Decision Making: Using the Cynefin Framework to Make Better Decisions - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-09-12
Decision Making: Using the Cynefin Framework to Make Better Decisions - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Company Management Business
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1690 words
15 min read


Decision making is the process of making choices by pointing out a decision gathering information and evaluating other possible courses of action. Ideally, using a step by step decision-making process can aid an individual in making more accurate and thoughtful decisions by organizing the necessary information and defining alternatives. The cynefin framework helps students to explain the decision making by seeing the circumstances they are in so that they can make a better decision by preventing more arising challenges that may occur when there preferred management process makes it hard to avoid mistakes. The cynefin model contains simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic contexts that can help students who understand the world is irrational and unpredictable. In the simple setting, information is characterized by the stability and the precise cause and effect relations that are easily distinguished by all individuals. In most cases, the correct answers are self-evident and unquestioned. The decisions in simple contexts are unquestioned because all the parties share a common understanding.

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Typically, the simple contexts properly evaluate and demands direct management and monitoring. The students here try to categorize, respond, and sense the situations based on the established practice (Kempermann, 2017). If somethings go wrong, one can identify the problem, categorize it, and respond suitably. Since the directives are straightforward, the decisions can be easily assigned and the function mechanized. In the complicated domain, there happens to be a direct relationship between cause and effect, but it's not transparent; hence requires proficiency to identify it. The complicated domain is of good practice where variation can be allowed; however, in the best training, no variation is permitted. This domain is accompanied by a lot of difficulties, thereby needing students who are experts to dominate the domain. Reaching decisions in this domain takes more time because a trade-off exists between finding the right answers and making a decision.

Fundamentally, when defining decision making in the complex domain, there exist no repeatable relations between the cause and effect. Typically, in decision making, most circumstances and decisions are complex since a bad change or a shift in management can cause unpredictability and flux of information. For the students to understand the complex domain, they must try to interact with it to create many parallel safe-to-fail assessments to uncover what is feasible by practice and not by estimation. For instance, the students can ask themselves questions like, whether they are many factors that influence what happens. The complex domain mostly deals with the present and not the hereafter. Technically, the complex domain tries to push individuals by focusing on an objective that can't be defined, but there exists a sense of direction. Students may face several challenges in the complex domain (Kempermann, 2017). The main problem is the temptation to fall back to the traditional command and control governance style to demand fail-safe business techniques with defined outcomes. Students who try to obtrude order in this domain may fail but can succeed if they set the stage, wait, and allow the patterns to arise so that they can assess which ones are undesirable.

In the chaotic context, there is no relationship between the cause and effect because approximately everything happens to be unplanned. If careful in the chaotic domain, a student can create innovation such that they can be predicted. For instance, if a group of twenty farmers estimates a sheep's weight, the average of all the farmers' estimations is the sheep's weight. The cynefin model separates four types of decision making. In the obvious domain, the students get to apply the best practice, and in the complicated contexts, analysis is done by experts. In the complex domain, the students perform parallel demonstrations to determine the results. Finally, in the chaotic domain, the student's permit's radical new designs appear or get a large group of people to elucidate the circumstances in order to see the views of the few.

Figure 1 represents the cynefin framework of decision making.

Organizational Decision Making

Individuals throughout the organization use the information they collect to make an extensive range of decisions. The decision made by an organization affects both the lives of other individuals and the course of the organization. Decision making in an organization can have both positive and negative effects depending on the individual making them. Organizational decision making means making choices among other alternatives courses of action. In some cases, making a decision involves inaction, since not all choices are, should be acted on. For instance, the decision made by the principals and consulting firms of Enron made the members of staff and the firm to lose approximately 60 billion dollars (Mithani, 2015). A lot of employees were without jobs, and their retirement funds were lost as a result of decision making. Consequently, to make unique and significant decisions in an organizational setup, individuals must have conscious thinking, collect information, and consider the alternative options carefully. Organizational decision making can be classified into three categories. Strategic decision making where the shareholders of the firm set the trajectory of the organization. Tactical decision making where the directors of the organization make essential choices of how things will get done and finalized. Lastly, the operational decision making where the members of staff make individual choices daily by assessing the legitimacy of the customer's grievances.

Figure 2 shows the structure of organizational decision making

Generally, to achieve and maintain success in an organizational setup, the structure involved in decision making should be able to make intuitive decisions where they make the choices without conscious reasoning. Approximately 89% of directors make irrational decisions because of the challenging situations that are brought about by pressures, constraints, and a significant deal of uncertainty (Mithani, 2015). Organizations need to make decisions that are based on long term objectives to prevent the endless pursuit of short term goals. To avoid this problem, the student needs to pin down the high priority long term objectives from the beginning. Moreover, as the organization makes decisions, the students should ask themselves whether what they are doing lines up with what they are doing.

Additionally, Organizational decision making means aligning the set objectives with the core values. Organizational core values confer a logical sense of identity and continuity to the firm. In this regard, the core values should be clearly understood and agreed upon by the decision-makers of the organization. Customarily, the decision made influences the next decision. Nevertheless, individuals involved in organizational decision making should make creative and innovative decisions because they are adequate to the firms. With the flattening of the firms and the competition among other firms, both the individuals and organizations are propelled to be creative in making choices that are ranging from the cutting costs to generating a new way of doing business.

Role of Social Factors in Organizational Decision Making

In making decisions, individuals are susceptible to the social factors that influence those in the organization. Social factors play a role in shaping decision making in an organization. The social environment provides the origin of information that individuals coalesce differently for their choices (A. Alshamy, 2019). Social factors allow individuals to quantify the significance given to the information hypothesized by others. One of the social factors that play a significant role in organizational decision making is a cognitive bias. The cognitive bias can help individuals in the organization to make quick decisions. As a result, they help the organization to overcome the challenging and threatening situations. The way people remember events may be biased in several ways, which in turn leads to biased thinking and decision making in the firm. When making complex organizational decisions, past experiences help to avoid uncertainty. Learning from past experiences changes the way our brains respond so that we can quickly classify what we see to make effective decisions.

According to (Kempermann, 2017), the individual differences are connected with the variation in some brain networks, mostly those related to social and perceptual processes. Each organization is faced with challenging decisions that are supposed to be made. Individuals reap the profits of comparative advantage through the dissimilarity and maintaining the survival of the organizations through their productive fitness by occupying opportunities within it. Social factors help to straighten the organization's decisions by campaigning to change the individual's behavior to provide satisfactory performance. Escalation of commitments within the members of the organization enables them to decide the course of action. Conversely, successful directors know what they want at the beginning of the decision-making process; however, they synchronize their goal for other members to prevent using their ability to force their position. The organizations have responsibilities to select the providence of what a specific group of people has been concentrating on.

Another social factor is the sunk outcomes, which arises when the party involved in decision making has equal preferences for both the alternatives. Sunk costs appear mostly when the organizations require making decisions. In this case, the organization will make decisions based on the option with the higher value. The idea of sunk cost effect is lessened by the time in utilizations decisions. An instance of organizational sunk cost decisions is the R&D investments in the development of the supersonic plane Concorde. The plane incurred a higher cost in the development stages. No one expected the value to be that high; however, since the project was not stopped, new funds were allocated to help finish the plane on the justification that the large amount of money that had been invested should not have been wasted. The two different circumstances share the same idea where the irrecoverable money has been invested, and the costs are sunk. (A. Alshamy, 2019) maintains that organization should support their decision based on the future and the current profits and cost.

Figure 3 shows how creativity can be achieved while making corporate decisions


A. Alshamy, S. (2019). Factors Affecting Investment Decision Making: Moderating Role of Investors Characteristics. The Journal Of Social Sciences Research, (54), 1311-1320.

Kempermann, G. (2017). Cynefin as Reference Framework to Facilitate Insight and Decision-Making in Complex Contexts of Biomedical Research. Frontiers In Neuroscience, 11.

Mithani, M. (2015). Big Data and Organizational Decision Making. SSRN Electronic Journal.

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