recent paper (Kester et al, 2011) on Portfolio management decision making processes, the researchers identified three different processes: –

  1. Evidence based, where firms use objective information and empirical evidence as part of building an objective decision-making rationale
  2. Power based, where the distribution of power enables an individual or group to make a decision that reflects their personal interest
  3. Opinion based, where feelings and personal experience are used to build a subjective decision making rationale.

They argue about the strengths and draw backs of each. But, tomorrow the PMA symposium opens with a paper by Alan Meekings and David Jacques looking at the behavioural aspects of organisational performance management bemoaning the lack of progress over the last 50 years. To quote

“Frankly, most large organisations today – albeit with a few notable exceptions – are still being managed on the basis of an outdated, hierarchical, top‐down target‐setting, command‐and control approach that results in high levels of staff disengagement and suboptimal performance.”

So, what is your experience of decision making? Is evidence still ignored with politics and opinion dominating? Or have you got a more evidence based approach and if so how have you got there?

Mike Bourne


Linda Kester, Abbie Griffin, Jan Hultink and Kristina Lauche, (2011), Exploring Portfolio decision Making Processes, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 28, 641 – 661.

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