A Strategic Approach to Decision Making

A Strategic Approach to Decision Making

Johnny R. O'Connor Jr. (Lamar University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch088


This chapter seeks to inform the reader as it relates to strategic decision making and its inherent influence on strategic leadership, offering insights on the implications, barriers, and related outcomes embedded within this multifaceted process. Decision-making is often a key responsibility of a strategic leader, and requires careful thought and facilitation, in order to ensure maximum benefit and outcomes. Specifically, effective strategic decision-making is a multi-dimensional approach that includes collaboration with key stakeholders both internal and external to the organization. The use of strategic decision-making throughout an organization can assist in the establishment of a strategic culture that is cognizant of the impact of focused decision-making, on the direction and needs of the organization.
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Strategic Decision Making

Decision-making manifests itself in a variety of ways in all organizations (Bowen & Bowen, 2016). In fact, its importance to the overall operation within a business has been well documented in the literature (Hoy & Tarter, 2010). Strategic decisions among top leadership is said to influence organizational performance (Hurt & Abebe, 2015). According to Surma (2010), “Strategic decisions relate to actions with long-term consequences which help build competitive advantage on the market, successfully exploit the company’s primary resources and capabilities and are internally coherent” (p. 1015). In essence, high-level organizational leaders who have the authority to set or direct change are often the facilitators of strategic decision-making. In many cases, these decisions influence organizations on many different levels (Mitchell, Shephered, & Sharfman, 2011). Leaders often find themselves faced with critical decisions that have long-term implications on their organization (Daft & Marcic, 2011).

The process of strategic decision-making requires a holistic approach to thinking, which includes, viewing problems from a “big picture” perspective, and understanding all of the pieces to the puzzle, before making a final determination (Batra, Kaushik, & Kalia, 2010). This approach to strategic decision-making assists leaders in avoiding any “hidden traps”, which are often biased by our individual thoughts and perspectives (Hammond, Keeney, & Howard, 2006).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Strategic Thinker: An individual with the ability to deliberately process information from a long-term perspective, while recognizing its impact on outcomes.

Strategic Agility: The ability to be flexible in long-term organizational strategy.

Decision-Making Barriers: Obstacles that impede the ability to efficiently make decisions.

Strategic Leader: A leader who is future focused in building long-term organizational stability.

Strategic Decision-Making Culture: An organization’s ability to utilize the concepts of strategic decision-making throughout an organization.

Information Overload: Excess amounts of information in decision-making that impede the decision-making process.

Strategic Decision-Making: The process of complex problem solving to resolve a specific short-term or long-term issue.

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