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Decision-Making Model Analysis Paper

Chenista Rae Straubel

MGT350 – Critical Thinking: Strategies in Decision Making

Ed Robinson, Instructor

October 21, 2004


As a critical thinker, it is necessary often to gather and to review information

expediently, make a decision based upon that available information, and to move on. Often

“gut” feelings based upon past experiences and immediate knowledge offer the quickest

solution to lesser problems. However research, interviews, and evaluation coupled with

experience, knowledge, and “gut” feelings is a better way to approach conflict. Evaluating

criteria and solutions based on your values or those of society while focusing on possible

consequences can help create a balance in your life and a flow in your critical decision-

making processes. It is also important to identify when issues, conflict, solutions, or

consequences are so highly emotionally charged that it may be necessary to bring in or to

consult with an impartial outside authority.

For the purposes of demonstrating specific decision-making models in this paper, I

offer a real-life conflict. I walk the reader through each process or perspective offering

insight into the reality and consequences of the issue. The decision-making models

demonstrated include the Genetic Decision Model offered by Harmes and a modified version

of the rational, seven-step decision-making model titled the bounded rational process.

The Issue or Conflict to Resolve


I work in the area of research and development specializing in imaging, compression,

and high-speed data transmission. With the war on terrorism, research and development

funding levels have been cut and much of the staff is operating at either half salary or no

salary at all.

Rumor states that there may be an opportunity for additional grant funding if we can

make computer-based execution of tutorials available over 56k modems using analog

telephone lines. Issues related to such delivery are beyond the scope of those that can be

controlled by a development team and not discussed within the confines of this paper.

My employer has decided to pursue this outdated technology for reasons I cannot

comprehend. They have retained a tutorial developer and he is getting paid very

handsomely. I haven’t collected a full paycheck since June and my October paycheck was

$500. I do not approve of my employers motives, morals, or current set of values

demonstrated in this decision. My business decision remains how do I approach this issue

and what are the consequences for which I must prepare.

“What ought I do?” – Genetic Decision Making Model

According to Harry H. Harmes, author of Genetic Decision Making Model,

individuals make decisions differently based upon levels of maturity and conflict arises based

upon values and morals. Harmes model uses a Bioethical Decision Making Model

Worksheet (“What Ought I do”) developed by Dr. Jon Hendrix at Ball State University. The

worksheet focuses on identifying individual “I values”. The model demonstrates the

following format as applied to the issue at hand.

Applying the “I value” Worksheet


In implementing this process, I identified the following values listed in order of

importance. I am a Christian and I live purposefully for Christ and for Christ alone:

1. Faith, hope and love 5. Honesty

2. Power and authority of the 6. Service
ascension (not of this world) 7. Simplicity
3. Work/divine knowledge 8. Wholeness (in Christ)
4. Total surrender (purposeful
living in Christ)

Applying the Bioethical Decision Making Model Worksheet

1. Identify the problem (Why does this create conflict?). The conflict arises because

I do not believe my employer is being honest or ethical. Five values involved in this

conflict rated in order of importance are: 1) honesty, 2) service, 3) simplicity, 4)

work/divine knowledge, and 5) total surrender (purposeful living in Christ).

2. Possible solutions: 1) Communicate my concerns with the hope of demonstrating

why abandoning further research and development of this technology makes good

business sense. 2) Remain silent regarding the project and my concerns, do what I am

told to collect a paycheck (if collecting a paycheck is possible). 3) Go along with the

status quo and covertly pursue other employment or opportunities with a value-based and

honest employer. 4) Abandon the project since there is no funding (for me anyway) so

that I will not be the “fall guy” or “scapegoat” when the project doesn’t come to fruition.

5) Take a giant leap of faith to move myself forward without burning any bridges at my

present employ.

3. Rank the solutions: #1 Communicate; #2 Abandon; #3 Faith-based; #4 Status

quo; and #5 Conform and deceive.


4. List 8 values that support the first ranked choice: #1) Honesty; #2) Faith, hope

and love; #3) Total surrender; #4) Service; #5) Simplicity; #6) Work/divine knowledge;

#7) Wholeness (in Christ); #8) Power and authority of the ascension.

5. Which decision did you rank last? Identify 5 values causing the last place

ranking. Last ranked solution: Conform and deceive. Five values causing the last place

raking include: #1) Honesty (or lack thereof); #2) Service; #3) Simplicity; #4) Total

surrender; #5) Wholeness (in Christ).

6. List the first choice, possible consequences, and reasons others may not agree

with you. First choice: Communicate. Consequences and disagreements: 1) Job loss.

Others may try to convince the “powers that be” that the technology is possible even if

success is not probable; 2) Breakdown in the employer / employee relationship. Others

do not place importance on honesty and integrity; 3) Alienation among peers. Divide and

conquer doesn’t work in today’s team environment; and 4) Alienation in the job market.

Since divide and conquer doesn’t work, I may create an “industry reputation” that I am

uncooperative, a non-conformist, and/or not a team player.

7. Rank the level of confidence you have in your choice.

1------ 2------ 3------ 4

high low
confidence confidence

The Bounded Rational Process

This decision making process is a modified or “enhanced” version of the rational,

seven-step decision making process used to make the “perfect decision”. This process

automatically assumes that we do not have perfect knowledge, information is ambiguous, we

have limited capacity to handle the complexity of situation fully, and we are not “perfect”

decisions makers because we often lack objectivity and measurable criteria for evaluation

and feedback. The process involves the following seven steps applied to the issue at hand.

1. Define the problem. I am having difficulty balancing my values with those of my

employer as I feel my employer lacks honesty and integrity or that my employers level of

the same does not meet or exceed my own. This is causing conflict and imbalance.

2. Generate possible solutions. #1) Communicate my concerns; #2 Abandon the project or

the employer; #3 Remain silent; #4) Maintain status quo; #5) Leap of faith, leave the


3. Assessment criteria and consequences. Establish an objective that will help you measure

the success or failure of the choice implemented. The objective is to maintain my sense

of honesty and integrity in the face of adversity and to stand with unwavering faith that

the Lord provides for all my needs if I remain obedient to His word.

4. Best solution. The best solution seems to be to implement related solutions in order of

acceptable employer / employee relations. The first solution is to communicate my

concerns with my employer and give them a chance to explain or to help me to

understand their motives. If this solution works, I will be able to maintain employ as well

as my sense of integrity AND collect a paycheck. If communicating does not work, I

have to abandon the project but not necessarily my job. When abandoning the project I

must remain open that my employer will not receive this news gently and I have to be

ready to take the leap of faith and have a plan in place to move my faith and life forward.

5. Implement the chosen plan. This I have done. I first discussed my concerns with my

employer and they were “semi” well received. My employer is moving forward with the

project. I am not going to continue to work on the project because I have not been paid.

I have invoiced for my past services. I have relocated myself to cut overhead expenses so

that I can take lesser employ if necessary and I am maintaining contact with my employer

with the intent to protect the relationship (not to burn the bridge).

6. Evaluate the success of the alternative. This remains to be seen. I do feel better about

myself but I am extremely poor and my standard of living (of this world) is at its all time


7. Modify the decision and actions based on the evaluation. I am still working on this plan.

I am seeking alternative employ as well as contract work and self-employment.


I believe that the “perfect” decision cannot actually be made. I have a firm and

unyielding faith that there is a larger plan at work though God and divine intervention will

always take precedence over human interactions and decisions. We do the best we can, but

when the hand of God comes down, we must be ready and willing to remain obedient and

steadfast in our faith and in our love for Him. All that truly matters to me is that the will of

God is done.


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