Decision making is a process that entails selecting an optimal option out of various choices available. There are different decision-making models an individual can choose from. A model is usually chosen on the basis of its resource utilization, impact, applicability, risk, and profitability (Verma, 2014). A typical decision-making process takes place in seven steps; definition of the problem, identification of the limiting factors, coming up with possible solutions, analyzing the alternatives, selecting one alternative, implementation of the decision and evaluating of the decision. The situation with my supervisor is a complex one and one which requires careful thought. I understand that using an organization's resources for one's own benefit should not be tolerated. However, in such a situation, the information I have is limited and it is not wise to make a decision using limited information. I would therefore not report my supervisor to higher authorities. I would take time to gather more information regarding the issue.
Rushing to report him without gathering enough information could create problems in that I may later realize that the supervisor really has a home office where he does some of the work or maybe there is a company policy that allows such action. Therefore, before I am certain regarding the two situations, I would not rush to make any decision. I would follow the bounded rationality model because I do not have enough information regarding the situation. Apart from lacking enough information, time is also a limiting factor in the situation. This is because we all report to work the following day and it is impossible to have found all the information by that time. The decision to not report the supervisor is far from being optimal. However, due to the different constraints in the situation, it is the best alternative I can take. By not reporting my supervisor, I am being rational. This is because there are various consequences that could follow in the event that I report him. The most obvious one would be friction at the workplace. He is my immediate supervisor and therefore we need a lot of cooperation in order to effectively perform our duties.
I cannot apply the rational model of decision making in such a situation because I am not completely informed about the situation. The other factor influencing my decision not to report him is the fact that he is my immediate supervisor. Had it been a lower-level employee, I would have easily confronted him about it. It is always not easy to confront our seniors at the workplace. There are powers conferred to the supervisor that can work in his favor. The fact that I am not empowered enough implies that I should be very tactical in the steps I take. Even though I did not immediately report the issue to higher authorities, I did not stop thinking about it. I would not have a clear conscience if I fail to do something that is ethically and morally right. The organization expects every employee to behave ethically because the actions of employees can have an impact on the whole organization (Kinicki and Fugate, 2012). It is therefore important for every employee to subscribe to the organization's code of ethics and values. It is possible that the supervisor could be telling the truth. However, until that is determined, it is best not to take any drastic step.
After conducting further research and determining that there is no policy regarding such action, I would apply a different decision-making model. At this stage, I have enough information to enable me to think about the issue deeply. In such a situation, the rational model would be the most appropriate. There are various underlying issues in this case. First of all, the supervisor is using the organization's resources for his own benefit. This is something that can undermine the organization. The management firm may end up spending huge amounts of money in the restocking process. The money spent on buying new supplies could be used to build the organization in other ways. It also eats up the firm's profits. The actions of any employee in an organization should be aligned to the organization's goals and objectives (Kinicki and Fugate, 2012). It is clear that the supervisor's actions are not aimed at building the organization. His actions are not only unethical but also contradictory to the organization's policies. The other issue evident in the situation is the fact that the supervisor tries to involve other people in the commitment of malpractices against the organization. It is not clear whether the supervisor is aware that his actions go against the company policies or if they are committed only out of ignorance.
Organizations need to establish proper policies and rules to control employee behavior. If employees do not understand what is expected of them, they can easily engage in activities that could jeopardize the well-being of the organization. It is possible that the supervisor is fully aware of the company policies regarding the matter and he is simply misappropriating company resources. There is also the issue of misuse of power. There are leaders who use their powers in organizations to advance their own needs. In the case of my supervisor, it is evident that there is a problem that needs to be resolved. The rational decision-making model advances the theory that the decisions made by an employee of an organization should be aimed at maximizing the value and profitability of the organization (Verma, 2014). The supervisor's action is a complete opposite of what is stated in the theory. I would, therefore, confront him and ask him whether he is aware that his actions go against the company policies and rules. I would tell him that I am certain of the rules and everything that is expected of the organization's employees. In the event of him saying that he is not aware of the implications of his actions, I would politely advise him to stop the actions. However, if I realize that he is aware of his actions and that he simply chooses to ignore them, then I would report the matter to higher authorities. I believe the decision to first consult him before taking any further step is appropriate because it gives him a chance to explain himself. After confronting him about the matter, I would then embark on monitoring his actions. This would enable me to evaluate the effectiveness of my decisions. In a rational decision-making model, the evaluation of the decision made is usually the last step in the process. If the desired outcome is not attained, an individual has to go back to the initial steps and choose another alternative.
The rational decision-making model swayed my previous decision in that it enabled me to look at the same issue from a different perspective. While applying the bounded rationality model, I was focused on preserving my relationship with my supervisor and this came at the expense of the organization well-being. However, while applying the rational decision-making model, I put the needs of the organization above any personal issues or influences. The application of the two decision-making models was solely based on the prevailing conditions. In the first incidence, I had not received enough information to enable me to come up with a thought out plan of action. However, after obtaining crucial information regarding the matter, I applied a different model which was more suitable for solving the situation. The existence of two separate cognitive systems in human beings enables them to think differently depending on the issues at hand (Verma, 2014). There is a system that deals with autonomous cognition while the other system deals with conscious cognition. Intuitive thinking comes in handy when faced with different situations. Intuitive thinking by itself is an example of skilled action. This type of thinking varies depending on the available context and is usually influenced by the environment and social cues. In the case of the supervisor, I engaged in intuitive thought and weighed my options before reaching the final decision. In the first incidence, I applied autonomous cognition because of the context at that given time. During the first incidence, I was only thinking of my well-being and protecting my interests because I felt like it was the appropriate thing to do given the situation. I knew that reporting my supervisor would have consequences and I was not ready to face them. However, in the second incidence where I confront my supervisor, my actions were influenced by conscious cognition. I had thought about the situation before deciding to apply the rational decision-making model.
Kinicki, A. J., & Fugate, M. (2012). Organizational behavior: Key concepts, skills & best practices (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Verma, D. (2014). Study and Analysis of Various Decision-Making Models in an Organization. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 16(2), 171-175. doi:10.9790/487x-1621171175
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