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The existing business world endures on the information acknowledge and this is an important for an organization. Data should be saved properly so that it can be used easily for future access. To compete with the global competitors, providing best services and products in time and within given budget plus using the best way of delivery and production will make the organization as the fortune company in the world. All this is achieved by the managers only with the right decision at the right time.
1) Identify and discuss the challenges of decision making in organisations.
Decision making is the processing of taking right decisions for the purpose of reaching the company goals. “It can defined in many ways, according to Simon Decision making process ranges from highly structured to highly unstructured decisions i.e., programmed to non programmed decisions, also described decision making process with intelligence, design, choice, and implementation phases”. Simon (1977).
In the present business environment organisations must deal with Business intelligence and the decision support systems as they play a major role in organisation decision making and performance. All these complexities create business opportunities but at the same time they present a lot of challenges to the organisations. The arrival of globalisation and telecommunication in the organisations will interact with their customers and suppliers globally by increasing their relation with customer base and offering them with cheaper supplies and services. There is huge competition within the organisations because of the globalization.
Decision making and problem solving are very important for a business. Problem solving involves decision making which is important for Management. Decision making requires creativity in identifying and developing options. Business in the present situation has become complex for the organisations due to Demanding consumers, globalisation, government regulation, high competition and changing markets. Most of the processes in the organisations are automated. All this has made decision making a tough task in Business environment for different organisations. To make the correct decision making in the present situation, managers should use appropriate tools with proper updates and right techniques. Organisation must understand the changes in the business and adapt to the changing environments quickly by making faster and good decisions.
Main reasons for why decision making has become more difficult are as follows:
- Usage of technology has increased the scope of potential choices.
- Factors that constantly change such as the government regulation, compliance, competition and consumer demands create uncertainty in the business environment.
- Quick decision making by using the trial and error method is not a good approach for making a right decision.
- Lack of collaboration is also a problem. Challenges like transparency and also the rivalries among the companies.
Business environment factors are categorised into 4: Markets, consumer demands, technology, societal it emphasizes the complex factors to which organizations have to respond. To run an organisation in systematic way to achieve their goals, decision maker should analyse the complete resources and functions of his duty decision making should also include business intelligence for the performance of organization.
Simon(1977) categorized decision making into four phases Intelligence phase, Design Phase, choice phase and implementation phase.(Page 53 of Turban et al.2007)
2) Describe how collaborative sharing of information and knowledge can occur within and across organisations through key enabling technologies.
Every organisation has departments and employees. All the employees work in group and this helps in improving the productivity of the organisation. Employees working for the organisation, procedures and technologies followed by the organisations transversely affect the power of the organisation. Group decisions can be made easily and can be implemented faster as it is supported by the group members. Group decisions are generally made after obtaining the result from team meetings, opinions of the group and the judgements of the participants. All this process can give benefits or dysfunctions for the organisation. It is suggested to make the decisions in group meetings as the situation of the decision is also important.
Group members can be at one place meeting face to face or there would be a virtual team. Teams can work at different places at different time zones, in such situations it would be hard to meet, they will have to communicate using proper technologies like team chats or the instant messaging provided on the intranet. Such tools are called the collaboration tools. Most of the organisations make use of the collaboration techniques and tools like virtual meetings as it helps in quick decision making and is cost effective. Communication for collaboration occurs using the internet, intranets and extranets.“Collaborative knowledge sharing is used by the companies to capture the knowledge in the heads of the employees and to improve the productivity of the organisation”. Tim Hughan
Internet, Intranet and extranets are the technologies used to collaborate effectively. Intra organisational and extra organisational decision making is done through the usage of collaboration tools. Access to data, knowledge and information is made easier within and outside the organisation using the intranets, extranets and web based collaboration tools.
Most widely used collaboration tools to improve collaboration within the organisation include VOIP voice over ip, collaboration hubs, wikis, collaborative flow and corporate portals.
Communication, storage, collaboration and retrieval are the three kinds of technologies used to develop knowledge management systems.(Turban et al. 2007)Communication tools help the employees to access the required knowledge and to communicate with experts and there colleagues. Email, team chats, intranet, extranet and other web based tools help in communication among the employees.
Collaboration technologies are useful to provide group work.“Groups can share the files and work on them at the same time.
Storage and retrieval technologies use a database managements system for storing and retrieving the data. This works for explicit knowledge, but storing and managing data requires different tools”. Turban et al.2007 page 497).
Collaboration tools that are used to share the knowledge among the group and virtual teams are Synchronous and Asynchronous. Group members support synchronous or asynchronous or both to communicate with each other.
- In synchronous communication and collaboration are done by the participants in real time. Some examples for synchronous are Instant messaging (IM), Voice over ip(VOIP), Instant video, Video conferencing, multimedia conferencing, audio conferencing, brainstorming, polling and other decision support.
- In asynchronous the communication and collaboration are done by the participants at different time. Workspaces, auto responder, threaded discussions, Email, SMS, Activation of notification alerts via Email or SMS, use of bulletin boards, use of blogs, wikis, and wiki logs, chat session logs, design tools or collaborative planning, message sorting for users, discussion groups and bulletin boards are some of the examples for asynchronous collaboration.
3) How improved decision making through information and knowledge sharing can be incorporated and enabled in business intelligence systems.
Advantage of business intelligence is to extract knowledge that will improve the business performance of an organisation. (Loshin 2003). Business intelligence defined by DATA Warehousing Institute (1999) explains the relationship between information, knowledge management and business intelligence.
The process, technologies and tools required to turn data into information, information into knowledge and knowledge into plans that drive profitable business action. It helps in providing methods for extracting value from that knowledge by improving day to day operations and strategy performance in an organisation. Loshin (2003) gives a list of business intelligence applications which include human capital productivity analytics, customer analytics, business productivity Analytics, sales channel analytics, supply chain analytics and behaviour analytics. All of these applications depend on knowledge management. Business is realized only when organisation can action on shared knowledge to improve business performance.
Business intelligence maintains the constant check on the organisations performance which helps the managers to see the dangers, opportunities, benefits and buy them some time to make better decisions.
Proper use of information in planning and strategies will help organizations to promote its values which will ultimately help them in better decision making.
Alan Champan, 1995-2010, Problem solving and decision making, viwed on 12th April 2010 <http://www.businessballs.com/problemsolving.htm>
Tim Hughan, Mar 9th, 2009,collaborative knowledge, viewed on 10 April 2010<http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/collaborative-knowledge-sharing.html>
Lecture slides on USQ study desk, module 3 slide 38.
Turban, E, Aronson, J, Liang, TP, & Sharda, R 2007, Decision support and business intelligence systems, 8th edn, Pearson Education, New Jersey.
Loshin, D 2003, Business intelligence: the savvy manager's guide: getting on board with emerging IT, Morgan Kaufmann Publications, San Francisco, pp. 1-17
Nathaniel 2008,“Organizational Network Analysis” viewed on 12 April 2010 <http://www.welch-consulting.com/OrganizationalNetworkAnalysis.htm>