Friday, December 7, 2007

The Structure of “Unstructured” Decision Processes - 1976 Paper

This paper defines a decision as a specific commitment to action (usually a commitment of resources) and a decision process as a set of actions and dynamic factors that begins with the identification of a stimulus for action and ends with the specific commitment to action. Unstructured refers to decision processes that have not been encountered in quite the same form and for which no predetermined and explicit set of ordered responses exists in the organisation. And strategic simply means important, in terms of the actions taken, the resources committed or the precedents set. This paper uses empirical research to suggest a basic framework that describes unstructured, strategic decision processes. The suggested framework embodies the results of our own study of 25 such decision processes, as well as evidence from published empirical studies.