Research Methods for Strategic Managers to Aid in Decision Making


Abstract [P1]

Managers can be trained to make better decisions. They also need a supportive environment where they won't be unfairly criticised for making wrong decisions and will receive proper support from their colleague and superiors. A climate of criticism and fear stifles risk-taking and creativity; managers will respond by 'playing it safe' to minimise the risk of criticism which diminishes the business' effectiveness in responding to market changes. It may also mean managers spend too much time trying to pass the blame around rather than getting on with running the business.

The study is based on all-embracing research to assemble information from a variety of sources such as internet, interview and books. The research was conducting on the decision making in the different economic scenario data was collected and results were evaluated.

Introduction [P1] [1.1]

Some decisions are difficult because of the need to take into account how other people in the situation will respond to the decision that is taken. The analysis of such social decisions is more often treated under the label of game theory, rather than decision theory, though it involves the same mathematical methods. From the standpoint of game theory most of the problems treated in decision theory are one-player games (or the one player is viewed as playing against an impersonal background situation). In the emerging socio-cognitive engineering the research is especially focused on the different types of distributed decision-making in human organizations, in normal and abnormal/emergency/crisis situations.

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The signal detection theory is based on the Decision theory. Other areas of decision theory are concerned with decisions that are difficult simply because of their complexity, or the complexity of the organization that has to make them. In such cases the issue is not the deviation between real and optimal behavior, but the difficulty of determining the optimal behavior in the first place.

Background [P1] [12]

The best researched model formula for decision making is the scientific method consisting of eleven mental activity steps or stages (usually accompanied by physical activities) and three supporting ingredients. Decision-making increasingly happens at all levels of a business. The Board of Directors may make the grand strategic decisions about investment and direction of future growth, and managers may make the more tactical decisions about how their own department may contribute most effectively to the overall business objectives. But quite ordinary employees are increasingly expected to make decisions about the conduct of their own tasks, responses to customers and improvements to business practice. This needs careful recruitment and selection, good training, and enlightened management.


Decision making is the process of making choices among competing courses of action as described on the first page of the Research Report section titled Introduction to Decision Making. The most reliable process of making choices has been found to be the scientific method, as it is also the complete method of creative problem solving and decision making.


Decision making has been changed a lot in the last few years as the companies are faces problems to maintain the profits and survive in the tough environment of recession. The outcome of the decision is not sure as it can majorly dependent on the economic situation prevalent in the world.

Research question(s) [P2] [1.3]

The some of the research questions that need to answered in the research are as follows

(A)Why the decision making in the current recession economy has changed?

(B)Are the People saving more money then spent because of the change in the global economy?

(C)Are the organizations have to layoff the employees to save their cost and standing in the global environment

(D)Is there a Rise of the interest and inflation rates in the global economy scenario?

Hypothesis [P2] [1.4]

The research has the hypothesis as

H1- Decision making and risk assessment are interlink with each other

H2- Decision outcome is dependent of the economy situation

H3- Implementation of the decision decides the result of the policy.

This research paper emphasizes on the decision making and its impact on global economy and the environment and its impact on the profits and businesses.


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Decision is the vast and itself is a very important topic and when it comes to global economy the topic has the end less limits as there a many sides to look .The chosen method for this research is qualitative because we require to find out the scenarios and the decision making with its outcomes and the impact on the decision.

Research Aims & Objectives [P4] [1.5]


The research paper explores to understand the role of business decision making in the tough global environment with the safe guard the interest of the of the company . Steps taken to detail the aforesaid aim is through extensive research on the trends and dynamics of business sectors. The research can span primary, secondary and qualitative analysis of the data collated through multiple sources.


The objective of the research is to make state and analysis the decision making in the different situation and its outcome impact on the global environment and most importantly on the companies.

Literature Review [P5] [1.6]

Most of decision theory is normative or prescriptive, i.e., it is concerned with identifying the best decision to take, assuming an ideal decision maker who is fully informed, able to compute with perfect accuracy, and fully rational. The practical application of this prescriptive approach (how people actually make decisions) is called decision analysis, and aimed at finding tools, methodologies and software to help people make better decisions. The most systematic and comprehensive software tools developed in this way are called decision support systems.

Since people usually do not behave in ways consistent with axiomatic rules, often their own, leading to violations of optimality, there is a related area of study, called a positive or descriptive discipline, attempting to describe what people will actually do. Since the normative, optimal decision often creates hypotheses for testing against actual behavior, the two fields are closely linked. Furthermore it is possible to relax the assumptions of perfect information, rationality and so forth in various ways, and produce a series of different prescriptions or predictions about behavior, allowing for further tests of the kind of decision-making that occurs in practice.

A recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way. Production, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, investment spending, capacity utilization, household incomes, business profits and inflation all fall during recessions; while bankruptcies and the unemployment rate rise.

Types of Business Decisions to understand the decision making

1. Programmed Decisions These are standard decisions which always follow the same routine. As such, they can be written down into a series of fixed steps which anyone can follow. They could even be written as computer program

2. Non-Programmed Decisions. These are non-standard and non-routine. Each decision is not quite the same as any previous decision.

3. Strategic Decisions. These affect the long-term direction of the business eg whether to take over Company A or Company B

4. Tactical Decisions. These are medium-term decisions about how to implement strategy eg what kind of marketing to have, or how many extra staff to recruit

5. Operational Decisions. These are short-term decisions (also called administrative decisions) about how to implement the tactics eg which firm to use to make deliveries.

Rationale [P6] [1.6]

The business decision making the vast field and the economy is keeping on change. The primary reason to conduct research in the field of business decision is to study its dynamic nature and observe economy scenario and business in order to enrich their customer base.


Getting all these facts from different sources have made me stand and stick to my points because the facts are well-backed from the credible sources as told before. The important point to be considered is my own learning and research skills have improved a great deal.

Before doing my actual research, I only had a clue about what am I going to argue on? To be honest, I started my research with just a few points but after going into the depth and reading other author's viewpoints I developed my own viewpoints on this topic .and I started looking for the Sources that were authentic and credible enough to support my own view points.

Scope [P6] [1.9]

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The study covers the IT implementation globally and UK in particular, benefits and risks involved and the common challenges encountered by the e-business holders. The limiting factor of the study includes the varying trend and survey results that inhibit the researchers to arrive at a conclusion.


The manner in which I have conducted this research and analyze the data is in accordance with ethical research guidelines.

I have studied and understood all relevant material by the professionals which has helped me to conduct this research in this particular area. All possible steps have been taken to ensure the authenticity of this research.


There are several reasons why I chose a qualitative approach and further it is discussed in the following research .However, it was chosen because of its potential to provide richness and depth of understanding which pulled me towards it.

This research is done in order to find out the measures which have not been taken which results in a failure and to find out what are the known risks and why are they not properly assessed .And for that the reviews and opinions of the professionals who are directly related to this particular area either taken or studied .

Further discussions are there in the research.


I chose to conduct a secondary research because the necessary data was available and was not easy but accessible to me .I gathered the relevant data from the internet, international journals and publications, web publications, news paper, library research, by reading award winning books on this topic and researches that were conducted by well-known researchers . I also study the Barclays bank profile to get to the result. All this gave me help and support in order to make my research better and accomplished.


"A fundamental step of qualitative analysis involves the analysis of the data through development of categories .In order to identify themes the data had to be coded."

It is important to show the reliability of the research results to be worthwhile.

Although a computer was used to process the data .I collected the relevant material which has been discussed in P4 (a) and then broke it into parts .This process involved breaking up the data into meaningful parts and classifying these parts into themes.

Action plan [D2]

The plan to work on the research comprises the following stages:

Assemble information from multiple sources such as internet, libraries, subject matter experts.

Background of business making and also study the company profiles

Study the possible solutions to resolve the challenges

Till the week 12 working on the pass criteria

After the week 12 to week 16 working on the merit

And onward till the submission working on the distinction criteria

Methodology [P3, P8]

The business decision making and rational collection of theories, concepts or ideas as they relate to a particular discipline or field of inquiry; refers to more than a simple set of methods. The impact of the theories n the decision making and the entails the possible solution of the decision

Research design [M1] [1.13]

Primary and secondary data has been collected through extensive research and reading of numerous articles and whitepapers on internet and few e-books. In addition, interviewing to a couple of entrepreneurs with e-businesses contributed to shape the challenges and risks.


Thus far it has been argued that risk and risk management both are an essential ingredients in the financial sectors .and almost all the essential risks that should be measured properly are same in the financial sectors ..

It is noticed that the problem arises in an institution when they don't measure the decision regularly also when they:

Ignore the known outcomes in the business environment

Do not follow the prospective of the economy change

Failure in communication with in the organisation

Analysis and discussion [P9, P10, P11, M3]

The computer does not take decisions; managers do. But it helps managers to have quick and reliable quantitative information about the business as it is and the business as it might be in different sets of circumstances. There is, however, a lot of research into 'expert systems' which aim to replicate the way real people (doctors, lawyers, managers, and the like) take decisions. The aim is that computers can, one day, take decisions, or at least programmed decisions (see above). For example, an expedition could carry an expert medical system on a lap-top to deal with any medical emergencies even though the nearest doctor is thousands of miles away. Already it is possible, in the US, to put a credit card into a 'hole-in-the-wall' machine and get basic legal advice about basic and standard legal problems.

Constraints on Decision-Making

Internal Constraints

These are constraints that come from within the business itself.

- Availability of finance. Certain decisions will be rejected because they cost too much

- Existing Business Policy. It is not always practical to re-write business policy to accommodate one decision

- People's abilities and feelings. A decision cannot be taken if it assumes higher skills than employees actually have, or if the decision is so unpopular no-one will work properly on it.

External Constraints

These come from the business environment outside the business.

- National & EU legislation

- Competitors' behaviour, and their likely response to decisions your business makes

- Lack of technology

- Economic climate

Quality of Decision-Making

Some managers and businesses make better decisions than others. Good decision-making comes from:-

1. Training of managers in decision-making skills. See Developing Managers

2. Good information in the first place.

3. Management skills in analysing information and handling its shortcomings.

4. Experience and natural ability in decision-making.

5. Risk and attitudes to risk.

6. Human factors. People are people. Emotional responses come before rational responses, and it is very difficult to get people to make rational decisions about things they feel very strongly about. Rivalries and vested interests also come into it. People simply take different views on the same facts, and people also simply make mistakes. Business Thinkers -John Pierpoint Morgan & Good Management Self-Assessment

Businesses are highly interdependent on each other, their suppliers and their customers. Decisions are not taken in isolation. The effects of any decision will depend critically on the reactions of other groups in the market. These have to be, as far as possible, taken into account before decisions are made.

Barclays is one of the foremost financial services providers globally. The company is affianced in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services. The company's businesses are spread across 50 countries spanning over the Europe, the US, and Africa. It is headquartered in London, United Kingdom and employs about 144,200 people. The company recorded revenues* of £31,817 million ($50,678.1 million) in the financial year (FY) ended December 2009, an increase of 36.2% over FY2008. Operating income in FY2009 amounted to £11,642 million ($18,543.4 million), an increase of 91.6% over FY2008.The net profit was £9,393 million ($14,961.2 million) in FY2009, compared to £4,382 million ($6,979.6 million) in FY2008.

(Appendices attached)


Recent economic crises have convinced many observers that there are major flaws and gaps in risk management in financial institutions. The research demonstrates the need to distinguish between flawed assessment by risk managers and corporate risk-taking decisions, although resulting in losses.


In the light of research questions (P2) (1.3) and hypothesis (P2) (1.4) made in this research the statement should be straight and simple.

If in the financial institution the management wants to control risks, they should work on a firm -level risk management system .Its goal must be to identify measure and manage various types of risks to the top management on time and fill up all the gaps in order to save the firm from a big loss.


Though it was not easy to conduct a research on this topic as it needed every statement and every judgment based on facts and realities and information from reliable sources .Although all the research has been done according to the guidelines and set procedures .A set planning was done to do this research and all the findings is based on logics and evidence. Although it was not easy yet it covered all the points in order to get a distinction.

Conclusions [P12] [1.7]

Decision making in the current global tough condition has become complex. The timely decision making and its impact on the organization can be seen through the research results as it can go for or against the company.


This research has showed that business decision making is the factor which can lead the company to the highest level and can make the company fail as well if the decision not taken on time and are not assessed properly .The research also identified the decision making has an impact on very employee in the company and its competitors.

Quantitative researches should also be done in this area and has the scope to identify more areas and new measure also be identified because change an ongoing process it can change according to the conditions.