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Management Decision-Making: Implications, Effects, and Quality

Updated on June 27, 2009

“You get what you reward.” Implications for Management Decision-Making

I believe this quote to be absolutely true. This statement, in relation to management decision-making, signifies the negative or positive reinforcement provided to and from the managers and subordinate level employees. Reinforcement in this case, is a reward that can strengthen or weaken both leadership and employee decisions/characteristics and is a give and take condition. This simply means, if leadership management wants to be treated in a certain manner, they must treat others as they would like to be treated.

Rewards in an organization do not only pertain to material prizes. A management decision of reinforcement and reward can be given and received in the form of honor. Honor in organizational leadership and decision-making is a virtue of belief, careful preciseness/consideration to risk, hard work, and sacrifice. Additionally, if a managing leader displays honor to make these sacrifices, and portrays commitment simultaneously, subordinates directly under him/her will exemplify comparable actions in return. Thus, these actions will nurture management decisions and keep an organization strong. Sacrifices are measured within the same principle definition of loyalty and devotion. Devotion to oneself as a leader and devotion to subordinates that shadow your leadership provides confidence and reassurance. Confidence and reassurance encourages the sense of trust amid organizational members, builds team comradeship, and strong support for a management decision-making structure.

“The overall effect of a management decision is determined by multiplying the quality of the decision times the acceptance of the decision” – Warren Bennis

What does Warren Bennis mean by this?

The overall determination of whether a decision is a good or bad one is by the sum or judgment of the factored quality by its acceptance. So why do we make decisions, management or not? I believe it’s to cause an effect. A decision of cause is incomplete if there were no overall factor to be its effect. In the nature of life, each decision must be critiqued by others than ourselves, in order to feel and establish that form of acceptance. We make decisions for the opinion of others. We make decisions to be recognized. And we make decisions for a sense of sensibility and awareness. Any and every management decision we generate will always affect someone or something at some point. As a consequence, we can never say that our decisions will never affect someone. If you do firmly believe that a decision, in general, will not affect others, it will most positively affect yourself.

Although we are the overall deciding factor, with any decision we make, its effects are based on the quality/qualities we put into that decision. Therefore, if the quality of a decision were deficient and factored into the lack of acceptance from its audience and/or peers, it reflects on the overall deficient decision itself. On the other hand, if the management decision were a respectable decision, based on valued quality, the factored acceptance level would be high, in turn, displaying the effectiveness of that specific decision.

A good example of this phrase is the voting process. The voting process has been with us since the earliest of mankind. From the courthouse to television shows, it is used in almost every occupational environment present. In current day, an affecting management decision is brought before a panel of individuals. Amongst this panel, a decision or prospective decision is judged based on the qualities and advantages, or lack thereof. The overall acceptance of that decision will be determined by the numbered panel, who will decide on its overall effectiveness, practice, and running.

Overall, the better the quality in management decision making, the greater in superior results and consequences. Alternatively, if management decision is poor in quality, the more inferior the results and consequences will be.

“American management talks participative, but is autocratic.” Agee or Disagree?

I agree and disagree. In a disagreed opinion, the statement in itself suffers from the Fallacy of Inconsistency. Where, “autocratic” management self-contradicts its administrative structure to assert a “participative” environment with its employees or subordinates. Both management styles of “autocratic” management and “participative” management are incredibly dissimilar management traits and are “logically incompatible with each other.” It is similar to saying, “I dislike my occupation, could care less about it, despise working in a team environment, and detest customer service management; however you, my employee, need to provide positive/motivational team effort and the best customer service to our customers.” Autocratic managers project their leadership means in the form of negative reinforcement to impart fear and to be feared. Their characteristics are defined by superiority control and lack moral ethical values, while participative managers direct a positive, reinforced atmosphere, to portray equality and quality service amid members.

Thomas Pyzdek states that “participative” management “advocates believe that workers are internally motivated. They take satisfaction in their work, and would like to perform at their best (2004, ¶ 1).” He also states that “autocratic” management has “no interest in work in general, including the quality of their work (2004, ¶ 3).”

In an agreed opinion, the statement could simply mean that “American Management,” whose original management structure is “autocratic,” is attempting to, or processing the change from an “autocratic” environment, into a “participative” environment.


Pyzdek, T. (2004) The Handbook for Quality Management: Management Styles. Available from


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      YISE 6 years ago


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      Rip Stauffer 7 years ago

      I would agree with a lot of this. I do believe that most of us have seen reward schemes that don't support the initiative, and rewards that are not well-tied to metrics, or tied to system performance rather than individual/team performance.